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BREAKING: Major Company Removing Controversial Ingredient Carrageenan Because Of You!

You never cease to amaze me Food Babe Army! The power you have to change the world is incredible. I just received confirmation that Whitewave Foods, who owns Horizon and Silk, will be removing all carrageenan from their products in 2015.  


Earlier today, I received an anonymous email that stated:

“To whom it may concern, Through friends I have made in the industry an announcement from Whitewave was shared with me regarding their removal of Carrageenan from their products. Due to the overwhelming pressure from consumers and encouragement from your website, Whitewave has announced that they will be removing Carrageenan. Keep up the good work. Attached you will find the announcement letter from Whitewave regarding this”.

Along with this attached document from Whitewave Foods:

We are removing carrageenan from our Horizon and Silk products!

  • Our consumers have expressed a desire for products without it and we are listening!
  • Carrageenan will be removed from Horizon flavored milk in Q1 2015, and from all other Horizon items by Q2 2015 (eggnog, Tuberz, heavy whipping cream, regular and lowfat cottage cheese and lowfat sour cream).
  • It will be removed from our top 5 Silk ESL Soy and Coconut beverages by Q2 2015 and remaining Silk Aseptic and other ESL products by end of 2016.
  • What is carrageenan?
    • A purified extract of red seaweed that is widely used in food and beverage products as a natural thickener and stabilizer.  Allowed for use in organic products since 1995
    • National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Handling Committee voted unanimously in February 2012 to recommend it for relisting
    • Food grade carrageenan is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by FDA, and is permitted for use by federal and international food safety agencies including FDA, and Health Canada

It was just reported by the Associated Press via ABC News that they decided to remove it “because customer feedback has been so strong“. Yes, it is because of all of YOU and your resounding voices, they have decided to make this positive change. This is in direct response to your continued activism in holding companies accountable for the ingredients they put in their products. 

Carrageenan Should Be Removed From All Food – Here’s Why:

I first wrote about this controversial additive back in May of 2012 when a cousin of mine asked me to investigate this ingredient. I highlighted research from food industry watchdog group, The Cornucopia Institute, who completed an in-depth analysis regarding the safety of this ingredient and subsequently petitioned the FDA to remove the additive from the “Generally Regarded As Safe” or GRAS determination and from organic foods all together.

In their report, they explained why even food-grade carrageenan is dangerous, yet how many food companies have continued to unscrupulously add it to their products. According to Cornucopia, animal studies show that “food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors”. It can also cause cancer, because food grade “undegraded” carrageenan is contaminated with “degraded” carrageenan (the kind that’s not considered “food grade”). The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Research Council of the United States have both determined that degraded carrageenan is a carcinogen. So, it clearly should not be in our food – but it still is.

As reported this week in the Washington Post, Joanne Tobacman, a physician and professor, “asked the FDA in 2008 to examine the additives safety, submitting five of her own studies concluding that carrageenan can cause inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. The studies were financed with grants from the federal government. The FDA denied her petition, citing several other industry-funded studies that contradicted her findings“.

Since the FDA won’t do anything to get carrageenan removed from our food, it is up to us to make this happen. 

Other Companies Are Guilty, But This Can Be Changed.

I’m so thrilled that Whitewave made this announcement, because this will likely lead to other companies following suit. Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute has been working on this issue for years, and says that Whitewave’s decision reflects the rise of “people power” – which is so true. We do have the power to enact big changes in the food industry and this is proof of that.

Let’s help to be part of this sweeping change to remove carrageenan from our food supply by avoiding all products with carrageenan and ask companies who are still using it to drop it.

In this shopping guide, created by The Cornucopia Institute, you’ll find a list of all companies guilty of using this ingredient. If one of your favorite products is listed, please do your part and contact that company and ask them to remove it. If you know of other companies that are still using carrageenan, list them in the comments below.

FDA Asleep At The Wheel!

Whitewave’s announcement proves targeting companies works much faster than targeting the FDA. Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for food, even admitted this week that “We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of these chemicals” and “we do not know the volume of particular chemicals that are going into the food supply.” The FDA is completely asleep at the wheel. It’s up to us to hold these companies accountable and that’s exactly what we are doing.

You are so awesome. Congratulations Food Babe Army! We are changing the food system once again. 

Sending you lots of love and courage to keep moving forward,  



P.S. If you are new to Food Babe and want to change the food system, come on over and sign up here, it’s completely free!

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390 responses to “BREAKING: Major Company Removing Controversial Ingredient Carrageenan Because Of You!

  1. Thanx Vani for all the hard work you do for I appreciate that a lot and keep up the good work and keep pushing about that CARRAGEENAN ingredientt. I also want to mention that the EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder carries CARRAGEENAN as well. I really like this protein but I don’t like the fact that it contains this ingredient and would like to know how can I talk to this company because sometimes I feel like I want to call them but I can’t find the right way or words to talk to them, any suggestions, thanx

    1. I stopped using whey and went strictly to 100% egg protein since I work out a lot. Most Whey proteins contains carrageenan and other garbage.

  2. This is exciting news. One down and many more to go, but it will not make a real difference if we don’t educate American families and get them to give up buying large quantities of food at once (so they don’t have to shop for a month or more) and realize real food does not last as long as the fake stuff, BUT real food is healthy and fake food causes side effects that will not be immediately evident. Until we change our shopping and eating habits, all the efforts of Vani and others are in vain. Convenience is the American undoing, and I know I’m preaching to the choir, but maybe our voices can include education as well as awareness.

  3. I went to my dentist for general cleaning. They asked if I was using Crest Pro Health. They said I had a sloughing of the lining of my cheek. They even showed me the tissue. They said they used to provide their patient Crest Pro Health but had begun to see an increase sloughing ogf the inner cheek due to the ingredient sodium hexamaphosphate used to increase a sudsing effect. Do you have any thoughts?

    1. I had this same problem. I took BLUE ICE™ Fermented Cod Liver Oil and X-FACTOR™ Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil. My gums and teeth turned around. A great calcium product is Calcium Lactate by Standard Process.

    2. Use ONLY SULFATE FREE toothpaste. Natures Gate brand makes toothpaste without this additive, and I think Toms of Maine does as well. I had the same problem until I switched. Not good if toothpaste is making our mouth peel:(. Good luck .

    3. My hygienist told me the same thing about the sloughing of the lining of the cheek from Crest’s Pro Health toothpaste! Glad to know others have heard of this as well.

  4. Hello Food Babe! While examining ingredients this weekend in the dairy section of Whole Foods, I kept coming across an additive called Gellen… Is this carrageenan is disguise? Thanks for all you do,

    1. Do you mean Gellan?

      If so, Gellan is not carrageenan. Gellan is a different food additive [polysaccharide] produced in fermentors by a bacterium. Nevertheless this is one more unnecessary food additive.

      Eat food, REAL food!!!

  5. That is great news!!! So many don’t know what this is- even my health conscious friends. It is in so many foods- most ice cream, most ” natural and organic lunch meats, many you gifts and other dairy products, salad dressings. Thank you for all your good work and raising awareness!

  6. Vani, great work on getting them to remove Carrageenan. Love your blog and read each week. Wanted to mention that I stopped buying Horizon milk because they sided with Monsanto to defeat prop 37.

    1. Well then you should stop buying Silk also as they are also owned by Dean Foods (owns Horizon) and they donated $253,000 to fight prop 37

  7. This is great news. For over 20 years, I have suffered from terrible stomach cramps and gastro-intestinal issues. Most doctors (that I have spoke to) had no knowledge of the potential affects of Carrageenan, especially for those with an intolerance to it. It was only through an elimination diet did I discover the cuplrit. And. My. Life. Changed. By eliminating it, I have had no, none, zero, zilch stomach issues anymore, whatsoever. You get used to avoiding it and life goes back to normal. Please spread the word and keep up the good work. And Thank You.

  8. So amazing! This is super great news!
    No matter what state or province we are in, making people aware of what’s in our food is what’s going drive change:)
    Awesome work!

  9. Vani, the FDA cares nothing about human welfare. That whole government agency would just as soon like to see multitudes dead. They are on a mission to do just that. It’s called (UN) agenda 21. Research it. Same with The American Cancer Society. There are so many cancer cures out there that will never be approved by any “agency”. If people lived, where’s the profit!??!! It’s all about profit and GREED!!! If people lived, how would Big Pharma make any money??!!

    1. Well done to Linda Evans! 🙂
      Someone with an idea about what’s REALLY going on. It’s all about Agenda 21 & big pharma- People you gotta read up in this stuff.

      Keep on keepin’ on!

  10. I looked at my carton of Horizon Milk. Why is it that I don’t see Carrageenan in the ingredients? Is it a hidden ingredient in the milk?

  11. Hooray!You did it again….or Can I say we did it again?
    Keep the good going no matter what foodbabe.Wish you good luck.

  12. I use Tom’s of Maine flouride-free toothpaste. It has carrageenan listed in the ingredients. WTF!

    You’re one of the very few people (websites) that is actually doing something about these chemicals in our food. Life will be much better & healthier for my children & grandchildren, because of you.
    Thank you

  14. Vani, another additive that is controversial in the literature and is ubiquitous in our food supply is soy lecithin. A subsidized crop. An allergen. Chemically derived. Maybe you will take this on next????

  15. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, if I were going to eat one. Thanks for taking this first giant step, and it is a giant step. Sad to say, their are few people willing to speak out, believing they can do nothing. You, Vani, have proven them wrong! Congratulations for taking the first bite. I wish the problem was only as large as an elephant (figuratively speaking), however, a herd of elephants would not even begin to describe the enormity of the problem with our food supplies. Thanks again for being out there in front leading the charge. Roger Cole

  16. Great job Food Babe, but i had read that Horizon’s Organic milk wasn’t really Organic. The article stated that they treat their cows like the regular dairy farms keeping them caged up, feed them GMO corn and products, not letting them graze and milk them constantly. Is that true?

  17. Hey Vani,
    Thanks so much for alerting us! I was so surprised to see this!
    I use almond milk for my coffee every day and I suffer with colon problems constantly. Kudos to you and the army!

  18. I contacted Blue Diamond with this info and this is what Francis Rivera, Assistant Consumer Advocate said:

    Thank you for contacting Blue Diamond with your concerns regarding the ingredient carrageenan.
    The food ingredient, carrageenan, is a soluble fiber which is derived from red seaweed. Food-grade carrageenan is frequently used to thicken or bind other ingredients together much in the same way as flour, cornstarch and tapioca.
    The use of food-grade carrageenan in beverages is to uniformly suspend essential nutrients such as calcium.
    The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved food-grade carrageenan as a food additive. This means that it is considered safe for use in foods. Additionally, the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO), as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), through the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), confirmed that carrageenan is a safe food additive.

  19. Cream alert? Gotta go to the store, but once there you have no choice. No real whipping cream exists any more. Why do they use carrageneen? Because they can give you a product that looks creamy, costs as much as real cream, but has been diluted/skimmed. Those nice round molecules of butter fat tell your brain that you have hit the mother lode of perfect energy source. But no.

    I got a CD from my holistic doctor that said it is a form of MSG an excitotoxin which is addictive so you crave it like a drug. The poundage you get from craving cream is seriously almost impossible to lose, even with an hour a day of exercise. The craving/withdrawal can cause light headedeness so be mindful you will want it so bad you don’t care! Good luck!

  20. I wrote to the Silk people last year about the addition of carrageenan in their soy and almond milks as I was not in a position to make my own. The reply I got stated that carrageenan was safe and that their customers liked the products that way. I also got a number of coupons…No thanks. Very hard in this society to purchase real food. Good to see there is some movement to remove this thickener. Many more unnecessary additives to go.

  21. Vani, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I am a colon cancer survivor and can rarely find a soy, almond, etc. milk to use in my tea that does not have carageenan. I am thrilled that Horizon is listening. I am thrilled that you are speaking!!!

  22. I just discovered that Yves veggie cuisine,the good slice,veggie Deli Bologna which says, no genetically engineered soy has carrageenan in it.what next? I don’t eat meat so I guess I have to start reading all my veggie meat labels .

  23. Organic Valley’s Heavy Whipping Cream as Carrageenan added as well. And just recently they added Disodium Phosphate. I bought a new box yesterday and wanted to make Mascarpone.

    However, due to the addition of Disodium Phosphate I am no longer able to make my own Mascarpone since the cream simply will not coagulate anymore due to Disodium Phosphate which it usually does by adding citrus juice. I had to throw away the cream, it just stayed cream…..

  24. Thanks so much Vani for speaking up and rallying along with those of us who are becoming more aware and educated on these dangerous addictives being added to our otherwise healthy foods! I’ve always considered myself one to make “healthy” whole-food choices when it comes to what I put into & onto my body and those of my family members. Beginning this past January I’ve been on a non stop mission into discovering on almost a daily bases of what is TRULY in our foods, which I thought was to nourish my body and help prevent disease – and boy, what I discovered and continue to discover is SCARY! Since January of this year, I nixed my skim milk habit and starting using what I believed was “real” organic cream and almond milk lattes…well, from then on I started to develop very uncomfortable lower GI symptoms & couldn’t quite figure out what was causing it…after about 8 months (subtracting & adding different foods, spices, etc), I stumbled onto to the additive carrageenan and quickly looked at the Horizon, trader Joes organic cream ingredient(s) and that of Almond milk where I found carrageenan listed!!! Yikes! So I stopped ingesting that altogether, and although not labeled organic, I found a cream distributed by a local farm in my state whose only ingredient is “Heavy Cream (milk)”…I’ll take it! I also make my own lattes now with organic coconut milk (from a can, Thai brand, I love). And since then, seriously, my GI issues have vanished! Amazing! We need to continue to spread to the word, and take the time and really research our foods. We NEED to continue to put the pressure on those food companies who are adding these aweful additives to our foods. Thanks again for all that you do, you truly are appreciated!!!
    Rachael Albanese

  25. This is great news. Now if we could get it out of Stonyfield’s YoKids Squeezers. I couldn’t believe that CARRAGEENAN is listed within their ingredients. Other products of theirs does not list it…. why is it needed? So disappointing!

  26. I am so glad the side effects of CARRAGEENAN is finally being broadcast across the internet. I to had a problem with inflammation, not only in my digestive track, but my whole body when I started drinking flaxseed milk with it in it. As soon as I discontinued the milk the inflammation ceased.
    I have been disappointed to see that DoTerra Essential oils has started using CARRAGEENAN in their softgel products. In fact I did not read the ingredients in their XEOmega and was having problems again in my digestive track. Had to discontinue. One of their reps. told me their carrageenan is different. REALLY!
    I emailed the company but have never heard back from them. They basically ignored me. All the DoTerra oils are fantastic except for the ones in softgels.
    How Sad:(
    Why would a company of this caliber put something in their product that would harm people especially when they are suppose to be healing oils.

    1. Hey- I just noticed this too, about the doTERRA supplement. I emailed them right away and they responded with a “Carrageenan Safety Report” and they said:
      “We appreciate you taking the time to express your concern over the carrageenan. We will forward your suggestion to our Product Development Team for their consideration. We at doTERRA are constantly striving to improve upon our products and take our customer input very seriously.”
      So maybe this is something they will change at some point. Apparently carrageenan is used in the formation of the softgel itself, and is the only non-gelatin, vegan softgel that holds up to heat and keeps the structure of the capsule. It’s so complicated.. perhaps it is safe or OK in small doses, as they say..but I try to avoid this because of the questionable nature of the additive.

  27. Vani, once again, thanks for your tireless efforts – they are greatly appreciated. As a 2 1/2 yr esophageal cancer survivor, I am especially concerned with what I eat & drink. I am on a very limited income but still eat very well by using mostly fresh ingredients and little processed foods. Frankly, I sometimes pick up items in the store and become sick just reading the ingredients lists. It is, however, somewhat of a challenge finding or replacing some favorite foods because so many of them now contain these weird chemicals and ingredients.

  28. Please don’t forget to read lables on pet food, too. Yes, carrageenan is often used in pet food.

  29. Your diligence and tenacity are an inspiration and I thank you. ;-)) Take care and live well.

  30. My Silk unsweetened Almond Milk does not have Carregeenan in it. That is why I switched from Soy Dream. According to this article the removal was not going to take place until 2015 or 16. ???

  31. Happy to see they’re dropping this as an ingredient. My favorite soy yogurt, Whole Soy (I’m partial to the Cherry and the Lemon flavors) does not contain carrageenan.

  32. I make my own soy and almond milk with ingredients bought from natural grocers. Granted it costs about $100 for a soymilk maker, BUT in the long run its cheaper and safer and the non-gmo soybeans and Propylene Glycol free almonds are almost same price if ya shop around locally.

    1. Hi! Could you direct me to where I can find information on how to make my own almond milk? Also, what type of machine you use?

      Thanks! I think if is awesome that you make it yourself!

      1. Tons of info on the web, but simply, soak 1 cup of almond in water 6-8 hrs, then rinse well, preferably 2-3 time, put the almond in the soymilk maker, or a heavy duty blender. The kind that is capable of crushing ice. add 2 cups of distilled water and grind away for 10 mins, in 2-3 min sessions. Then strain in cheese cloth. and voila, almond milk. You will need to consume them within 2-3 days tops as they will spoil fast. You can use the spent almond in cookies or what not, or simply throw em away.

  33. Yay! I stopped buying their products about two years when I learned about carageenan. I was a good customer for them before that. I’m thrilled to hear this, and will buy their products again in 2015. Thank you!!!!

  34. The best non-toxic solution for head lice is TweetMint Enzyme cleaner and LiceRGone Shampoo and Conditioner. See reviews on Amazon.

  35. Yes, the company that makes Coconut Milk sold at my local Whole Foods – So Delicious – still uses carrageenan. Which is why I stopped buying it. All their sour creams have it too, including Olympic Organic.

  36. Thank you for the information. My six month old son has been on Similac Alimentum formula since he was a month old. I “kind of sort of” wax familiar with it as an unnecessary additive but had no idea it was so harmful! I am very concerned about the health of my son after consuming the product for the last five months! I am disgusted at the garbage found in baby formula! My other son (they are twins) has been on Baby’s Only, which makes me feel a little guilt now that I have basically been poisoning my other little guy with the Similac!

    Thanks for the infinity! Love your website!

  37. Tons of info on the web, but simply, soak 1 cup of almond in water 6-8 hrs, then rinse well, preferably 2-3 time, put the almond in the soymilk maker, or a heavy duty blender. The kind that is capable of crushing ice. add 2 cups of distilled water and grind away for 10 mins, in 2-3 min sessions. Then strain in cheese cloth. and voila, almond milk. You will need to consume them within 2-3 days tops as they will spoil fast. You can use the spent almond in cookies or what not, or simply throw em away.

      1. Only place I could find that at a reasonable price (under $6.00/lb) was at Natural Grocers here. Hope that help.

  38. Ok- I have been drinking almond milk with carrageenan for a few years now. This may be coincidental, but I was diagnosed with inflammatory colitis a few weeks ago, based on my symptoms and the results of two CT scans. I am supposed to go see a gastro for a colonoscopy but of course, I have been procrastinating. After reading this blog and doing some scanty research online, I am worried there is a correlation here.

    Has anyone else had intestinal problems linked -or you think may be linked- to your consumption of carrageenan?

  39. I just emailed So Delicious headquarters about removing carrageenan from their products too! I love them, but have stopped buying the ones with this ingredient for a while now. So whoever reads this, make sure to email them too! At [email protected]

  40. Vani,

    How about addressing the Tofutti brand and their use of carrageenan in their products? Seems to me that vegans and many vegetarians avoid ‘real’ products due to health issues, favoring these they think are healthier and safer.

    Here are the Tofutti Better Than Cheese Ricotta ingredients…


    I love the idea of having something that looks (therefore less curious questions) and tastes like a mainstream dish without having to actually consume animal products but I do not want or expect ingredients like carrageenan from companies producing ‘stand-in’ products. So much for BETTER!

    1. This product is a cacoffini of not for human consumption ingredients ,palm, soy oil, and chemicals galore. Carageenan is just one. Buy a great book, No Cheese Cheese. I can make great ,”cheeses,” with olive oil, nuts, turmeric, paprika, tofu, etc; Although cheese made with bacterial agents consistent with each particular blood type is rich in Butyric Acid, an essential for gut health. Tomato free pasta and pizza sauce with olive, or coconut oil, paprika, anise, oregano or whatever spices you choose. Prunes with Parmesan cheese , basil, and a dash of Bragg’s Aminos makes a great faux dried tomato Pesto.

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