Ben & Jerry’s drops “All Natural” from labels

I literally just watched Super Size Me when I came across this article about Ben & Jerry’s dropping the label “All Natural” from its labels.

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is dropping the phrase “all natural” from all labels after a request from a health advocacy group.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the company confirmed the move Monday.

The CSPI told the company last month it should not use “all natural” if products contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or other ingredients that are not natural.

Ben & Jerry’s, a unit of consumer products giant Unilever, said it’s not changing any recipes. It’s just removing the label from all products, whether they are among the majority that contain at least one of the ingredients CSPI listed or not.

The CSPI also played a role in “Super Size Me”.

I’m glad to see this move not out of health advocacy (though I’m also happy from that point of view) but because the term “All Natural” is almost entirely without meaning. It’s just some tricky buzzword that helps sell products, but it doesn’t add any information content to any packaging. I hope the next step will be for the FDA to define it, a position strongly supported by the CSPI.

11 Responses

  1. I agree its a useless term, much like “organic” these days. Organic simply means they have a list of things they cannot use, and most use something else (take fungicide for example) such as various copper solutions that many say are as bad or worse for the environment and the people that eat the food.

    I maintain that its doesn’t matter what you eat (as long as your getting the required vitamins and such) but how much.

  2. After spending a year in Europe, I don’t know what I fear most about America these days, the political crazies, or the food? Not like you can do anything about it, what with the near complete corporate capture of all political apparatus meant to contain such abuses.

    Yesterday I saw something that happened in Minnesota and if I were still in the US, it would definitely make me nervous (about the cops, not the terrorists).

  3. Because Europe is a model of human freedom? The food in America shouldn’t scare you at all, you are free to eat what you wish. If people decide to eat twinkies and mcdonalds a majority of the time that’s their business. If corporations can make a profit off of that demand that is again, the consumers fault not the corperations.

    What you have illustrated is that you believe that some people are not capable (or smart enough perhaps?) of making their own choices and that choice should thus be usurped by a government agency. Than they can regulate our salt, fat, sugar etc. intake properly.

    No no, people should be able to eat what they want and it is not the fault of a corporation if their products are consumed en masse. We are not children and the government is not our collective parent.

    I will now have a maple whoopie pie for breakfast. Yum.

  4. The corporations control the government.

    How difficult would it be for the average American to buy
    a piece of meat that wasn’t full of hormones and antibiotics?
    You make a big deal about ‘choice’, when the reality of the market
    for most people disallows for same. But it sounds good, so keep
    on spewing it. Most Americans won’t know any better. I do.


  5. If I want conspiracy theories, I listen to Glen Beck. Politicians control the government, they might be corrupted by business or other people but we choose who gets elected. Its still our own fault.

    You “know” better do you?

  6. It’s hardly a conspiracy theory to note that
    nearly all beef in the US is tainted by the
    aforementioned additives. Do you disagree,
    or are you just being disagreeable?

  7. I wasn’t even talking about beef.

    ‘Tainted’ is rather subjective though.

  8. Because Europe is a model of human freedom?

    The northwestern parts, yes? Can you seriously disagree with that?

  9. Having been there, yes. How many places can you go in Britain without being videotaped by ‘the man”? Speaking of the northwest. I wouldn’t bother to pack my burka were I going to France.

  10. How does CCTV limit human freedom? Sure, it’s a bit harder to break the law without being caught, but if that’s what you mean by human freedom – not being bound by human laws – then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    Sure, France has passed a couple of slightly racist laws recently, and Germany is still so hung up on the WWII-thing that you can’t speak freely about it. But compare that to the US and all its shadow agencies, terrorist watch lists, church control, lack of functioning democracy, etc, and they’re still miles ahead.

  11. Being constantly supervised by big brother isn’t restrictive? Regulating what people wear doesn’t limit your freedom?
    Restricting what you can speak about doesn’t?

    Does Germany not tax, by statute, people belonging to a church? Granted they turn the money over to the relevant church.

    Does the UK not have a state religion?

    Do all western countries not have terrorist watch list at this time?

    We share some restrictions on freedom but near as I can tell we are far behind our European friends in regulating the personal lives of our citizens.

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