The guidelines for using “natural” are loose and easy to circumvent. If a company uses this term, they are just trying to capitalize on a marketing gimmick that approximates nothing close to natural as we would come to think that natural should be.
Remember what we wrote earlier, that pet food companies have more latitude in the marketing claims compared to human food marketing.
Other words that companies like to use include gourmet, holistic, premium, prescription, and many more. These words mean nothing.
For example, Hormel can use the label “natural” to sell meat that comes from animals that are given antibiotics and limited outdoor access. The company won an advertising lawsuit in 2019 that also revealed that the same pigs are used for both the SPAM brand and Hormel's Natural Choice pork. The legal victory affirms terms like natural, clean, and whole are unregulated and meaningless, unlike certified industry labels like Organic and Non-GMO.