You’ve been warned before, but the temptation for market gurus is often too great. Be careful when using the term “natural” on your packages. Food companies face a spate of lawsuits, ostensibly launched by concerned consumers, targeted at denying use of the term “natural” on food labels.
Recently a federal judge in California ruled that the Food and Drug Administration is the proper authority for defining natural, not the courts. The case involved a consumer suing Gruma Corp. over all-natural claims for Mission tortilla chips made with domestic corn, a raw material with G.M.O. content. Whether F.D.A. has the inclination or resources for such a decision is unclear. But it’s worth noting that previous suits resulted in companies voluntarily withdrawing such label claims in apparent recognition that the customer is always right, even when incorrect.