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Thickener May Cause Cancer

January 14, 2002

1 Min Read
Thickener May Cause Cancer


Thickener May Cause Cancer

IOWA CITY, Iowa--In a letter published in the October EnvironmentalHealth Perspective (109,10: 983-94, 2001) (http://ehis.niehs.nih.gov),J.K. Tobacman, M.D., of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, stated thatcarrageenan, a thickener used in food and beverage applications, demonstratedcancer-causing attributes and should no longer be used. In reviewingexperimental data on the thickener, Tobacman learned that exposure tocarrageenan (both undegraded and degraded) was associated with coloniculcerations and gastrointestinal neoplasms in animal models. "Because ofthe acknowledged carcinogenic properties of degraded carrageenan in animalmodels and the cancer-promoting effects of undegraded carrageenan inexperimental models, the widespread use of carrageenan in the Western dietshould be reconsidered."

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