business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, is out with a statement arguing that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is undermining “the integrity of the USDA Organic label on food by reauthorizing the use of carrageenan, a food additive whose safety is questionable … Studies have indicated that it can cause gastrointestinal inflammation, and laboratory research in animals has shown ulcerative colitis-like disease and intestinal lesions and ulcerations in some animals.”

The statement says that “the USDA’s decision comes after the National Organic Standards Board voted in 2016 to remove carrageenan from the list of ingredients allowed for organic products since it is no longer considered essential, and after they heard substantial testimony about its potential health impacts … Given consumer demand for organic foods without potentially harmful ingredients, many companies have responded by eliminating carrageenan from their organic product formulations, demonstrating that alternatives exist and carrageenan is not essential.”

Must be the powerful carrageenan lobby…

• The “Grub Street” column in New York magazine reports that Dunkin’ Donuts is testing a new item - Donut Fries.

According to the story, “the trial comes in convenient proximity to Taco Bell’s rollout of nacho fries, which the chain announced last month had became its biggest-ever product launch. So, Dunkin’ doughnuttified its version by dusting them with cinnamon and sugar. It says they ‘pair perfectly with Dunkin’ Donuts’ signature beverages and are ideal for an energizing afternoon break’.”
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