Carrageenan is an ingredient extracted from red seaweed and plays a thickening role in food. The name of carrageenan comes from "a kind of seaweed, which is called carrageenan moss or Irish moss in Britain, and carrageenan in Ireland." Since 400 AD, people have used it as a kind of gelatin in Ireland to treat cough and cold. "
Is carrageenan safe?
Yes, our extensive research has led us to conclude that food grade carrageenan is safe to eat.
Why worry about carrageenan?
Carrageenan has two forms: food-grade and degradable. Food grade carrageenan has been used for hundreds of years and has been widely reviewed and approved for use in food. Degraded carrageenan is found to be harmful, but it is not used in food because it does not provide any thickening properties. Although degraded carrageenan is different from food-grade carrageenan, the harmful effects of degraded form of carrageenan are wrongly associated with food-grade carrageenan.
How do we know that carrageenan is a safe food additive?
Food grade carrageenan has been independently evaluated by the Joint FAO */WHO * * Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a group of international toxicology experts responsible for reviewing data and making recommendations on food ingredients. JECFA determined that food grade carrageenan is a safe food additive and its use in food is not limited.
Other studies and our views on research
After Tobacman published the above article, she also wrote a paper, pointing out that the desktop in vitro experiment showed the interaction between carrageenan and various organ cells. These experiments were considered to be ineffective because the carrageenan ingested could not interact with organ cells through the blood-intestine barrier. She also wrote a paper pointing out the "time trend" that the consumption of carrageenan and the incidence rate of breast cancer increased in the 20th century. The Scientific Committee on Food of the European Commission pointed out that this correlation may exist in any food or chemical with increased prevalence in the 20th century (10). We believe that carrageenan will definitely induce breast cancer, because the incidence rate of breast cancer and the consumption of carrageenan are increasing in the 20th century, just like listening to Jimmy Hendrix's music and popular rock music will also induce breast cancer.
We think she is trying her best to defend her argument against food grade carrageenan, regardless of the science behind the argument, and has not recognized the real difference between degradable carrageenan and food grade carrageenan. The scientific literature we have read supports the safety of carrageenan, and even shows that carrageenan can inhibit the growth of cancer cells because it can strengthen the immune system.
We are confident to choose to use food-grade carrageenan and keep consistent with our mission, that is, to produce healthy plant foods. You can read more about our decisions below.