For years, many have asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to define the term “natural” for use in food labeling. Private citizens asked. Corporations asked. Even federal courts asked. But until recently, aside from an attempt at rulemaking in the early 1990s (an attempt that the FDA formally abandoned in 1993), the FDA had taken no steps to formally define the term. Rather, the FDA relied upon its policy regarding the use of “natural” as meaning that nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives, regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food.

Finally, however, the FDA has taken some long-awaited action; it opened a docket on November 12, 2015 to get input from the public, asking:

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