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Glossary: natural

natural: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cites the following:

• The Textile Products Identification Act defines a “natural fiber” as “any fiber that exists as such in the natural state.” Source: 15 U.S.C. § 70b, Sec. 4 (2013), The Textile Products Identification Act.

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines “natural” meat and poultry as “a product containing no artificial ingredient or added color” and which “is only minimally processed.” Source: USDA, Meat and Poultry Labeling Terms.

• The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines “natural flavor or natural flavorings” as substances containing the flavoring constituents derived from specified items, such as spices, fruits, vegetables, herbs, plant materials, meat, seafood, and eggs. The FDA informally considers “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic (including colors regardless of source, including the addition of beet juice) is included in, or has been added to, the product that would not normally be expected to be there.
Source: FDA, “CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21.”

Given the difficulties in developing a definition of “natural” that would be appropriate in multiple contexts beyond the fiber and food categories, the FDA and the FTC have declined to establish a general definition of this term. Likewise, the FTC states that it lacks a basis to provide general guidance on the use of the term. Nevertheless, the agency states that in theory a marketer may use the term, provided that, as with all environmental marketing claims, the marketer can substantiate the environmental benefit claimed, including implied claims. The FTC cautions that adequate substantiation is especially important to the extent that reasonable consumers perceive “natural” claims as general environmental benefit claims or comparative claims. Source: 16 CFR Part 260, FTC’s Green Guides. See also: general environmental claim and substantiation of claim.