• Defining "Natural" Food: Proposed Rulemaking on Product Labeling
  • September 16, 2009 | Author: Kristin R. Eads
  • Law Firm: Faegre & Benson LLP - Minneapolis Office
  • On September 11, 2009, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the use of the term "natural" in the labeling of meat and poultry products.

    The use of the term "natural" on meat and poultry products is voluntary. Under the current FSIS policy, a meat or poultry product labeled "natural" indicates that the product does "not contain any artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredients, chemical preservative, or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient and that the product is not more than minimally processed." Over the past few years, numerous questions have been raised regarding the proper usage of the term and the conditions under which it can be used. The notice of proposed rulemaking is in response to these concerns and a request for a codified standard for use of the term. The notice will attempt to further define proper use of the term "natural" on meat and poultry products and to try to coordinate the FSIS standard with the "naturally raised" marketing claim from the Agricultural Marketing Service.

    Comments are being accepted through November 13, 2009. To read additional information on the notice of proposed rulemaking, including how to submit comments, visit the Food Safety and Inspection Service page.