Carrageenan: The Chemical Hiding in Your Organic Food
Updated: Jun 7, 2019
A highly controversial natural food substance, carrageenan, a seaweed derivative used in conventional, “natural,” and some organic foods, was just re-approved by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. This move overrides the recommendation of the National Organic Standards Board, an expert industry panel set up by Congress.
After hearing from medical and scientific experts describing carrageenan’s link to intestinal inflammation, cancer, and other human health risks, the NOSB voted to remove carrageenan from the list of approved synthetic and non-organic substances for use in organic food production.
In a move unprecedented during the last quarter century of organic industry rule-making, the USDA ignored the NOSB vote in the Federal Register without an opportunity for the public to comment on their decision before it goes into effect. Read the full article from Health Impact News
Always read ingredient lists carefully. Carrageenan may be present in the final product but not listed on the ingredients label when it is used as a “processing aid,” for example in cream. We recommend contacting the company directly if you would like to confirm whether carrageenan is in the final product. Read more on processing aids here, and view USDA safe and suitable ingredients here.
Note: The law does not require ingredients to be listed on alcoholic beverages, and carrageenan is commonly used to clarify beer.