Tag Archives: Natural

7up Drops ‘All-Natural’ label as well

Story found here.

And for the record, having both Kraft and Cadbury-Schweppes release notices about how they are both dropping the ‘All-Natural’ from their High-Fructose Corn Syrup claim within days of one another is what is called a “notable coincidence”. Methinks a specific something was said at a specific somewhere that made both of them rethink their “HFCS is natural” position.

But then again, I am prone to conspiracy thinking from time to time.

Kraft does something right!!! HFCS and the “All-Natural” label

My heart – It’s all a flutter!

My beliefs in corporate responsibility have been challenged!

My faith in Kraft has been restored!

Well, not really. I’ve never had faith in Kraft. But they have done a good thing recently which should be addressed.

Some of you out there may have heard about the woman from Florida who recently filed suit against Kraft over their Capri Sun product. Her contention was that Capri Sun’s use of “All Natural” on their label was deceptive and misleading, due in large part to the vast amount of man-made high fructose corn syrup used in making the children’s drink.

Today, Kraft responded to the news and subsequent bad publicity by announcing that within two weeks time, they will start producing labels without “All Natural” on the package. Of course they also say that this has been in the works for the past year, and that this announcement is not a direct response to the lawsuit. This seems logical to me, but a tad coincidental.

At any rate, Kraft is doing the correct thing here. High fructose corn syrup is a man-made product. It’s use in a product seems to run counter to the “All Natural” ideal.

Isn’t that right 7up?

tags technorati : Kraft High Fructose Corn Syrup

7-up sued for false “natural” claim

A few weeks ago, I brought up the fact that Cadbury Schweppes had incorrectly decided to label their soda 7-up as “natural” even though it contains High Fructose Corn Syrup. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to believe that their claim lacked…shall we say…any modicum of credibility.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has decided
to sue Cadbury Schweppes over this fact:

“Pretending that soda made with high fructose corn syrup is ‘all natural,’ is just plain old deception,ˮ said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “High fructose corn syrup isn’t something you could cook up from a bushel of corn in your kitchen, unless you happen to be equipped with centrifuges, hydroclones, ion-exchange columns, and buckets of enzymes.ˮ

Personally, I don’t care if a company puts HFCS in their soda or not. With proper education and information, consumers will eventually be the ones who either accept or reject the sweetener. However, claiming that HFCS is a “natural” product is so laughable, that it’s difficult for me to believe that this claim was anything other than calculated. Good for the CSPI for calling Cadbury Schweppes bluff on this matter. It will be interesting to see how the FDA and the Corn Refiner Association responds to this.

Technorati Tags: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Drink, Soda, 7-up

7-up – Au naturel? Hardly

You gotta love marketers. Well, okay, maybe not love them…perhaps a begrudging respect at the sheer gumption of their actions.

7-up, by simply removing an artificial preservative, is now apparently 100% Natural. It takes a lot of nerve to make that claim, especially since this is now their ingredient list.

The new 7 Up, which started rolling out on April 1, is made from five ingredients that the company described as all natural: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors and potassium citrate.

Here’s where I call “bullshit” on their claim, due in part to our favorite whipping boy, High Fructose Corn Syrup.

The USDA’s definition of “natural” is as follows:

A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural. The label must explain the use of the term natural (such as – no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed.)

HFCS is extensively processed and does, in fact, does fundamentally alter the raw product (corn starch) used to make HFCS. The process involves changing the corn starch to glucose, and then changing the glucose to fructose. These changes cannot be made unless three separate enzymes are added to the process at three seperate points. Then, “there are two more steps involved. First is a liquid chromatography step that takes the mixture to 90 percent fructose. Finally, this is back-blended with the original mixture to yield a final concentration of about 55 percent fructose—what the industry calls high fructose corn syrup” (the entire process can be found here).

I would love to have Cadbury-Schweppes explain to me why this process does not meet the USDA’s guideline of “extensively processed”. Personally, I don’t care if they use HFCS or not. But don’t tell me that it’s a “natural” product.

(via Slashfood)

Technorati Tags: Drink, soda, 7-up, High Fructose Corn Syrup, HFCS

We get Letters v. 13 – USDA Natural vs. Organic

Here’s another one from the mailbag.

Hi Kate,

I was at Bristol Farms today, and I asked the butcher if they had any organic beef. He said, that all the beef they carry is USDA Natural, which means grain fed, but no hormones or antibiotics. I asked if they had any free-range beef, and he told me that all beef is free-range because meat cows have room to wander, and that the only difference between most “organic” beef and this “USDA Natural” is that the grains that are fed to the USDA Natural cows aren’t organic. Can you shed some light on this? My nearest Whole Foods is quite a jaunt. Is this USDA Natural worth anything?


- brian

Hi Brian! I’m not sure if what I’m about to say is confusing or not, so let me know if my explanation is lacking.

There is no such label as “USDA Natural”. Period. The confusing aspect is that when you see “Natural” on a product, the USDA is responsible for defining what “Natural” entails. In fact, the entirity of the definition can be found on the USDA website. Their definition for “natural” is:

A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural. The label must explain the use of the term natural (such as – no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed.)

That’s all there is to it. But organic standards are much longer and better defined. They take up several pages.

So when you asked the butcher those questions, he was wrong on some fronts, correct on others. Hormones and antibiotics can be natural. Organic can be grain fed. It’s the particulars in which count. “Organics” have well defined particulars, “Natural” does not.

As for “Free-Range”? Well, “Free-Range” is generally applied to chickens. Even in the USDA regulations, they refer to poultry explicitly. The fact that they don’t mention beef is telling. My belief is that there’s no USDA sanctioned “Free-Range” Beef. If you see “Free Range Beef” it’s probably a marketing term.

The butcher is correct when he says that “meat cattle” has access to pasture. Note that he said “meat cows” when it comes to access to pastures (aka “free range”). Dairy cattle does not have such a luxury in some instances. Something to keep in mind.

When you look at the standards linked above, there is a big difference between “Natural” beef and “Organic” beef. When it comes to feed alone, there are several items listed that organic standards require. There are no such requirements for the “natural” label. As long as the feed has natural ingredients then it’s acceptable. Are there grain fillers out there that claim themselves as “natural”? I’m not sure, as I’m not a farmer and my elite google skills are failing me at the moment.

But I will ask you this — There’s the act of using cow remnants as grain filler. My question to you is: Aren’t ground up bones and tendons still “natural” products?

Now I’m not saying that Bristol Farms is one of those kind of places that feed their cows natural filler that contains cow remnants. But it does show that companies can and do push the limits on the definition of “natural”. To say that there’s no difference between “Natural” and “Organic” standards is the same as saying that there’s no difference between a Hershey Bar and chocolate made from a Chocolatier in Paris. While both are chocolate, one has more explicit standards than the other.

UPDATED: Removed bit about some cattle companies using cow remnants in their feed, as I had no hard proof for that statement.

Technorati Tags: Food, Food Politics, USDA, USDA Labels