Fedup Newsletters




Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network of Australia

January 2000


FAILSAFE supports families using the low-chemical elimination diet recommended by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital - free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers - for health, behaviour and learning problems.

Failsafe is now available free by email. Just send your email address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  • Food additives for the new millennium
  • Rights of the child
  • Cholesterol and soy research
  • Questions: asthma
  • Cooks Corner: kie sie mum, soy yoghurt

Welcome to the new year, century and millennium's first edition of Failsafe. Here's hoping that this century shows a little more commonsense than the last one:


widespread introduction of food additives in processed 'convenience' foods.


concerns by paediatric allergist Dr Ben Feingold that food additives might aggravate hyperactivity and learning difficulties as well as asthma and skin rashes.


a study of U.S. children between the ages of 6 and 11 found they ingested an average of 76 milligrams of food dyes per day (mg/day). Ten percent of those studied ingested twice that amount, or 146 mg each day.


scientists largely funded by the food industry discredit Feingold's ideas.

1981 on

slow increase in the use of food additives - since 1976, the quantity of food dyes manufactured per person in the U.S. has increased 50%.


studies at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital identify 50 additives which can cause adverse effects including impairment of concentration, sleep disturbance and hyperactivity.


1994 - Australian study (Rowe & Rowe) shows that food colours cause irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance in some children; the reaction is related to dose.


more than 10 tons of Ritalin are consumed by approximately 1.5 million U.S. children to control symptoms of ADHD.


Wolney Junior school in New Addington, South London, bans additives from its tuckshop. Concentration levels and behaviour improve, the success rate in external exams for 11 year olds almost trebles and the school wins praise as one of the most improved in Greater London.


US FDA leaflet written by the food industry says children's behaviour and learning are not affected by food additives!


Australian food regulators propose to widen the use of food additives "to encourage innovation in technology"!





'There is considerable evidence that food dyes can worsen the symptoms of ADHD in some children, but government authorities deny the evidence. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a pamphlet called 'Food color facts' which states that "there is no evidence that food color additives cause hyperactivity or learning disabilities in children." The pamphlet, though published by the FDA, was actually written by the International Food Information Council, a trade association representing many makers of food additives including General Mills, Kraft, Procter and Gamble, Pepsi-Cola, Coca Cola, Monsanto (maker of aspartame), and Ajinomoto (maker of monosodium glutamate). To make the statement that there is no evidence that food dyes cause hyperactivity or learning disabilities in children, the FDA had to ignore 16 double-blinded studies that have shown that food dyes do worsen the symptoms of ADHD in some children ...'


- from Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly #678 (with references), Environment Research Foundation, see http://www.rachel.org/




Thanks to all those who have written to health ministers about the approaching vote to relax regulations concerning food additives in Australia and New Zealand (Proposal P150). Chairman of the parliamentary food committee Senator Grant Tambling told Failsafe 'this is not a decision based on science, this is a political decision'. The vote will go to whoever screams the loudest. Right now, that's the food industry. If you have ever seen any child or adult react to food additives, this is the time to write to politicians, food manufacturers or the human rights commissioner about this issue. For further information, see articles below, reader comments, and our website: www.fedup.com.au




A complaint from a father on behalf of his autistic child who develops severe behavioural problems from food containing approved food additives and chemical residues has led to an investigation by the Human Rights & Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC). President Rex Warren of the Australian Chemical Trauma Alliance (ACTA) invites parents to comment directly to the Commissioner, outlining their experiences. You could give details of how your children react, which substances and medical reference sources to the attention of Mr Norrie at HREOC, fax 02 9284 9611 or GPO 5218 Sydney NSW 1042.

How do your children feel? As children are the most likely to be affected, perhaps they would like to tell the Ministers for Health themselves?




Cholesterol and soy


A switch to large quantities of full fat soy products could be responsible for the surprising decrease in a reader's cholesterol levels reported in Failsafe #14.

In the USA, researchers examined 38 controlled studies which recorded cholesterol levels for men, women and children on weight-maintaining diets which contained either soy or animal products. They concluded that the consumption of soy protein rather than animal protein significantly decreased serum concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. An intake of at least 30 grams of soy protein per day was recommended.


soy product quantity soy protein (approx)

soymilk 1 litre (1000 ml) 30 gm

soy yoghurt 200 gm 8 gm

tofu 100 gm 8-13 gm

soy flour 30 gm 10-13 gm

textured soy protein ½ cup 11 gm

It is not the soy but the fat ratio which makes the difference, according to Australian researchers. Men with mildly elevated cholesterol drank an average of 1 litre of soy or dairy milk per day for 6 weeks each. Subjects drank their usual choice of full fat, reduced fat or low fat dairy and soy drinks. The ratio of saturated and polyunsaturated fats in the diet was directly associated with cholesterol decrease. Researchers suggest that people of normal weight who currently drink low fat milks may be able to further lower their total and LDL cholesterol with a change to full fat soy drinks which will improve their ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fat.


Further reading

Anderson J and others Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids. New Eng J Med 1995;333:276-282

Roberts DCK and Bencke AJ Effects of substituting a soy beverage for dairy milk in the diets of mildly hypercholesterolaemic men, whilst consuming low fat and high fibre diets. Dept of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle, available from Sanitarium, phone 1800 673 392


Readers' comments


'Slow poison'


from a letter to a manufacturer '"Kyneton natural mineral water with orange juice, bottled at this spring since 1886" [contains] two preservatives (200, 210) and three colours (110, 122, 127) ... My son reacts to food additives. I have to live with a child experiencing severe behaviour problems.

It is sad to find that your company has joined the trend, represented by the Australian New Zealand Food Authority and various companies, of slowly poisoning the public ...'

- Richard van Hagen, Sydney

a mother reports


'We went shopping armed with "Fed Up" and the code breaker book - not much to choose from but it has increased my awareness of how even though we try to maintain a healthy diet the corporations and food manufacturers are slowly poisoning us! ... My children have been preservative and colouring free for about 5 days - a total change in their behavior and willingness to be obedient and cooperative and just really pleasant to be with, our little girl is a joy to be around with no sore belly and no temper tantrums (I have also tried to take her off as many salicylates as possible) - her sense of humour is really coming through. On Christmas day someone (well meaning of course) gave the kids a small bag of sweets and their behaviour change was reversed ... my parents too have noticed a difference in the kids although they scoffed at first'

- Deborah MacKenzie, Hong Kong




*** Warning Warning *** off the list ...


Since the addition of annatto (160b) to the Birdseye range of frozen chips there are no Failsafe ovenbake chips in Australia. Beware of the Logan Brae 'no preservatives label. There is TBHQ (319) in the oil.

Vanilla Fruche is off the list since the addition of sulphur dioxide (220).


***Product recommendation*** on the list ...


For iced coffee lovers, So Good Soyaccino is recommended by RPA

Darryl Lea now offer a Failsafe honeycomb (like the inside of violet crumble bars)

So Natural vanilla soy yoghurt should be available at Coles supermarkets (you may have to request it at individual stores)

Your questions:



Q 'Before we became Failsafe I noticed that my daughter's peak flow metre reading would drop after Bakers Delight products and hot dogs'.


A Sulphites (220-228) and especially sodium metabisulphite (223) are the additives most likely to affect asthmatics. Reactions can occur within minutes but may be delayed up to 10 hours. Most manufacturers claim they only use a small quantity which should disappear during cooking but we receive reports of asthmatic and behavioural reactions. Although Bakers Delight advertise that their bread is preservative-free, they use sodium metabisulphite as a flour treatment agent. Watsonia frankfurts and saveloys contain sodium metabisulphite as well as preservative 250 (sodium nitrite) and preservative 318 (sodium erythorbate). There are also two colours in the skins not declared on the label: red colour (120, cochineal, moderate) and annatto (160b, definitely not Failsafe).

Further reading:The New Additive Code-Breaker by Maurice Hanssen, Lothian, 1989


Cooks' corner




500g mince

2 shallots chopped

2 sticks celery finely chopped

half cabbage, shredded

1 teaspoon garlic paste

2 packets 2-minute noodles (colour-free and without seasoning)

2 cups water

1 cup beans

cooked rice


1/2 cup corn (moderate in salicylates)

1 large carrot sliced (moderate in salicylates)

1/2 cup peas (moderate in natural MSG)

Dice shallots and place in frying pan with garlic. Add mince and cook till brown. Add vegetables (except cabbage) and continue to cook on medium for 5 minutes. Add shredded cabbage, water and noodles. Stir it all up, whack on the lid and leave on low to simmer until cabbage is softened. Serve on a bed of boiled rice. Can be frozen and microwaved at any time for a quick yummy munch out. - Liz Cullen




1/4 cup boiling water

3 teaspoons gelatine

1-2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 litre soymilk

1 x 200 ml tub Failsafe soy yoghurt (eg So Natural vanilla is gluten-free, Soygurt contains gluten)

Put boiling water in a jar that holds about 1.25 litres. Add gelatine and golden syrup and beat well to dissolve the gelatine. Then add a litre of soya milk. Apply the finger test to see if the water has heated the milk up to blood heat - add a bit more hot water if necessary. Mix well.

Add commercial soy yoghurt. Mix. Place in a yoghurt maker or a small esky on a small upside down dish. Pour in about 5 mm of hot water on the base of the esky. Cover and leave all night-- don't overdo the hot water otherwise the yoghurt might separate a bit ... next morning it will be runny. If it does separate a bit, stir gently. Place in fridge and a few hours later you have a yoghurt that resembles mousse. For hot climates or a firmer set use more gelatine. Can be

used in place of dairy yoghurt, cream or icecream. - Jane Moore


Email support group


There are now mothers from nine countries in our new email discussion and support group, sharing their Failsafe recipes, successes, laughs and dramas from how to obtain Failsafe food and what icing sugar is called in the USA to how to change your school's policy on junk food.


To join, http://fedup.com.au/information/support/email-support-groups You will receive every message posted by group members. To contribute, press reply. How to unsubscribe details are on the foot of each message.



This newsletter available free by email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by mail for $10 per year from PO Box 85 Parap NT 0804. Thanks to Margie Turner, Deborah Halliwell, Tracy Percival, Melita Stevens, Joanne Mahmood © Sue Dengate (text). Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up by Sue Dengate Random House, 1998 and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, Murdoch Books, 1991.