I came across this article on how to avoid carrageenan on a friend's facebook post.
The "article" starts with this statement:
Carrageenan is a common food additive extracted from red seaweed. For the past four decades, scientists have warned that the use of carrageenan in food is not safe. Animal studies have repeatedly shown that food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors.
Despite the evidence showing the risks in eating carrageenan, it’s still approved for use in organic food where it’s most often used as a stabilizer.
Are there conclusive studies showing that carrageenan found in our food is a significant risk for gastrointestinal inflammation, and/or higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, or malignant tumors in humans?
There are no direct references to research on the article, other than some circular links, resulting in this paper (published by the same website).
I've been looking through some of the references in that paper, but I almost immediately spotted some rather dubious citations.
15 Marinalg (seaweed-based hydrocolloid industry trade lobby group, representing carrageenan manufacturers) test results show contamination of food-grade carrageenan with degraded carrageenan, classifed as a “possible human carcinogen.” Available online at http://www.marinalg.org/ wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Final-Full-Report.pdf. Last accessed January 30, 2013
However, a review of that cited source shows no mention of the word "carcinogen", and indeed states:
Marinalg believes that there is no toxicological evidence to support the establishment of the specific numerical values in the specification
There is neither toxicological evidence from animal studies nor epidemiological evidence from observation of the effects of consumption of carrageenan by a broad segment of the population to indicate that commercial carrageenan for food use is unsafe for human consumption. The effect of the very small amounts of lower molecular weight components in carrageenan is of no significance to human health.
Is the "report" by cornucopia.com complete bunk, or is there real science behind it?