From ice cream to salad dressing, and potato chips to pet food, health-conscious grocery shoppers can choose an “all natural” version of just about anything.

But one item ingredient-conscious consumers can’t pluck off the shelves: an official definition of “natural.”

A recent spate of consumer lawsuits allege that food companies are playing fast-and-loose with the “all natural” designation, effectively committing fraud against the shopping public. But determining fraud becomes complicated when the federal government itself concedes the rule book is vague.

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