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Wrong Joanne Tobacman?

Dr. Joanne K. Tobacman

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University of Illinois

1101 West Peabody Drive

Urbana, Illinois 61801

United States

Company Description

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (U of I, University of Illinois, UIUC, or simply Illinois) is a public research-intensive university in the U.S. state of Illinois. A land-grant university, it is the flagship campus of the University of Illi ... more

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University of Iowa



University Of Iowa


University of Iowa College of Medicine

Web References (69 Total References)

Joanne K Tobacman M.D. ... [cached]

Joanne K Tobacman M.D.

University of Illinois ... [cached]

University of Illinois researcher, Joanne Tobacman, M.D., who has published widely on the subject said, "The carrageenan industry has tried for decades to retain using carrageenan in food products because of its biological reactivity with ingredients. This same biological reactivity is what makes carrageenan harmful. Food-grade carrageenan inevitably contains some lower molecular weight forms naturally."

Dr. Tobacman continued, "Additional lower molecular weight forms are produced by processing, heat, acid, intestinal bacteria, and chewing."

Additives | Shiatsu By Sher [cached]

In April 2012, University of Illinois researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, petitioned the National Organic Standards Board to ban carrageenan from organics because of mounting research suggesting it prompts an inflammatory immune response similar to that of salmonella.

nutpods........the journey Page 2 [cached]

According to Joanne Tobacman M.D., a well-versed researcher of carrageenan at the University of Illinois, the substance triggers an immune response in our bodies.

The carrageenan controversy was brought ... [cached]

The carrageenan controversy was brought into the limelight in April 2012 when Dr. Joanne Tobacman, a physician-scientist at the University of Illinois, Chicago, appealed to the National Organic Standards Board in Washington D.C. to reconsider the 1958 Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status of carrageenan based on her work with both high-molecular-weight (food grade) and degraded carrageenans in more than 18 peer-review papers. She expressed significant concern that carrageenan at various molecular weights and degraded carrageenan were potentially harmful to the body. Dr. Tobacman reported that she used small amounts of high-molecular-weight carrageenan in her experiments and it induced inflammation via three major pathways. One of these pathways of inflammation is similar to a pathway activated by the pathogenic bacteria Salmonella and may lead to long-term inflammatory effects. Additional experiments with lower-molecular-weight carrageenan demonstrated its extra-colonic effects and potential relationship to diabetes when laboratory mice developed glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action.

In response to Dr. Tobacman's appeal, the FDA issued a denial letter with the decision to keep carrageenan's GRAS status.
A. It clearly has to be attributed to the research of Dr. Joanne Tobacman, an Associate Prof at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She and a group of molecular biologists have accused carrageenan of being a potential inflammatory agent as a conclusion from laboratory experiments with cells of the digestive tract. It requires a lot of unproven assumptions to even suggest that consumption of carrageenan in the human diet causes inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract. The objectivity of the Chicago research is also flawed by the fact that Dr Tobacman has tried to have carrageenan declared an unsafe food additive on weak technical arguments that she broadcast widely a decade before the University of Chicago research began.
On June 11th, 2008, Dr. Joanne Tobacman petitioned the FDA to revoke the current regulations permitting use of carrageenan as a food additive. On June 11th, 2012 the FDA denied her petition, categorically addressing and ultimately dismissing all of her claims; their rebuttal supported by the results of several in-depth, scientific studies.

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