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FDA warns Alexia Foods over ‘all natural’ label claim

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 05-Dec-2011

FDA warns Alexia Foods over ‘all natural’ label claim

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter to Alexia Foods for labeling a product ‘all-natural’, although it contains disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate, which the agency says is a synthetic preservative.

The FDA said that the Alexia brand Roasted Red Potatoes & Baby Portabella Mushrooms product is misbranded under legislation that says a food will be deemed misbranded if its labeling is false or misleading in any particular.

“Your Alexia brand Roasted Red Potatoes & Baby Portabella Mushrooms product contains disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate, which is a synthetic chemical preservative,” the warning letter said. “Because your products contain this synthetic ingredient, the use of the claim “All Natural” on this product label is false and misleading, and therefore your product is misbranded.”

Alexia Foods is owned by ConAgra Foods.

Director of communication and external relations for ConAgra Foods, Becky Niiya, told FoodNavigator-USA in an email: “We’re working with the FDA and will likely change the product.”

When asked for more information, she said: “ConAgra Foods is committed to remaining in compliance with all applicable FDA requirements and we are diligently working to address their concern.”

The FDA also noted that several Alexia Foods products used the words ‘all natural’ on their labels and recommended that the company should review all of its product labels to ensure foods are not misbranded.

The FDA currently has no definition of ‘natural’, although it has not objected to its use on food labels “provided it is used in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and the product does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”

The agency’s allegation that the company misused the term ‘all natural’ is the only violation cited in the FDA’s warning letter, which is available online here .

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