The Natural Products Association (NPA) submitted written and oral comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Organic Science Board (NOSB) regarding the use of carrageenan in organic infant formula. CEO and Executive Director of NPA, Dr. Daniel Fabricant, gave oral comments to NSOB.
“Carrageenan is naturally sourced and has been shown to be safe for use for many years by the FDA and international regulatory authorities,” stated Fabricant. “It is baffling why NOSB, in its last go around, recommended to the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service its removal from organic infant formula when all the studies out there prove that it is safe for use. Thankfully, science prevailed as USDA AMS rejected that recommendation.”
The exemption and prohibitions granted on the National List are required to be renewed every five years under the Organic Foods Protection Act by the NOSB. Under the 2013 Sunset review, the NOSB reviewed a number of substances, including carrageenan. While carrageenan is allowed in organic products it is exempted in organic infant formula.
Carrageenan continues to be a vital, naturally sourced food additive in organic foods and infant formula. Carrageenan is commonly used in dairy products to gel, thicken, suspend or emulsify to enable stabilization, binding and dispersion. The FDA continues to maintain the safe use of carrageenan in organic food and infant formula as codified in the federal regulations. NPA supports the FDA to re-evaluate the use of carrageenan if updated toxicity studies become available.
Carrageenan is recognized by international regulatory authorities. The World Health Organization (WHO) Joint Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA) recently evaluated carrageenan and has again deemed it safe for use as there is absolutely no information to clearly demonstrate a cacogenic effect for food grade carrageenan use in foods or infant formula.
NPA urged the NOSB and USDA to conclude that carrageenan is safe at all levels found in food and therefore be permitted for use in both foods and organic infant formula.
For more information, visit www.npainfo.org.