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NewsBites September 2014 Issue

Consumers Look for “Locally Grown,” “Natural”

The most popular food label term that consumers say they look for is “locally grown,” cited by 67% in a survey by Consumer Reports. That’s followed by “natural” at 59%, even though that term is only loosely defined by US regulators. (The FDA allows “natural” on products containing “nothing artificial or synthetic,” while the USDA says “natural” meats must have “no artificial ingredient or added color” and be only minimally processed.) Most of those surveyed said they thought “natural” should mean roughly what the tightly defined “organic” actually guarantees, such as no pesticides or genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. In addition to “organic,” mentioned by 49%, other popular label language included “non-GMO” (40%), “raised without antibiotics” (39%) and “fair trade” (31%).

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