Calls from the Sugar Association for the FDA to officially define foods that can be labelled as ‘natural’ appear to be supported by the majority of consumers. In a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 83% of respondents said they supported the introduction of regulations to govern the labelling of products as natural.

The vast majority of those questioned in the poll, 85%, felt that food containing artificial or synthetic ingredients should be disqualified from being described as natural by manufacturers. Fifty-two per cent of consumers felt that the amount of processing and 60% of consumers said that whether a raw material is altered should determine whether or not a product could be described as natural.

“Consumers are increasingly confused by food labelling claims. We are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to provide an official definition of ‘natural’ and qualify for manufacturers what can and can’t be labelled as natural,” stated Andy Briscoe, President of the Sugar Association. “Consumers in our survey overwhelmingly agreed that FDA should adopt the ‘natural’ standards set forth by USDA for meat and poultry, as the standard for all foods wishing to make a ‘natural’ claim.”