Food Safety News, latest media outlet to tout findings of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) that carrageenan is “not of concern.”
“FAO/WHO Committee: Carrageenan ‘Not of Concern’ in Infant Formula”
By Food Safety News
June 30, 2015
According to a June 30, 2015 article by Food Safety News, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) confirmed at a meeting last week its June 2014 conclusion that “the use of carrageenan in infant formula, or formula for special medical purposes, at concentrations up to 1,000 milligrams per liter is ‘not of concern.’” JECFA’s conclusion followed an extensive review of all toxicological research on carrageenan, including research that some have asserted raises questions about the safety of carrageenan.
With regard to research questioning carrageenan’s safety, Food Safety News notes, “Carrageenan has sometimes been linked to gastrointestinal problems, but JECFA reported that ‘These new studies allay the earlier concerns that carrageenan, which is unlikely to be absorbed, may have a direct effect on the immature gut.”’ Based on its review of the existing toxicological literature, JECFA was confident that its review “did not indicate other toxicological concerns.”
JECFA’s findings are the latest in a series of global reviews that have examined scientific research on carrageenan and reaffirmed its safety for continued use in food, including foods for sensitive populations such as infant formula. As previously noted by Marinalg, the use of carrageenan to stabilize infant formula has significant positive impacts on the product, including ensuring vital nutrients remain stable and are available to infants when fed.