brushing teeth
Image source:
Certo Xornal, Wikimedia

The Honest Company recently introduced toothpaste for kids—and included the harmful ingredient carrageenan.  When customer complaints poured in, they responded by telling us we are all “confused” and “misinformed” about the difference between degraded carrageenan and food-grade carrageenan—and that food-grade carrageenan is perfectly safe.

Tom’s of Maine (Colgate-Palmolive) also puts carrageenan in its toothpaste, including kids’ toothpaste, and states on its website that its concerned customers “are under the mistaken impression” that food-grade carrageenan is harmful.

Since young children tend to swallow their toothpaste, it means a daily dose of this harmful ingredient (researchers are even concerned about the minimal amounts of toothpaste residue that adults swallow).

By telling us we are confusing degraded carrageenan with food-grade carrageenan, The Honest Company and Tom’s of Maine are parroting the talking points supplied by the carrageenan industry’s trade lobby group.

There is simply no way around it: dozens of scientific, peer-reviewed studies used food-grade carrageenan and found it caused gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations, lesions and even colon cancer in laboratory animals.  Most of these recent studies were funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

And recent studies funded by the American Diabetes Association have linked the consumption of food-grade carrageenan to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in mice.

Yet The Honest Company and Tom’s of Maine tell us we’re “confused” and “misinformed.”  How insulting—especially since The Honest Company touts itself as “honest” and Tom’s of Maine as “responsible.”

Perhaps The Honest Company and Tom’s of Maine should take a moment to read our independent review of the scientific literature on food-grade carrageenan (yes, food-grade):

Send Honest Company and Tom’s of Maine a message today: we’re not confused, we’re not misinformed, and we are not too dim-witted to understand that scientific research using food-grade carrageenan points to harm.

Post on Honest Company’s Facebook wall and Tom’s of Maine’s Facebook wall.

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