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Editor's View: Seeking to close regulatory gaps

In our Sept. 19 Weekly Briefing, we learned that the Natural Products Association is beginning to develop guidelines for use of the term “natural” on labels for health foods. The lack of a definition of “natural” as used on food labels is a significant regulatory gap. Although the lack of clarity has some advantages for marketers, it also leaves companies exposed to legal challenges. Earlier this year, the courts asked the Food and Drug Administration to define the term as used in the regulatory context, but the agency respectfully declined. In essence, agency officials said “sorry, we’re too busy right now.”



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