Ben & Jerry's making bogus 'all natural' claims, food watchdog says

Ben & Jerry's ice cream: natural or not?
Ben & Jerry's ice cream: natural or not?

Ben & Jerry's should stop misleading consumers that its ice cream is "all natural" when it is made using synthetic vanilla, corn syrup and alkalized cocoa -- among other ingredients "not found in nature," the Center for Science in the Public Interest said.

At least 48 out of 53 Ben & Jerry's flavors make the "all-natural" claim even though the flavors contain man-made ingredients, the group said. "Natural" is among a handful of food label claims that are virtually meaningless. It's an unregulated claim often intended to play on consumer desires to eat healthier.

"...It's a stretch to call any of them 'natural,'" CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a statement. "Ben & Jerry's sylvan labels notwithstanding, these ingredients come from the factory, not the farm. And slapping an 'all natural' label on the products certainly implies that the products are top quality and deserve to fetch a higher price."