In an article that she wrote for slate.com, Professor Margot Pollans argues that both the current debate about food labeling and the effort on the part of the FDA to define the term “natural” approach an important issue from the wrong perspectives. An expert in the field of food law, Professor Pollans calls for a broader examination of food production before deciding what is healthy for both consumers and the environment.
“The difference between natural and unnatural, like the difference between organic and conventional and GMO and GMO-free, is, itself, meaningless,” she argues. “These labels provide very little information either about how healthy the product is or about the size of its environmental footprint. Instead, these labels create opportunities for food producers to take advantage of the subset of consumers willing to pay more for perceived benefits.”