Defining “natural product” between public health and business, 17th to 21st centuries
The historical definition of a natural product stands at the crossroads of business, health, and the symbolic order of things. Until the end of the 19th century, “natural product” was a synonym of perishable. The emergency of organic chemistry made perishability be replaced with “toxicity”. Nowadays, genetics is provoking a radical change in the notion and practises of “natural product”. However, these concerns are never entirely opposed to “naturality” as a synonym for sacred and symbolic order. Traceability is largely based upon kosher practices and the association between organic and good for health is hardly based upon sound scientific arguments.