Some cereal manufacturers use the "natural" moniker deceptively in an effort to convince consumers they are producing organic goods, a new report asserts.
According to the Cornucopia Institute, breakfast cereal manufacturers are advertising their products as "natural," even though they are treated with agrichemicals and genetically modified organisms. The organization urges consumers to pay more attention to food labels to avoid being duped by these deceptive marketing tactics.
In particular, Cornucopia points to Peace Cereal. Three years ago, the brand switched from using organic ingredients to less expensive conventional products and simply adjusted its labeling to note the change. As many as 95 percent of consumer products use this tactic to bolster sales, the organization claims.
"Some companies that started out organic, and built brand loyalty as organic brands, have switched to non-organic ingredients and 'natural' labeling," said Charlotte Vallaeys, director of farm and food policy at Cornucopia.
Consumers are growing more health-conscious, which is pushing many to switch from products that use artificial additives and preservatives to those made from organic ingredients. Companies are trying to tap this growing market in response, leading some to "greenwash" their products.