“Clean Label Regulations” at the 2015 Clean Label Conference by Catherine Adams Hutt, Ph.D., RD, Principal, RdR Solutions Consulting; LLC/Chief Science and Regulatory Officer, Sloan Trend.
Abstract: While there may not be a regulatory definition for the term “natural,” various factions have expectations. Consumers, in both retail and foodservice, also have expectations as they decide which foods they will buy. “Natural” and “clean label” are perceived to be key benefits. The use of the term “natural” in marketing was examined, and appropriate and inappropriate uses was presented. Directions for appealing to consumers, while staying within the lines for regulatory compliance, was provided, as was as exploration of the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal.
An excerpt from the written summary of this presentation: “The term (clean label) is defined by the consumers and stakeholders,” she said, citing retailers, like Whole Foods, Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Kroger, which all have concrete definitions. Groups like Clean Label Magazine and certain ingredient vendors have als offered definitions, including banned ingredients and processes.
There’s likewise no regulatory definition for “natural,” although the FDA has been clear in its expectation. FDA’s website states, “It is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural,’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth.” That said, the agency hasn’t objected to the use of the term if the food contains no added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.
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