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Experts say 'natural' food labels can be misleading

Many shoppers who care about healthier eating keep an eye out for food labels that say "natural."

However, "natural" in this case may not be what you think.

Food labeling experts say the term "natural" actually has little to do with nature.

Officials with the Food and Drug Administration admit they've never defined the term "natural."

They don't object to the label, as long as no artificial flavors, or synthetic substances are used.

However, that can leave room for some pretty unappetizing ingredients.

"The natural claim is one of the most vague and misleading green claims that we see out on the market place." Urvashi Rangan of the Consumers Union said. "Citric Acid, for example, can be made from a bacteria, and that's considered to be a natural flavoring. Red dye can come from crushed beetles, and that can be a natural food coloring."

Experts say if you're looking for healthier choices at the supermarket, you should always take a close look at the fine print on food labels.


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