Views: 3 Author: Golden Horizon (Chengdu) Technology Co., Ltd. Publish Time: 2021-01-12 Origin: Golden Horizon (Chengdu) Technology Co., Ltd.
Although food trends are constantly changing, the trend of "natural" foods shows no signs of abating in this decade. Marketers are also fully aware of consumers' claims of "100% natural" or "made with 100% natural ingredients". Therefore, these terms are often used on product packaging.
However, since there is no legally binding definition of the term "natural" in EU legislation, the implied term "natural" is often misused and abused. Therefore, the European Safe Food Advocacy Group (SAFE) called on the EU to change this situation, believing that the farm-to-table strategy is an excellent opportunity to update its labeling framework.
01 Chemical And Synthetic Substances Are "Far From Natural"
SAFE analyzed the composition of "hundreds of products" on the market to determine which products meet its "natural" requirements. According to the non-profit organization's survey results, most people who use the term "natural" say that chemical and synthetic substances are "far from natural." However, SAFE did not disclose the names and manufacturers of these products because, technically speaking, they did not violate any specific laws. Instead, the non-profit organization stated that these companies did not comply with the “general principles of providing consumers with clear and simple information” stipulated in the Consumer Food Information Regulation (FIC).
In fact, the only term “natural” mentioned in the EU regulations is found in the annex to the regulations on health claims in the SAFE legislation, but food producers do not need to meet any clear conditions to use this term. Therefore, consumers grasp product information by responding to food packaging and labels, which leads them to make choices based on false assumptions.
02 Striving For Change
Therefore, SAFE is formulating a definition of the term "natural" for the EU and incorporating it into the EU food law. To this end, the non-profit organization launched the "WeValueTrueNatural" campaign, which aims to increase people's awareness of the value of "true natural foods" and "ensure that consumers are not misled by vague food claims."
So what will the definition of "natural" be? SAFE believes that a possible definition should consider many key elements:
First of all, the nature of product ingredients should be considered: natural products should be composed of natural ingredients and should not contain synthetic substances;
Second, natural products should not contain genetically modified ingredients, nor should they be obtained from genetically modified organisms;
Finally, "natural" products should be considered 100% biodegradable.
One of the main initiatives of the European Green Deal, the "farm-to-table" strategy, will support the enforcement of rules regarding misleading information. Therefore, SAFE sees an opportunity for change here. According to SAFE, the farm-to-table strategy represents a huge opportunity to finally establish an EU sustainable labeling framework that meets EU consumer expectations and current environmental challenges. However, if the EU does not establish strict labeling requirements, such as the definition of "natural EU food", then this opportunity will be lost.