Carrageenan is a food emulsifier derived from seaweed that acts as a thickening agent. The organic industry is divided over its inclusion under the organic label. Carrageenan has been observed to cause intestinal stress of lab animals, while its natural emulsifying properties allow for a longer shelf life. Recently, the USDA decided to disregard the National Organic Standards Board recommendation to drop it from the list of approved organic ingredients.
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