"Natural" Label - More Harm Than Good?
- Thursday, 17 May 2012
[Original Source: new hope 360] When Bo Sharon sees the word "natural" emblazoned on a food package, it brings up more questions than answers.
If the product contains soy, corn or canola, was that crop grown from non-genetically engineered seeds? If the food has been sweetened, was high fructose corn syrup used? If it’s meat, was the animal humanely raised? And regardless of the product category, will the average consumer recognize the ingredients listed on the label? It’s these many questions surrounding the term natural that threaten to erode the value of products emblazoned with the term, says Sharon, owner of Lucky’s Market in Boulder, Colo. “It’s absolutely time to strap guidelines onto natural. If we continue down the current road, we’re bound to see the birth of other phrases that are subject to personal interpretation, such as truly natural or never-ever-ever-never-ever. Granted, these are laughable, but hopefully shine light on the fact that, without guidelines, anything goes when it comes to labels.” Sharon isn’t alone in his dissatisfaction with natural’s widespread and loose usage. “For people who have been around the industry for awhile, natural used to mean something,” says Dean Kallas, purchasing manager at Willy Street Co-op in Madison, Wis. “But now the term has been co-opted to the point that its meaning has been totally diluted. I think the government should do more to clarify it, but in the meantime, we’ll do the best we can.”
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