“Natural” Products Expo West – But What Does “Natural” Mean?

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FDAImports.com had a great time at Natural Products Expo West 2013, discussing the definition of "natural" and the regulation on GMOs.

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The FDAImports.com team had a fantastic time at Natural Products Expo West 2013 – an important event for manufacturers, distributors, buyers and press to connect, network and discuss trends and issues affecting the natural products industry. This year Rick Quinn, Principal at FDAImports.com, participated in the Retailer Town Hall, ‘Defining ‘Natural’ Together’ – clearly an issue of great concern to industry. The panel was held on March 10, and attended by industry leaders from the retail and manufacturing sectors.

What’s Up with Natural?
“We spotted some trends right away,” said Mr. Quinn. “The discussion moved quickly to the prevalence of Genetically-Modified Organisms (‘GMO’) in natural products, and the extent to which GMOs could be present in products still bearing ‘natural’ claims.” FDAImports.com participated in the #NaturalChat twitter discussion before the event, which covered the Natural Products Association’s adoption of a GMO standard while debating whether or not “natural” meant something other than “basically what you could do in your kitchen.” At the town hall discussion, Mr. Quinn provided insight into FDA’s position on “natural” claims and some of the issues surrounding the use of these claims in private litigation.

Can You Really Say That?
“FDA defers to USDA’s National Organic Program for regulation on ‘organic’ and claims but ‘natural’ claims remain uncertain, fraught with litigation. Before FDA issues regulations on the subject, I suspect a body of law will emerge from private litigation, alongside ‘soft law’ from explicit self-regulatory organizations and trade groups, and market-tested consumer expectations which will help companies guide their sourcing, manufacturing, and advertising efforts.” said Mr. Quinn.

About FDAImports.com
FDAImports.com is an FDA consulting firm helping U.S. and foreign companies navigate through and meet complex FDA regulations for marketing and importing foods, dietary supplements, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. Benjamin L. England, Founder and CEO, is a former 17-year veteran of the FDA and served as the Regulatory Counsel to the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs. Contact: Anne Lehan, (410) 220-2800 or pr(at)fdaimports(dot)com.

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