The following is excerpted from The Cornucopia Institute’s report “Carrageenan: How A Natural Food Additive is Making Us Sick.”
Organic foods should be a safe haven from harmful ingredients. In fact, the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, the law governing organic foods, requires that non-agricultural ingredients must be determined safe to human health and not deleterious to the environment before they can be added to organic foods. After all, if organic food isn’t safer than conventional food, what’s the point, right?
So, how did a controversial ingredient like carrageenan get into organic food in the first place? The additive is divisive in the industry because of its link to gastrointestinal issues and a higher rate of colon cancer (in animal studies).
Federal organic standards require that nonorganic ingredients must be essential to producing the food (e.g., baking powder for producing organic cookies). Since nearly every product on store shelves containing carrageenan can be found by another manufacturer using an alternative to carrageenan (e.g., locust bean gum, guar gum), or with the words “shake it” on the package, carrageenan does not appear to be an essential food-processing ingredient. Read Full Article »