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The term "natural" can be applied to any food. "Natural foods" and "all natural foods" are widely used terms in food labeling and marketing with a variety of definitions, some of which are vague. The terms are often misused on labels and in advertisements.[1] In contrast, the term "organic" has an established legal definition in many countries and an international standard. Contents 1 Formal definitions, or lack thereof 1.1 United Kingdom (definition by process and by product) 1.2 Canada (definition by process only) 1.3 United States (no definition) 2 See also 3 References // Formal definitions, or lack thereof "Natural foods" are often assumed to be foods that are minimally processed and do not contain any hormones, antibiotics, sweeteners, food colors, or flavorings that were not originally in the food.[2] The international Food and Agriculture Organization's Codex Alimentarius does not recognize the term "natural" but does have a standard for organic foods.[3] Fundamentally, almost all foodstuffs are derived from the natural products of plants and animals and therefore any definition of natural food results in an arbitrary exclusion or inclusion of food ingredients; likewise, since almost all foods are processed in some way, either mechanically, chemically, or by temperature, it is difficult to define which types of food processing is natural.[4] United Kingdom (definition by process and by product) In the United Kingdom, the Food Standards Agency published criteria for the use of several terms in food labeling. The guidance, in general, restricts the use of natural to foods that have "ingredients produced by nature, not the work of man or interfered with by man." Natural flavorings are explicitly defined by separate laws.[5] There are different standards for various types of food, such as dairy products. It also gives standards for some food processing techniques, such as fermentation or pasteurization. The standard explicitly rules out "foods derived from novel processes, GM or cloning."[6] Canada (definition by process only) The Canadian Food Inspection Agency restricts the use of "natural" to foods that have not been significantly altered by processing and gives examples of processes that do or do not significantly alter food. This includes two specific additional requirements:[7] A natural food or ingredient of a food is not expected to contain, or to ever have contained, an added vitamin, mineral nutrient, artificial flavouring agent or food additive. A natural food or ingredient of a food does not have any constituent or fraction thereof removed or significantly changed, except the removal of water. United States (no definition) In the United States, neither the FDA nor the USDA has rules for ‚Äúnatural." The FDA explicitly discourages the food industry from using the term.[8] The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits labeling that is misleading, but does not give any specifics. Because there is no legal meaning for natural foods, food manufacturers will often place a "natural" label on foods which contain heavily processed ingredients such as vegetable glycerin, soy lecitin, monocalcium phosphate, and mixed tocopherols.[9] The poultry industry has been criticized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for labeling chicken meat "all natural" after it has been injected with saline solution up to 25% of its weight, but there is no legal recourse to prevent this labeling.[10] Although there is no legal U.S. definition for natural foods, there are numerous unofficial or informal definitions, none of which is applied uniformly to foods labeled "natural". See also Organic certification Raw food diet Whole foods Health food References ^ "Guide to Food Labeling and Advertising, Chapter 4".  ^ Ikerd, John. The New American Food Economy. ^ "List of standards". Food and Agriculture Organization.  ^ Food processing: a century of change, R. W. Welch and P. C. Mitchell (2000) British Medical Bulletin, 56 (No 1) 1-17, ^ "Criteria for use of the terms Fresh, Pure, Natural Etc. in food labeling". Food Standards Agency.  ^ "Criteria for use of the terms Fresh, Pure, Natural Etc. in food labeling". Food Standards Agency. p. 16.  ^ "Guide to Food Labeling and Advertising, Chapter 4".  ^ IS THERE A DEFINITION FOR NATURAL FOODS?, Institute of Food Technologists, ^ as an example, the Kashi Company ingredients list for Happy Trail Mix, ^ Groups say many chickens not as 'all natural' as advertised, seek labeling changes, Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2010,,0,1637832.story