The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin reconsidering the rules governing use of the word 'natural.'

More clarity is required, says the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, which will reconsider current rules. Set in 1982, those guidelines asked that a product labelled as natural be "not more than minimally processed," and came before many advances in food production and packaging, including antimicrobial agents, high pressure pasteurisation and other methods that cannot be automatically defined under current understanding of the term 'natural.'

Some current products requiring clarification include products treated with sodium lactate, and the marketing of poultry, which is soaked in or injected with salt water.