SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | Asian edition

News > Regulation

Read more breaking news

 

 

Is it too risky to market foods containing GMOs as 'all-natural'?

3 comments13-Nov-2012
Last updated on 13-Nov-2012 at 15:44 GMT2012-11-13T15:44:47Z

Is it too risky to market foods containing GMOs as 'all-natural'?

Consumers, market researchers tell us, want foods that are ‘wholesome’, ‘authentic’, and above all ‘natural’, although few of them can articulate what this means. And they are not alone. Regulators have not had much of a stab at defining ‘natural’ either, says Justin Prochnow, an attorney in the Denver office of law firm Greenberg Traurig.

All the FDA has said is that firms can use 'natural' on 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, observes Prochnow, who caught up with FoodNavigator-USA at Supply Side West in Las Vegas last week.

But what about high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, GMOs and a whole raft of other ingredients that some consumers feel do not belong in a product labeled as ‘all-natural'?

It's down to who the judge believes

If an opportunistic plaintiff's attorney can argue persuasively that his client - and other reasonable consumers - might feel misled if a food containing GMOs or HFCS is marketed as 'natural', he has a case, adds Prochnow.

"And then it's down to who the judge believes. And this is why so many of these cases are being settled...

"Companies look at it and decide is it really worth spending two years fighting and what could be a million dollars or more on a case that we probably have a 50:50 chance of winning."

Click here to read about the class action lawsuit filed against Pepperidge Farm last week over 'natural' claims on Goldfish crackers.

 

3 comments (Comments are now closed)

Lawsuits

Justin above says it all, 'if an attorney can argue persuasively'. This says the case has nothing to do with right or wrong, but who can be the more persuasive.
And as for why companies settle, why wouldn't they? They will pay out i.e. say $50,000 to get it over with. Most of these lawsuits are simply blackmail as the attorneys know the companies will settle. If the attorney or the plaintiff really was serious about thier cause, they would not settle, but see it through. It has nothing to do about GMO, natural, healthy, or how I was mislead.
It is all about the pay day.

Report abuse

Posted by Mike
15 November 2012 | 15h472012-11-15T15:47:07Z

Natural and Born Again

If GMO's are 'natural', perhaps we should consider Frankenstein as "born again"?

Report abuse

Posted by Jennifer Chistiano
13 November 2012 | 16h562012-11-13T16:56:19Z

It should be a criminal offense...

Using GMO ingredients in a product marketed as "healthy" or all-natural should be a criminal offense. "Big Food" and "Big Pharma" don't care about health, safety or long-term effects, they care about profit. I say, let's take a few of these turkeys to court and dig into those profits with gusto.

The language of money is universal. Financial pain is always remembered, and these huge conglomerate companies are due for some ACUTE pain.

Report abuse

Posted by banh
13 November 2012 | 14h312012-11-13T14:31:49Z

Taste Test Friday: Banza chickpea pasta with One Hop Kitchen Bolognese

Taste Test Friday: Banza chickpea pasta with One Hop Kitchen Bolognese offers a twist on a classic

On the menu for this edition of Taste Test Friday is a blind sampling...

Kids, claims and variety – the key opportunities for snacks growth

Kids, claims and variety – the key opportunities for snacks growth

Families, ingredient claims, and variety in packaging and flavors have been flagged up as...

Lallemand’s Lafti L10 may aid URTI symptoms in elite athletes

Probiotics in sports nutrition? Lallemand’s Lafti L10 studied for immune support in athletes

A double-blind, placebo controlled study on elite athletes found that the dairy-derived Lactobacillus helveticus...

Green Sheep Water positioned as bottled water with a green conscience

Green Sheep Water taps into demand for sustainability as a bottled water with a green conscience

Sustainability and environmentally-friendly claims are becoming increasingly influential among consumers with recent research from...

Packaged cold brew coffee gains traction, has room for more players

Packaged cold brew coffee is gaining traction, & still has plenty of room for additional players

Cold brew coffee is creating quiet the buzz in the US with new brands...

Mars Food teams with Partnership for a Healthier America

Mars Food teams with Partnership for a Healthier America to improve nutrition, transparency in 5 years

To help fight the good fight against the ongoing obesity epidemic in America, Mars...

Vox Pop: The truth about Millennials, revealed by Millennials

Vox Pop: The truth about Millennials, revealed by Millennials

Serial snackers, addicted to new products and ‘emotionally connected’ to coffee? Marketers are obsessed...

Dannon grows as it fulfills promise to improve its products’ nutrition, fund healthy eating research

Dannon grows as it fulfills promise to improve its products’ nutrition, fund healthy eating research

As The Dannon Company nears the finish line for fulfilling its promise to improve...

Functional & sparking bottled water sales are “very hot in the US”

Functional & sparking bottled water sales are “very hot in the US,” analyst says

Once considered boring by many Americans, water is becoming a go-to beverage of choice...

Banana water tastes better than coconut water,' Steuben Foods

Banana water is 'lighter and fresher than coconut water,' says Steuben Foods

Banana water from Elmhurst Naturals – which combines water, banana juice concentrate and natural...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Quinoa’s rise & the challenges it must address

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Quinoa’s rise to superfood superstar status and the challenges it must address

Quinoa was one of the first superfoods to take America by storm more than...

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Overcoming challenges in plant-based innovation

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: How can stakeholders overcome challenges facing plant-based innovation?

Sales of plant-based alternatives to animal products may be growing fast, but the road...

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Growing sales of plant-based products

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Strategies for growing sales of plant-based products

When many mainstream consumers think of plant-based alternatives to animal products they think of...

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: What is driving the booming sales growth of plant-based products?

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: What is driving the booming sales growth of plant-based products?

Sales of plant-based alternatives to animal products are booming, thanks in large part to...

Hartman Group, MSL Group, talk Millennials and food

PODCAST: What makes Millennials tick?

While many Millennials feel that their vote won't make much difference, they are far...

Saturated fat guidelines out, food guidelines in?

Get rid of nutrients and focus on foods in guidelines, says sat fat researcher

Benoit Lamarche

Saturated fat researcher, Laval University

'It's business as usual': Davisco Foods on Agropur takeover

'It's business as usual': Davisco Foods on Agropur takeover

Polly Olson

Vice President of Business Development, Davisco Foods International

Snack trends 2014: Euromonitor says popcorn and thins

Euromonitor: Popcorn and thins epitomize ‘indulgence without the guilt’

Popcorn has exploded and thins have sliced into action in snacking – both riding...

InHarvest: Legumes, pulses steal spotlight from animal protein

At the 2014 Research Chefs Association Conference & Culinology Expo, FoodNavigator-USA caught up with...

Key Industry Events