SUBSCRIBE

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

Trends > Prop 37

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

Manufacturers navigate greenwashing allegations

Manufacturers walk tightrope between demand for natural products and greenwashing allegations

Today’s consumers want products that are natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly, but manufacturers hoping...

Crunchies targets Millennial moms with freeze-dried fruits

Crunchies targets Millennial moms as fruit & veggie snacking gathers pace

If freeze-dried fruit conjures up images of space food, or brightly colored soggy bits...

Annie's sales set to reach $400m in fiscal 2017

Annie’s president: ‘Over the last two years we’ve added four million new households each year’

While some commentators baulked at the $820m General Mills parted with to get its...

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

Starting and growing a company is hard – especially in the highly competitive food...

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Americans may be becoming more adventurous in what they eat – seeking international flavors...

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio of clean, simple poultry & other frozen foods

McDonalds, Panera and other high profile food service companies took notable steps last year...

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

As animal welfare concerns become increasingly mainstream, farmers and manufacturers, such as the natural...

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synthetic biology, or GMO 2.0 as some are calling it, has vastly more penetration...

Expo West feedback 'overwhelmingly positive' for banana brittle

Barnana CMO: 'We tested banana brittle for eight months before we took it to market'

Barnana carved out virgin territory in the healthy snacks segment with its chewy banana...

Kite Hill weighs into plant ‘milk’ debate at Expo West

Kite Hill weighs into plant ‘milk’ debate: ‘Do electric cars not get to call themselves cars because they don’t have a combustion engine?’

An electric vehicle uses a very different propulsion system to the internal combustion engine,...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Top marketing strategies for natural products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Clean label 2.0 and other top marketing strategies for natural products

When it comes to marketing products in the natural channel it seems like there...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The opportunity for medicinal mushrooms

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The rising opportunity for mushrooms in food and beverage

Growing awareness of the powerful health benefits of mushrooms as well as increasing demand...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional Organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional helps conventional farms make the switch to organic

Despite organic’s strong appeal with double-digit year-over-year growth since the early 1990s, and the...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Americans’ love affair with protein shows no signs of cooling in the coming years...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

From restaurants’ fixation with ghost peppers to the presence of sriracha on dining tables...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Every year more people wake up to coffee or use it to fuel them...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction with probiotics

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction when formulating with probiotics

Once restricted to a handful of products, such as yogurt, probiotics are enjoying unprecedented...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast:marketing potential of home shopping television

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The marketing potential of home shopping television

Home shopping television easily might be overshadowed by food and beverage companies’ growing interest...

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

In today’s highly competitive landscape, many food and beverage manufacturers try to set their...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Using food influencers to market products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How to select and best use food influencers to market products

While Americans are becoming more adventurous in what they eat, they often still need...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...