The National Organic Standards Board Votes to Remove Carrageenan, a Potent Inflammatory Agent and Possible Carcinogen, from Use in Organic Food Production

November 23rd, 2016

On November 17 at the National Organic Standards Board Meeting in St. Louis, carrageenan was voted to be removed from the National List of approved additives in organic food!

Source: José Luis Briz

The decision was a big win for consumers, who have been voting with their purchasing power for products without the dangerous additive. Over forty years of research, accumulated from multiple labs around the world, has demonstrated gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors from consuming carrageenan.

However, just like the tobacco industry, legions of lobbyists and corporate-funded scientists lined up to testify before the NOSB, claiming that carrageenan was perfectly safe.

Prior to the meeting, over 3,000 people submitted written comments to the NOSB, including hundreds of individuals that described personal negative health effects from consuming the additive, which cleared up after they discontinued consumption.

Many representatives of the $250 million carrageenan industry testified at the meeting in support of continuing to allow carrageenan in organic items, such as infant formula, deli meats, capsules, dairy, and non-dairy alternatives, citing its necessity. Prior to the vote, the NOSB retailer representative testified to the fact that, in their stores (MOM’s Organic Market), all foods are available in organic form without carrageenan, except some vegan gel capsules.

During public comment Cornucopia submitted a petition asking for the removal of carrageenan signed by over 40,000 individuals. Many members of the NOSB stated that the presence of carrageenan in organic food is eroding consumer trust in the label.

The Cornucopia Institute is proud that its efforts, starting at the last Sunset five years ago, and featured in its white paper, The Organic Watergate, were the catalyst for alerting organic stakeholders about the risks of carrageenan.

Worthy of special commendation are past Cornucopia researcher Charlotte Vallaeys, now with our ally Consumers Union, and our senior scientist Dr. Linley Dixon for their persistence in the pursuit of knowledge and truth that has protected the health of countless children, adults, and pets.

 

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