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Can 7-Up Be Considered a ''Natural'' Soft Drink?

Staying on the subject of dangerous soft drinks, you may recall Cadbury Schweppes recently relabeled its carbonated 7-Up a 100 percent natural product. Even though 7-Up commercials claim the new mix is a "natural" one (complete with images of cans being harvested from fruit trees) what Cadbury uses to sweeten it -- high fructose corn syrup -- is anything but health-promoting or natural, so don't be fooled into believing otherwise.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has sued Cadbury to force the soft drink manufacturer to stop using the "100 percent natural" claim on 7-Up. However, the FDA, in its infinite wisdom, won't define what constitutes a natural food product, thus giving food manufacturers a free pass to use the term "natural" far more freely than they should.

And when CSPI complained about an "all natural" ice cream product made by Ben and Jerry's that included hydrogenated oil four years ago, the FDA waved off any concerns, claiming it had more important things to do.

Perhaps, if the FDA took its job more seriously, precious time and dollars wouldn't be spent on lawsuits like this one. Unfortunately, the health of Americans doesn't appear to be much of a priority at the FDA.

Center for Science in the Public Interest May 11, 2006

ABC News May 11, 2006

Chicago Tribune May 21, 2006 Registration Required