The meaning of the phrase “all natural” is in dispute in a class-action lawsuit recently filed against Frito Lay over claims that some of the company’s Tostitos and Sun Chips products may not live up to consumers’ expectations of an all-natural label.
The suit claims that ingredients like genetically modified grains and oils are not what the general food shopper thinks of when they purchase a product that claims to contain “all natural ingredients.”
“The reasonable consumer assumes that seeds created by swapping genetic material across species to exhibit traits not naturally theirs are not ‘all natural’,” the plaintiffs claim in the case filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Central California.
The gray zone surrounding genetically modified ingredients stems from a 1993 FDA guideline that allows the use of “all-natural” when “nothing artificial or synthetic (including color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.”
Frito Lay says they are confident that its labeling meets all federal requirements.