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The Los Angeles Times reports on the continuing battle over “organic” vs. “natural” foods.

The impetus for the most recent flare-up: Dean Foods’ announcement that it will introduce a line of “natural” milks and yogurts.

According to the story, organic food advocates are concerned that so-called “natural” foods are not regulated by the government, unlike “organic” foods … and that “the burgeoning market for less-expensive ‘natural’ foods reaps billions from consumers while guaranteeing little or nothing in exchange.” In addition, they believe that since “natural” foods tend to be cheaper than “organics,” they will begin to supplant the latter category.

Making the issue even more confusing, critics say, is the fact that Dean’s Horizon Organic will be launching the natural lines, and will use the company’s spotted cow logo on the label…which they believe will mislead consumers.
KC's View:
Hate to say it, because the government would seem to have enough on its plate these days, but it does sort of seem like there ought to be an official standard for what “natural” means. Some say that the phrase “minimally processed” ought to be the benchmark, but even that phrase is open to interpretation if the standards aren’t extremely specific.

Though it needs to be pointed out that even some organic standards seem open to interpretation, with degrees of organic-ness debated by purveyors.