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Consumers And The Cornucopia Institute To Costco: Carrageenan Has No Place In Organic Food

VIROQUA, Wis., Oct.

VIROQUA, Wis., Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cornucopia Institute is mobilizing organic eaters to demand that Costco remove a harmful ingredient from two of its organic products. 

Brands have long prized carrageenan for the "mouthfeel" it creates in processed food. But carrageenan poses a serious health risk. Thousands of cell-based and animal experiments, along with more than 2,500 complaints from people who use Cornucopia's consumer research, indicate that carrageenan causes inflammation. 

Cornucopia's marketplace activism campaign, sent to nearly 65,000 organic advocates, encourages organic eaters to join Cornucopia in a letter to Costco CEO & President Walter Craig imploring him to lead the way by preserving the organic marketplace as a true alternative. 

The letter reads: 

I am alarmed that you continue to expose consumers to this injurious substance in your organic products. Until you remove carrageenan, I will no longer be purchasing these products from your stores.  

If you want to retain my business, and protect your reputation in the marketplace as a leader in retailing organic food, we ask that you commit to making these changes and implement them as soon as possible. We will be paying attention to your response. Do the right thing. 

While carrageenan is increasingly common in processed food, its presence in organic food is declining. That marketplace shift was ignored by the NOSB, which voted on Thursday to keep carrageenan, a controversial additive with known health impacts, on the list of substances allowed in organic food.  

The vote conflicts with an earlier decision made by the 2016 NOSB, which recommended removing carrageenan on the heels of increasing organic stakeholder pressure—including a Cornucopia petition with over 40,000 signatures.  

"Not only did members of the NOSB disrespect the careful deliberations of the 2016 board, several of them completely ignored all of the recent research showing that carrageenan makes people sick. It was like the Twilight Zone," says Cornucopia Executive Director Melody Morrell

In the absence of sound policy, consumer activism is even more crucial. "Market pressure can often move mountains when the regulatory process is mired in old research and skewed toward industry input," Morrell says. 

Read about Cornucopia's campaign targeting Costco.

Read more about Cornucopia's ongoing investigation into carrageenan. 


 Michele Marchetti,

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SOURCE The Cornucopia Institute