According to my best friend WIKIPEDIA—Carrageenans or carrageenins (/ˌkærəˈɡiːnənz/ karr-ə-ghee-nənz from Irish carraigín, “little rock”) are a family of linear sulphated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. There are 3 types of Carrageenans but I will not go into that detail. That’s why they made Google! Seaweed as a whole is not bad for humans but animals do not eat seaweed. There is the first problem. The second is that there are many questions arising about humans ingesting this stuff and testing in animals caused some problems including cancer. Rats are animals right-so would we not be more concerned about it being put in pet food even if we think it is safe for humans? Lets look at some of the questions being raised and what they do to seaweed to make it into what manufacturers can use.
After they harvest the seaweed it is dried, then put in bales and sent to a manufacturer. It is then ground, sifted to remove sand and other impurities and then washed. It is treated with a hot alkali bath and then the cellulose is removed by centrifugation and filtration. This solution, through evaporation is concentrated and then dried to be grounded to a certain texture.
The F.D.A. considers Carrageenan safe as a direct additive “when used in the amount necessary as a emulsifier, stabilizer, or thicker in foods, except those standardized foods that do not provide for such use.” So because of their approval it is in almost every dairy product, deli meats, prepared meals, coffee creamers, and the list goes on. It is also in almost all pet foods, canned food to be specific, especially the cheaper brands.
Carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago,“Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” she found it irritates the gut by activating a immune response which causes inflammation. She also found it caused GI cancer in lab animals.
This debate over whether Carrageenan is safe has been going on since the 1960’s. They had started linking it to GI disease in the lab animals which included ulcerative colitis, colon cancer and intestinal tumors 50 years ago.
Other names for this substance are Algas, Algue Rouge Marine, Carrageen, Carrageenin, Carragenano, Carragenina, Carragheenan, Carraghénane, Carraghénine, Chondrus crispus, Chondrus Extract, Euchema species, Extrait de Mousse d’Irlande, Galgarine, Gigartina chamisso.
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/-article of exposure to Carrageenan and occurrence of colonic ulcerations and GI neoplasms in animals.
In conclusion, I believe humans should be limiting their exposure to this in their foods but I feel more strongly it should not be in our pets food. They are less than half our size therefore it becomes toxic to their systems much faster. If it has killed lab animals do you seriously think it should be fed to our pets? Read those labels folks and you decide on your health and your pets health. For me it is a easy decision, my pet food does not contain it at all and neither do the majority of my foods. Problem solved.
Okay my little chickadees may you have a blessed day!