"Dr. McKim's research confirms what we have known for decades—carrageenan has no impact on the human body when consumed in food," said Robert Rankin, Executive Director of the International Food Additives Council (IFAC), which commissioned the study. "Carrageenan producers have taken very seriously claims that the ingredient is unsafe, thoroughly investigated the research supporting those claims and found them to be baseless."
Carrageenan is a common food ingredient used in many foods, such as ice cream, chocolate milk, yogurt and soy milk, for its stabilizing and thickening properties. It is also an approved additive for use in infant formula, where it is ensures that essential nutrients remain mixed throughout liquid products. It occurs naturally in red seaweed that is grown and harvested sustainably by tens of thousands of family farmers around the globe. Carrageenan is popular as a plant-based, eco-friendly alternative to animal-derived thickeners and has been used safely in foods for hundreds of years.
McKim's study comes just months before the U.S. National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is expected to vote on whether to reapprove the use of carrageenan in organic foods sold in the United States. Groups touting Tobacman's research have lobbied the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban carrageenan in all foods and the NOSB to remove it from organic products. Despite these efforts, regulatory bodies around the world have repeatedly reviewed and dismissed their claims, finding carrageenan to be safe for use in all foods.
McKim's research exposes fundamental flaws in Tobacman's evidence, adds to the vast body of scientific research demonstrating carrageenan safety and thoroughly debunks certain groups' claims that carrageenan is harmful and should be removed from foods. For more information about carrageenan and other ingredients and additives used in food production, please visit www.foodingredientfacts.org.
The International Food Additives Council (IFAC) is a global association representing manufacturers of food ingredients. Founded in 1980, IFAC strives to promote science-based regulation and the global harmonization of food ingredient standards and specifications.
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SOURCE International Food Additives Council (IFAC)