By HoneyColony Staff

Likely, you’ve noticed products labeled as “All Natural” foods have begun springing up everywhere. But what you probably don’t know is many companies are deceiving consumers with these labels; in fact, according to market-research firms, 35 percent of Americans believe the terms “organic” and “natural” are synonymous.

Really, though, the two terms are night and day in terms of meaning. Unlike the “organic” food label – which is subject to a federal law requiring products and foods be neither genetically engineered nor genetically modified for their producers to legally label them “organic” – the Food and Drug Administration does not offer any guidelines defining “all natural” and “natural” in food labeling. Consequently, the definition of the word “natural” is becoming very loose, and companies have begun using it deceptively. all natural foods

Furthermore, consumers themselves are confused about the “natural” and “organic” labels on foods, with many assuming “natural” means “not genetically modified.” Companies, however, are free to define their own meanings for the term “natural” and can legally source “natural” food from conventional farms, where pesticide use and genetically modified organisms are common. Contrary to what many companies would like consumers to believe, “all natural” hardly means “edible,” let alone being equivalent to “organic.”all natural foods

And yet, the deception does not end there. Many companies build a reputation selling organic products, but later switch to non-organic sourcing and remove the “organic” label from their packaging or replace it with “all natural”; they maintain the same package designs so many retailers and consumers don’t realize they have switched food sources. all natural foods

A Picture is Worth a Thousand ‘All Natural’ Foods Labels

Other companies use subliminal imagery and package colors – such as green trees, blue rivers and bright-yellow suns – to suggest their products are healthful, pesticide-free foods. Such colors and graphics insinuate natural production without making illegal claims, and many companies raise their products’ prices so they are equivalent to – or sometimes higher than – those of genuine organic products.  all natural foods

To learn more about the public misconceptions over the “all natural” label, click here.

Johanna Gan is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles, California. She is a Reiki Master who continues to expand her alternative medicine and spiritual practice through the study of Shamanism and Aromatherapy. She enjoys expressing herself creatively through the visual arts and animation, and she loves flowers. Follow her on Twitter @johganna_.

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