Pinnacle Foods Group LLC has reportedly agreed to reformulate its Log Cabin Syrup® after Vermont Representative Peter Welsh (D) called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the company for selling a product in apparent violation of agency regulations. Welsh’s September 8, 2010, letter noted that the company’s “All Natural Syrup” contains caramel color, among other ingredients. Welsh suggested that consumers outside the state “who have come to expect quality from natural Vermont products may be fooled by this misleading labeling.” The product is apparently being sold in a beige plastic jug similar to real maple syrup packaging, raising the ire of maple syrup producers.
While FDA has not defined the term “natural,” the agency allows it to be used if the claim is truthful and “the product does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances,” according to an agency spokesperson. Claiming that its product “provides consumers with a value-priced table syrup choice made from all natural ingredients,” Pinnacle thanked the congressman and Vermont’s agriculture secretary “for alerting us to the FDA’s voluntary guidelines regarding the addition of color to a natural product, even if from a natural source.” The company will remove the caramel color immediately. See Product Liability Law 360, September 27, 2010; Congressman Peter Welsh Press Release, September 28, 2010.