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The Carrageenan Controversy

The Carrageenan Controversy


We are often asked if Sneakz milkshakes contain carrageenan. They do NOT. Our USDA organic vanilla, strawberry and chocolate milks are carrageenan-free!

Carrageenan, which is extracted from red seaweed, has been used for decades as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of dairy products and non-dairy alternatives. It has also been used as a component of pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, aerosol sprays and other products.

Animal studies have linked carrageenan to the risk of inflammation, digestive diseases and even cancer, raising concerns about its safety. However, there is a lack of consensus about whether the scientific studies done to date are conclusive about the effect on human health of consuming carrageenan. This article does a good job of examining the controversy.

While the FDA still recognizes food-grade carrageenan as safe, The National Organic Standards Board voted 10-3, with one abstention, to remove carrageenan from the list of substances approved for use in food items labeled “USDA Organic” when it met on Nov. 17, 2016. Carrageenan is scheduled to sunset from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances – a component of the organic standards – in November 2018.

We support this decision. Small amounts of carrageenan may be fine for human consumption, but why risk it, especially when it comes to little ones. The bottom line is that you are best off avoiding this controversial food additive whenever possible.