The Food Magazine - Click to return to the home page

Success for Action on Additives campaign: artificial food colourings to be removed from food and drink products

10th April 2008

The Action on Additives campaign welcomes the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) decision to advise ministers to call for a mandatory EU ban on six artificial food colourings. This advice will be coupled with a voluntary ban in the UK by the end of 2009. Advice to parents will be re-drafted in line with this policy decision.

The Action on Additives campaign website, provided evidence to the FSA Board on intake of colours amongst UK children. The website lists over 1,000 products that contain one or more of the additives shown to increase hyperactivity in children. Campaign co-ordinator Anna Glayzer said, “We are delighted that the FSA has put its duty to the consumer first in their decision to recommend an EU ban. We will be keeping a close eye on industry to see what effect the voluntary ban has. We will also continue to lobby the European Commission on this issue.”

The Action on Additives Campaign co-authored a joint statement, issued yesterday, calling for the European Commission to ban six colourings. See The statement was signed by over forty consumer organisations from twelve member states. Glayzer said, “The onus is now on the European Commission to follow the example of the FSA and act for benefit of the consumer. The colours are totally unnecessary and a risk to children’s health. There is no public benefit whatsoever in allowing their continued use.”

Further information

Typical children’s products which contain the additives (information taken from

Cadbury Creme Egg is coloured with Sunset Yellow (E110),

Swizzels Matlow Bumper Bag of sweets contains Quinoline yellow (E104), Sunset yellow (E110), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124), Allura red (E129)

Hartley's Jellies are typically coloured with artificial colourings, such as Carmoisine (E122), Sunset yellow (E110) and Quinoline yellow (E104).

Fanta Fruit Twist, made by Coca Cola, contains Quinoline yellow (E104), Carmoisine (E122), and Ponceau 4R (E124).

Irn Bru contains Sunset yellow (E110) and Ponceau 4R (E124).

M&Ms contain Quinoline yellow (E104) and Galaxy Minstrels contain Quinoline yellow (E104), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124). Both are made by Mars/Masterfoods.

Woolworths Mini Cookies are coloured with Quinoline yellow (E104), Sunset yellow (E110), Carmoisine (E122) and Allura red (E129).

Haribo Micro Mix contains Quinoline yellow (E104), Sunset yellow (E110), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124) and Allura red (E129). In Denmark, most Haribo products are free of the colourings, but until now they have continued to use them in the UK.

For a full list of products see

The six food colourings which, along with the preservative E211 Sodium Benzoate, were shown by the Southampton Study to increase hyperactivity in children:

E102 Tartrazine
E104 Quinoline Yellow
E110 Sunset Yellow
E122 Carmoisine
E124 Ponceau 4R
E129 Allura Red

For further information contact Anna Glayzer 020 7837 2250, email: website,

The Action on Additives campaign is coordinated by The Food Commission, an independent food watchdog, and was set up in direct response to September 2007 research which showed a link between consumption of food colourings and hyperactive behaviour in some children. See