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Dairy Facts 2016

FDA Agrees to Extend Comment Period for ‘Natural’ Labeling

Jan 06, 2016

In response to requests from the public, including IDFA, the Food and Drug Administration has extended the comment period on the use of the term “natural” on food labels. Noting the complexity of the issue, FDA set a new deadline of May 10, 2016.

In a letter sent to FDA in December, IDFA had requested more time for deeper analysis and feedback from members.

“Many of IDFA’s member companies have brand names and product names with labeling claims that have a long history of using the term ‘natural,’ such as the use of the term ‘natural cheese,’” IDFA told FDA. “Thus, FDA’s reaction to the comments provided will likely have a significant impact on the dairy industry.”

Currently, FDA considers the term “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic, including colors, has been added to a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food. 

For more information, contact Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, at

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