Urging the FDA to Regulate the Term “Natural”
The Animal Legal Defense Fund urged the FDA to protect consumers from misleading “natural” claims on meat products.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted comments to the FDA calling on the agency to work with the USDA to prevent consumer deception from meat products bearing misleading “natural” labeling claims.
In 2016, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Center for Biological Diversity jointly submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on the agency to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to properly regulate the use of the term “natural” in the labeling of meat and poultry products.
We recommended that the term be defined in a way that aligns with what consumers reasonably believe “natural” to mean when it comes to the care and raising of farmed animals.
The comments argued that, to prevent a likelihood of consumer confusion, the FDA must prohibit the use of the “natural” claim on meat and poultry product labels when those products come from animals raised in ways that are anything but natural: when they are fed sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics or other veterinary drugs, injected with growth hormones, and confined without any outdoor access, in spaces that prevent the animals from performing natural behaviors.
In its comments the Animal Legal Defense Fund called out Hormel Foods’ Natural Choice lunch meat and bacon products’ “natural” claims as particularly deceptive, due to the manner in which the animals sourced for the products were raised and the products were produced.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is pursuing a separate consumer protection lawsuit against Hormel regarding their Natural Choice advertisements.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, as part of a coalition, submitted a petition for rulemaking to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service urging Wildlife Services to phase out lethal control of wild animals, including prohibiting specific practices such as neck snares, M-44 cyanide bombs, lead bullets, and more.November 21, 2023 Press Release
Proposed rule would maintain an unnecessarily complicated and confusing process for children to get access to plant-based milkMay 11, 2023 Press Release
Animal Legal Defense Fund Urges USDA to Strengthen Regulations for Handling and Exhibiting Wild and Exotic AnimalsRecommendations aim to decrease risk of zoonotic disease spread, animal escapes and attacks, and psychological and physical harm to the animalsApril 11, 2023 Press Release
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Hormel Foods Corporation
Matthew Hamity v California Department of Food and Agriculture
USDA FOIA Request #FOIA-2015-00184