Big Food Companies Push to Label Genetically Modified Products as “Natural”

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
(photo: Jeff Taylor, Wikipedia)

Food manufacturers who use genetically modified (GMO) ingredients want permission from the federal government to stamp their products with the word “natural.”


The Grocery Manufacturers Association has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve their plan, which would mean any food containing GMO corn, sugar and other such ingredients could be sold as “natural.”


One advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), blasted the food companies’ proposal.


Scott Faber, vice president of the EWG, called the association’s request “audacious.”


“It’s like they’re trying to get the government to say night is day and black is white,” Faber told The New York Times.


The request comes as food manufacturers are increasingly under attack from opponents of GM ingredients. At least 65 lawsuits are pending in various courts aimed at forcing companies to stop using the word “natural” to describe products with GM elements.


PepsiCo settled one such lawsuit in August over its use of the phrases “All Natural,” “All Natural Fruit” and “Non-GMO” on bottles of Naked Juices. The company said it would remove “All Natural” from the drinks’ packaging and pay consumers $9 million.


However, PepsiCo will still use “non-GMO” on the juices, even though they are not certified as such.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Group Seeks Special Label for Food: ‘Natural’ (by Stephanie Strom, New York Times)

Big Food Companies Want To Call GMO Foods “Natural” (by John Upton, Grist)

Federal Judge Tells FDA to Decide if Genetically Modified Foods are “Natural” (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Valentine Dyall 10 years ago
Very sensible proposal. GM products are as natural or unnatural as any other cultivated crop. Every single food and fiber crop we grow has been manipulated by us so that all are now genetically far removed from their original wild states. It is all natural because it is done within the bounds of nature and because we ourselves are natural so everything we do must ipso facto also be natural. Cross-pollination, mutagenic breeding, transgenesis -- all equally "natural".
Ella Baker 10 years ago
I hope they are providing the right information to their consumers.
Why 10 years ago
simonsays 10 years ago
Indeed, everything that can be corrupted will be corrupted and then be called natural. Naturally corrupted! The venomous snakes that are doing this GM are bent on world domination and destruction by using food as their weapon. Everything fake will be made to look real and natural.........the criminality of fake diamonds for example. You can't tell the difference. If it is anything that has to do with fraud, fakery, deception and in the end, death, you will find the Tribal snakes behind it ALL.
ncmike 10 years ago
From the FDA web : "FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances." So I suggest that wise consumers will ignore the term "natural" in all cases.
Kmil 10 years ago
In order to get their GMO products patented, the companies argue that their products are not natural and that the chances of their occurring naturally in nature are abysmally small. But, in marketing their products they now want to label them natural. Seems that turnabout should nullify the patent argument.
rajak silverstein 10 years ago
they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; Irradiate and poison as much as you feel necessary. There's a new sheriff in town.

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