Citing Citizen Petition and federal court requests for the agency to define “natural” for use in food labeling and determine if food products containing genetically engineered ingredients and high-fructose corn syrup may be labeled as “natural,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is soliciting information and comments about use of the term in the labeling of human food products.

More specifically, FDA seeks responses to questions that include the following: (i) Should the agency define natural through rulemaking? (ii) Should the agency prohibit use of the term in food labeling? (iii) If the agency defines natural, what foods should be permitted to bear the term? (iv) Should certain production practices, e.g., salting, irradiating, be considered in defining the term? (v) Should natural be applied only to “unprocessed” foods? (vi) Should the way an ingredient is produced or sourced affect whether a product containing that ingredient be labeled natural? and (vii) Should natural be associated with a nutritional benefit? See Federal Register, November 12, 2015.