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NOSB does not allow Carrageenan any longer

by Editor (comments: 0)

Carrageenan has been removed from the list of approved ingredients in organic foods, the National Organic Standards Board decided recently. A majority of the 15-member board voted to disallow carrageenan in organic products.

Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and used as an emulsifier in some food products such as ice creams, baby formula, and nut milks. A controversial discussion is going on. The substance, despite scientific evidence, causes digestive inflammation.

There is a lack of an “adequate alternative replacement that provides the same functions" argued Grocery Manufacturers Association Chief Science Officer Leon Bruner and voted that carrageenan should remain on the National List. Another argument is that this lack of alternative might “make it difficult for organic food products to compete with non-organic products on sensory attributes such as taste and texture,” and could lead consumers to choose conventional.

“The board’s recognition that carrageenan is not essential to organic, as evidenced by the ability of many manufacturers to eliminate it from their products, is an enormous victory for organic integrity,” Cameron Harsh, senior manager for organic and animal policy at Center for Food Safety (CFS), said in a news release.

Also Mark A. Kastel, co-director of The Cornucopia Institute applauded this decision. The watchdog group presented more than 45,000 petition signatures to the NOSB requesting carrageenan’s removal from organic food products.“We’re very heartened that the NOSB voted to protect the reputation of the organic label,” said Kastel. “A large percentage of organic food manufacturers have already reacted to consumer concern about the potential health impacts of carrageenan by eliminating the ingredient from their formulations.”


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