Consumers Skeptical of “Natural” Products

Dec 28, 2010   

A recent poll found that consumers are skeptical of products that claim to be “natural.”  The survey, performed by Mango Sprouts Marketing, shows that consumers are dissatisfied with the unregulated use of the term “natural.”  Rather, as the study suggests, consumers would like to see a certification process much like the one required of products dubbed “organic.” 

Currently, under the National Organic Program, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are several requirements for the use of the term “organic.”  This designation not only applies to conventional foods, but to cosmetics and dietary supplements as well.  In order for a product to be deemed “organic,” it must comply with federal regulations, including mandatory inspections, the implementation of an organic production and handling plan, as well as the payment of filing fees. 

Unlike organic products, there is little certainty surrounding products deemed “natural,” as there is currently no certification process in place.  Although products must comply with the USDAs National Organic Program in order to be deemed organic, there is no such program for natural foods.  Rather, under the FDA policy, a natural food is simply one that does not contain synthetic or artificial ingredients. 

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