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Parent power shines a spotlight on suspect food additives

5th November 2007

Avoiding the food additives which can increase hyperactive behaviour in children just got easier, thanks to a new website set up by campaigners at The Food Commission.

The website, at http://www.actiononadditives.com/, lists over 100 foods, drinks and medicines which contain the suspect food additives, and also gives parents the power to submit new products. The website is the first project to be funded by the newly launched Organix Foundation.

Ian Tokelove, a spokesperson for The Food Commission, said, “This website will use parent power to expose the products which continue to use these unwanted and unnecessary additives. Bright colourings may look nice, and they certainly entice children, but the scientific evidence indicates they can cause psychological harm to susceptible kids.”

Products already featured on the website include Fanta and Irn-Bru soft drinks, The Simpsons and Scooby-Do! Freezepops, Starburst sweets, Skittles, Maynards Wine Gums, Calpol children’s paracetamol as well as a Celebration Cake and a Giant Lucky Bag featuring children’s favourite SpongeBob Squarepants.

Parents and other users are invited to visit the website where they can view the complete list of products, submit more products, and comment on the foods, drinks and medicines already listed.

For more information see http://www.actiononadditives.com/

More information

For further information contact Ian Tokelove on 020 7837 2250 or ian@foodcomm.org.uk

Six artificial colouring additives and one preservative have been linked to an increase in hyperactive behaviour in susceptible children. The research was commissioned by The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and published in The Lancet in September 2007.

The additives which have been linked to an increase in hyperactive behaviour are:

  • Tartrazine - E102
  • Quinoline yellow - E104
  • Sunset yellow - E110
  • Carmoisine - E122
  • Ponceau 4R - E124
  • Allura red - E129
  • Sodium benzoate - E211

The FSA issued the following advice to parents, “If your child shows signs of hyperactivity or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you should try to avoid giving your child the… artificial colours because this might help improve their behaviour.”

The Organix Foundation: The Action on additives website has been funded by a grant received from The Organix Foundation, a registered charity which seeks to improve the health of children via information and activity that links food quality to child health. The Organix Foundation is funding projects that investigate:

  • The links between food additives and child health
  • The links between pesticide residues and child health
  • How better labelling can help parents make healthier choices

For more information on the Organix Foundation please contact Melissa Fife on 020 7403 2230.

The Food Commission: The Food Commission is an independent watchdog which campaigns for healthier, safer food in the UK.