Consumers' Association wants rules for 'natural' and 'pure' on food labels
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Consumers' Association wants rules for 'natural' and 'pure' on food labels

  • 25 May 2021

Clear rules are needed for the use of the terms 'natural' and 'pure' on food labels, according to the Consumers' Association. The organisation advocates guidelines to combat deception and lack of clarity. Just like in France, Great Britain and Ireland. In the Commodities Act, there are hardly any rules for the claims "with natural ingredients", "100% natural" and "pure". Yet consumers often take these terms seriously and associate them with health. And manufacturers play cleverly on that. They use these kinds of terms to give their products a healthier image.

Sandra Molenaar, director of the Dutch Consumers' Association: 'We came across terms such as "natural" and "pure" on products that are not particularly healthy, full of processed ingredients. Such as lemonade, cola, sauce mix, biscuits, sugar cubes, wine gums, crisps and ravioli. Because there is no rule on how manufacturers may use these claims of 'pure' and 'natural', they all give their own spin on it. This leaves the door wide open for deception.


The Consumers' Association also investigated how consumers view claims such as '100% natural', 'with natural ingredients' and 'pure'. More than half of the consumers think that "natural" is not appropriate for a food that has been processed in a factory. And three quarters of consumers want clear rules for the use of these terms.

European rules

The Consumers' Association calls for European rules to ban misleading claims such as 'pure' and 'natural'. At the same time, the Consumers' Association calls on manufacturers to remove these claims from their packaging as quickly as possible. A few manufacturers have already promised to change their packaging after questions from the Consumers' Association.

Source: Consumentenbond