What Does "Natural" Mean To The FDA?

Ready for a back-to-school pop quiz? Here goes:

How does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) define the word "natural" for food products?

Actually, that was a trick question. The agency can't be bothered to define the term at all.

But that hasn't stopped manufacturers, eager to bask in the "natural" marketing glow, from shamelessly slapping the word on everything from salad dressing to potato chips. Unlike "organic," which is legally regulated, "natural," when seen in the aisles of your local supermarket, can mean pretty much anything the processors like.


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