Fedup Newsletters


Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network

April – June 2010


The Food Intolerance Network supports people worldwide using a low-chemical elimination diet free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers (FAILSAFE) for health, behaviour and learning problems.

To see this FAILSAFE Newsletter in colour on the web: FAILsaf64.htm

The FAILSAFE Newsletter is 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.


Our big fat labelling submission


Research: Meat preservatives link to heart disease, Children exposed to organophosphate pesticides

In brief: Colour ‘highly restricted’ in EU now widely permitted in Australia; Bonsoy soymilk; Severe dermatitis associated with artificial sweetener 951 (Aspartame, Nutrasweet, Equal) in medication;

New articles from the RPAH Allergy Unit; What’s in your medication?; MSG headaches; Food safety; Food additives and cancer; How many are affected?

Now targeting: Darrell Lea white jelly beans

Readers' stories: [903]-[925]

Product updates: detailed help and information.

Questions: detailed help and information.

Cooks Corner: Hint: rice cakes, Hint: Poko cake, Home-made “staminade” recipe from WHO, Delicious eggless soy ice cream


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Hello everyone


Howard and I have recently returned from three months in Nepal where we were trekking, looking at the effects of the introduction of Western foods and reading food labels – we hope to tell you more about this in the future, like why no kids in village of 200 families had any asthma despite being in smoky houses. Many thanks to those who worked on our submission to the FSANZ labelling review (feature below) and, speaking of labelling, do you know what ‘cultured wheat’ means on a product label? - see product updates. Also in this issue: have you tested your mince for sulphites? If not, see the Courage Award story. Plus a dog with food-induced epilepsy; more compelling reader reports and some hints from the failsafe groups.


Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate


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Our big fat labelling submission


The main points in our submission are listed below. When you look at that list, it makes you realize how inadequate our current labeling regulations are. Thanks to the several Network members who worked furiously to complete the 25 page FIN response to the Australian Review of Labelling Policy issues paper. On your behalf we asked for all food labels to be honest and so to:


  • all ingredients and food additives must be shown, with no 5% labelling loophole
  • food additives to be shown by number in all cases in the ingredient list
  • all ingredients that contain MSG, such as hydrolysed vegetable protein, be listed by number (621)
  • warning: “sulphites are associated with asthma in children” for all food containing sulphites
  • warning: "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children" for foods containing the colours Sunset yellow (110), Quinoline yellow (104), Carmoisine (122), Allura red (129), Tartrazine (102) and Ponceau 4R (124) as in the EU
  • ingredients in flavours should be listed in some circumstances
  • show the country of origin of major ingredients
  • show presence of genetically-modified ingredients.


Books and DVD now available through www.fedup.com.au


You can buy Sue’s books and DVD individually or as “the set” (Fed Up, the Failsafe Cookbook & the DVD Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour) at competitive prices.


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Meat preservatives link to heart disease: eating processed meat like ham and bacon could significantly increase risk of heart disease and diabetes, while unprocessed red meat may not be as harmful as once thought, according to a new Harvard study. Nitrate/nitrite preservatives (249-252) in processed meat have also previously been linked to colorectal cancer. Micha R and others, Red and processed meat consumption and risk of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus. Circulation. 20101;121(21):2271-83.


Children exposed to organophosphate pesticides: could have a higher risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), say US researchers who recommend "a good washing of fruits and vegetables before one eats them”. We would say peeled thickly the failsafe way also helps. Bouchard MF and others. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and urinary metabolites of organophosphate pesticides. Pediatrics. 2010;125(6):e1270-7 http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/05/18/2902843.htm.


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Diet not working as well as you'd hoped?

One tiny mistake can make a huge difference. For fine-tuning, see the Checklist of common mistakes. Readers tell us this list is very useful.


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In brief


Colour ‘highly restricted’ in EU now widely permitted in Australia: displaying lack of concern for consumers yet again, our national food regulators FSANZ have just approved an extension of the use of artificial colour (erythrosine 127). Previously restricted to cherries, it can now be used in icings and frostings. http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/A603%20Erythrosine%20FAR%20FINAL.pdf.


Bonsoy soymilk: was recently recalled when it was found to contain high levels of iodine due to kombu (seaweed, not failsafe). Chronic consumption of high levels of iodine may affect the thyroid and cause people to feel generally unwell. Anyone who was consuming Bonsoy soy milk over a prolonged time and feels tired or generally unwell should consult their doctor. http://www.foodstandards.gov.au.


Severe dermatitis associated with artificial sweetener 951 (Aspartame, Nutrasweet, Equal) in medication: Formaldehyde is a breakdown product of aspartame and there have been a number of reports concerning reactions to aspartame in formaldehyde-sensitive patients. This case involves a 9 yo boy. Castanedo-Tardan MP and others. Systematized contact dermatitis and montelukast in an atopic boy. Pediatr Dermatol. 2009;26(6):739-43.


New articles from the RPAH Allergy Unit: Faulkner-Hogg K, Coeliac disease, Aust Fam Physician. 2009 Oct;38(10):785-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19893817

Hodge L and others. Food allergy and intolerance. Aust Fam Physician. 2009 Sep;38(9):705-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19893799


What’s in your medication? – you can look up the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) at www.pbs.gov.au or phone the Medicines Line on 1300 888 763


MSG headaches: under the misleading heading ‘Scientists dismiss MSG-headache Link’ media articles described a review by Malaysian researchers which actually concluded that there is “no strong scientific information reporting negative effects of glutamate on human health in the general population”. For a description of the ‘dirty tricks’ - such as conclusions not appropriate to the data - used by the glutamate industry, see http://www.truthinlabeling.org/l-manuscript.html. Jinap S, Hajeb Glutamate. Its applications in food and contribution to health. Appetite. 2010 May 12. [Epub ahead of print]


Food safety: Lord Krebs, former head of the UK government's Food Standards Agency: ‘When I was head of FSA, there were plenty of cases where the food industry's claims about safety were not borne out’ (New Scientist 22 May 2010). FIN asks why do these people wait until they retire before they tell the truth? Is it because government agencies must provide a sunny outlook, no matter what the weather?


Food additives and cancer: There’s good news for us in the U.S. President’s Cancer Report released on May 15th, which officially recognized that many of the chemicals now on the market can cause harm and their use should be minimised. Although only one group of food additives are mentioned by name (nitrates/nitrites page 277), smelly chemicals which cause problems for us such as formaldehyde, flame retardants and perfumes are also highlighted.



How many are affected?: Widely misrepresented in the press with headings such as ‘Most food allergies non-existent’, a University of California review of 12,000 allergy papers found that about 30% of people say they are allergic to foods but only about 8% of children and less than 5% of adults have true IgE-mediated food allergies. ‘Part of the confusion is over what is a food allergy and what is a food intolerance’ commented a researcher. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/health/research/12allergies.html?emc=eta1.


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Now targeting


Darrell Lea white jelly beans: A mother wrote: ‘the new RPA elimination diet book lists white jelly beans as OK (except for ‘bubblegum or coconut flavour’ p53) but the Darrell Lea white jelly beans I bought have orange oil as an ingredient. Are these OK?’


White jelly beans are only failsafe if they are flavoured with citric acid or vanilla. Orange oil is a new additive in Darrell Lea white jelly beans (formerly vanilla) and definitely not failsafe. If you are unhappy about this new flavour, please visit http://www.dlea.com.au/?Contact_Us/Customer_Feedback_Enquiries/Feedback and tell them – politely – why you would like the old vanilla flavour back again.


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Readers' stories


You can see all current stories at http://fedup.com.au/success-stories/current-stories.

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[925] 220: Asthmatic son affected by illegal sulphites in mince (June 2010) [COURAGE AWARD]

I tested the mince at my local butcher yesterday. I bought the meat at 16.35pm, got home, tested it and the reading was between 180-400mg! It changed colour so quickly to the deepest shade on the side of the test strip container I didn't need to wait 30 seconds to see it change. On a positive note, I went in to Aldi and tested their meat today and it had no discernible change, so I guess I'll buy my meat there. My son takes daily asthma medication and has been sick since I deviated from my expensive organic butcher to the garbage they sell at the local butcher. My son has been on numerous cortisone courses this year as well as daily antihistamines and antibiotics - I couldn't figure out what was causing it until I came across the sulphur dioxide article on your website. I have reported these people to Primesafe (Victorian Government food regulatory body) and I am thinking of pursuing legal action due to the impact it has had on my son, I can't believe I stood at that butcher earlier this year and they lied to me and told me they did not use preservatives in their mince - they were so helpful telling me what did and didn't contain it and how I could get preso free sausages etc. I should have known it was too good to be true. - Tonya, VIC.

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[924] One-liners (June 2010)

I have been receiving your newsletters for several years now and am impressed at the scientific rigour you apply to your research and recommendations. It gives your work significant credibility in this very under-recognised area of clinical practice - a medical doctor, Sydney

I have your Failsafe Cookbook as well as Friendly Food and have already saved money on medication for migraines that I have suffered from all my life and which have just gone away in a matter of weeks. – by email, Qld

After reading your article, I took the time to check the food additives in bread and found 282 in the IGA brand cheap bread, so I thank you for drawing my attention to this. - Silvia, NSW

We’re not ready to start our elimination diet. However we have eliminated honey and peanut butter from our diet and the change over a week was amazing. Our 4 yo daughter became calmer, more animated and happy and she could feel it. - Sarah, NSW

I work with children and I see symptoms of food intolerance all the time. You are really helping to change lives for the better. – Amanda, Vic

I get...really....vague.....with......salicylates......! - mother of three, Adelaide

I don't know where we would be if we hadn't gone down the Failsafe path 5 years ago. - by email, NT

Your books and website are a lifesaver for me and the email groups are brilliant, thank you so much, I would be totally lost without all of this support. – Belinda, Tas

I recently purchased your book The Failsafe Cookbook and this has been a life-saver ... I've now got the freezer stocked with heaps of snacks and meals and stocks and sauces, makes meal time so much easier. You do an amazing job helping all of us "failsafe" families. Thank you! - Jo, by email

"I have to say, ALL children that come to our Failsafe afternoons are really well behaved!! We have more problems with the "normal" kids that visit! - Jenny, NT

What a wonderful network you have created and thank you for having such a wealth of information available on your website. – Briony, by email

635 is the mother of Ribo Rash and in my opinion the worst food additive of all time - Jennifer, Thailand – (more at http://healthybliss.net/the-truth-in-food-labeling-food-additives-to-avoid-hidden-sources-of-msg/ )

When I started to really read food labels, I was horrified by the fact that I was poisoning our whole family - especially with 635 and annatto. Guilt quickly turned into determination to set things moving in a healthier direction and I can already see a vast improvement. – Rose, by email

I wish I had known about food intolerance before - but even if I did, maybe I wouldn't have listened as it wasn't until I saw my daughter start to react that it sparked me into trying to find out what was ailing her. – by email, Qld

I am over my addiction to KFC! I hadn't had it since November last year, then had some last week. Apart from not enjoying the taste at all, I felt quite sickly after one drumstick. My kids didn't like the taste of the nuggets - "please don't make us eat here again". YAY! Score one for the HFC recipe in your book! – Sharon, Vic

I so hope the labelling submission is seriously considered, I feel like I have gained a chemistry degree in the five years we have been Failsafe! In just the last two days I have been approached by another two mums embarking on this journey, and a lot of their questions relate to their confusion over the labelling … numbers vs words along with the issue of unlisted ingredients! – Jenny, NT

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[923] How to get a reluctant partner to change diet and DVD feedback (June 2010)

I had been trying to convince my husband just to WATCH the DVD for three months, and although he was happy to go additive free, he wasn't keen to go completely failsafe. At the end of the DVD he turned to me and said "I think we have to do it". We're now in week 5 of the elimination diet, with huge changes for the whole family – Tiffany, by email.

My sister borrowed your DVD because her partner has IBS. He had no interest in watching it, so I gave her Sue's advice to put it on when he was around without asking him explicitly to watch it. She did, and within five minutes he was sitting next to her, glued to the screen. Although they haven't yet gone failsafe, he is now reading all labels and making better choices. My sister is lost for words! – by email

We recently bought, received and watched your DVD (all within a week) and absolutely loved it! I also have the books Fed Up and Friendly Food, and would like to get serious with an elimination diet. – by email

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[922] 635: Epileptic seizures in a dog due to flavour enhancer (June 2010)

My dog had epileptic fits as a puppy and I noticed that they always seemed to occur after giving him scraps from junk food we were eating. McDonalds food in particular seemed to cause him to have fits. The vet dismissed my theory and offered to give my dog a highly toxic barbiturate epilepsy medication. I refused the medication and adopted a wait-and-see approach. I researched the relationship between food additives and epilepsy in children because there was not much information about dogs. I found there was a possible link between preservatives in white bread and epileptic fits in children. Based on this, I banned all artificial colours/flavours and preservatives and my dog went from severely fitting to having no fits at all for the past 4 years. When I told my vet he dismissed my theory that food additives were the cause of my dog's epileptic fits and stated he had simply 'grown out of it'.

About 2 weeks ago I let my dog lick a cup from which I had just finished drinking instant soup. As I was doing it I thought: I shouldn't be letting him have this. I had become complacent because my dog had not had a fit in so many years. Within an hour of licking the cup he had his first epileptic fit in over 4 years. I felt terrible and immediately read the ingredients list. The instant soup contained flavour enhancer 635.

I have no doubt whatsoever that food additives caused the epileptic seizures in my dog. I have no doubt whatsoever that giving him an all natural diet cured his epileptic seizures. I have no doubt whatsoever that flavour enhancer 635 caused his recent seizure.

The information on your site confirmed that I was on the right track with my treatment of his seizures. Without sites like yours I would be faced with the dismissive attitude of my vet and my dog may have spent a lifetime on toxic medication for no reason. As it is - I have returned to a strictly natural diet for my dog and he has not had another seizure since. I would never risk poisoning him again with these additives and I hope my experience helps someone else. – Pamela, by email

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[921] 282: Acne from bread preservative (June 2010)

Just looking over your website, you are missing one major side effect of 282 in adults - acne. I am a 50 yo adult and I always get a breakout if I eat a bread product containing 282, either because it was in fast food and not tagged (McDonalds use it, KFC and Hungry Jacks don't) or because the label did not show it. – Ric, NSW

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[920] 635: Headaches and aching shoulders from flavour enhancers (June 2010)

I have been having a reaction to Aldi’s Vegetable Flavour Stock cubes. I am basically on a fresh healthy diet but stock cubes were my one weakness and I thought not that bad as they state "No Added MSG". I now know this is rubbish. Every time I cook with these my shoulders would ache all night and into the next morning and I would also get a headache. I finally worked out that it was linked to the stock cubes. The ingredients include Yeast Extract, and Flavour Enhancers 627 & 631. - Deb, by email

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[919] Snoring, sleep apnea, swollen tonsils and macroglossia due to additives (June 2010)

My five-year-old daughter's two years of snoring escalated a few months ago to sleep apnea. After three weeks of apnea, I consulted two doctors and then decided to feed her only natural foods - nothing out of a package of any kind. After six days, her apnea was gone. After about a month, her snoring was minimal. After two months she rarely snores. Tonight, after feeding her corn tortillas - with preservatives - for dinner, she fell asleep and immediately began snoring.

It was the second doctor, a GP, who noticed her swollen tonsils (I hadn't) and said there was no infection but that they were chronically swollen. After I asked if he thought it could be a reaction to contact with processed foods - because she gets a rash on her face after contact with various sauces - he replied "possibly" and that the darkness under her eyes was a sign of allergies. That was when I decided to take her off all packaged foods on my own until we could have an appointment with an allergist - usually a 2 to 6-month wait here.

We saw a Pediatric Allergist two days ago and she was tested for all the standard things like milk, soy, wheat, dust, cat, dog, etc. and was fine. The allergist suggested she may be sensitive to sulphites because I am allergic to sulpha drugs.

Her face has always turned red exactly where any sauces and liquids out of packages touched her cheeks and mouth. Kraft salad dressings, Heinz ketchup, and canned apple pie filling, plus pear cooler which dribbled over her bare tummy have all cause the redness. I figured that the swollen tonsils - like golf balls - were her internal skin's reaction to a food sensitivity because of how we saw her external skin reacting.

Before removing additives, my daughter's face was always a little chubby-looking with a double chin, although she wasn't chubby. It was the swollen tonsils that were causing the double chin. Now she is more normal in appearance without chubby cheeks and an oversized swollen tongue [macroglossia] that made her speak oddly. Even her voice is no longer nasal. My friends used to comment that she sounded like she had an accent. She also had darkness under her eyes. She is very blond with blue eyes and she always had pinkish-purple bags under her eyes. They are now gone along with her snoring right through the night!

Also, her defiant behaviour really improved and she is far more peaceful after I was able to be very strict with her "no packaged foods" diet. We now have real butter and cream in our house. I make our bread and ice cream too.

I am relieved not to have to put my daughter through surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids, which is very common with children who have apnea. I feel strongly that everyone involved in a child's health should do all they can to find the cause of the symptoms rather than just treat the symptom by removing the tonsils. - Maree, Canada

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[918] 635: labelling – you think you’re making the right choice (June 2010)

Thanks to your website, I am on my way to eliminating my three year old son’s behavioural issues. After looking at the list of additives to be avoided, my husband and I cleared out our pantry and found a nomination for nasty food awards - Continental Chicken flavoured rice. The front of the packet claims to have NO artificial colours or flavours and NO added MSG (obviously to make you think you’re making the right choice for your family), however the ingredients listed flavour enhancer (635)!!! – Andrea, by email

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[917] Adorable child after one week of cutting out nasties (June 2010)

After cutting out all the nasties in our food, we have noticed a huge change in our little boy after only a week. I was at a loss with how to handle him, and wondering where I had gone wrong (I haven't had this problem with my other two children) until I found your website. Now he is an adorable child and I have even had strangers commenting on how well behaved he is!!!! I have told my sister (who also has three children), our daycare centre and our maternal and child health nurse about your website to get the word out!!! - Tony by email

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[916] AAaaaaaaagh! - Reaction to Colour Free Panadol medication (June 2010)

My 5-year-old son has been kept completely free of preservatives, flavours, flavour enhancers and colours for just over 12 months to control behaviour and it has worked wonderfully!

Recently, he had a temperature so I very hesitantly gave him Colour Free Panadol (and only the minimum dose.) Oh my God what a nightmare! Since giving it to him, he went back to his pre diet ways, crying non stop, angry, and rages for the stupidest reasons - completely irrational. It took 4½ horrible days to get out of his system. We had periods where he lay there and would hit, kick and throw anything he could get his hands on, till he would wear himself out - not a nice thing to witness - and of course the night terrors that he had in the past returned. I am reminded of how much of a nightmare my life was prior to going additive-free. Yet other than being highly food sensitive he is a perfectly healthy, intelligent 5-year-old.

Are there any other options for reducing a child’s temperature that will not result in him going crazy for days afterwards? (Katie, by email – and see Q&A)

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[915] Autistic 10 yo affected by additives in Lovan medication (June 2010)

I know that you and your group are petitioning for food labels to be specific with regards to all ingredients. I would also like to see this extended to all medications.

My 10 year old son is autistic. Diet (additive, salicylate, amine and dairy free) is an enormous help, but it is not the only solution to all our problems and he is also on medication. We recently swapped over to Lovan, an anti-depressant, and were having terrible behavior. Once I did a full MIMS search on it (only accessible to health professionals), I found that it contained either peppermint and aniseed oil (tablets) or two artificial colours (capsules). I suspect the behavior was due to the cocktail of unlisted ingredients, rather than the drug being a failure. Our paediatrician was quite impressed with the fact that I figured it out; he often prescribes the dispersible tablets, and had not even thought of what the ingredients might be.

We have changed over to Fluohexal (one of the generics) capsules, which we take out of the capsule case and mix with syrup, so that way we have no problems with the colours in the capsule case. We are also trialling Ritalin, which as I found out today, contains lactose! Why do they still use lactose as a filler!!!!! Surely there are alternatives!

I can understand that capsule cases etc have to be coloured, as this helps with identification of drugs when not in their original containers. I just want clear labeling on boxes, including if there is gluten or lactose in the formulation. – by email, Qld

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[914] Extreme irritability, moodiness, anxiety, nightmares, night waking due to diet (June 2010)

I have an 8-year-old daughter, who I put on the failsafe eating when she was 6 due to extreme irritability, moodiness, anxiety, nightmares, night waking etc. It worked amazingly within 2 weeks. We had our little girl back, she was so much calmer, compliant, more focused and so much nicer to be around. Even her teacher at the time said "I have never seen a result like that without drugs". She seems to react to many things, however, salicylates, amines and glutamates are the main culprits. – Jane, by email

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[913] 160b: Jack’s head banging and annatto (June 2010)

My son Jack, now aged 4, was a great baby, he slept 18 hours a day and was joy to be around except that he would not use his bowels for days and days. We took him to doctor after specialist after scan and no-one knew why. In the end the only way we could get him to use his bowels was to medicate him every day.

Also at about 6 months (at the time of introduction of solids) Jack started head-butting the cot. Honestly I am not exaggerating when I tell you that he had golf ball sized lumps on his forehead – again more scans, tests and drs. No-one knew why. The professionals told me to take him out of a cot and put him into a bed so he couldn’t forward head-butt. Great Idea – he then proceeded to get out of bed and backward head-butt the wall. I have holes in the gyprock in the wall where he would head-butt his way through the gyprock. One night it was that hard the hinges in the door popped out. My neighbours could hear it and if I was on the phone people could hear it. It would mainly happen during the night or when he woke up from a day sleep. People told me he was hot, cold, tired, not stimulated enough, over stimulated, lonely blah blah blah.

I decided none of the professionals were helping so I decided one by one to withdraw foods from his diet. I started with dairy – I removed 95% of the dairy form his diet – I allowed him 1 cup of milk and 1 yoghurt a day and this showed a massive improvement, he would use his bowels without medication - it still required a lot of effort on his part but hey it was better than medication and the headbutting decreased. I took yoghurt off him and amazingly enough my happy little man returned. At the time I did not realise the importance of this find (that there was annatto in his favourite yoghurt).

One year later I gave him his favourite vanilla yoghurt with 160B in it and OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was up on all 4s rocking all night headbutting the pillow moaning and the next morning he woke up with a headache. We let it go a week and then we tried it with icecream and he was the same only this time he was reverse headbutting the wall like he used to do when he was a baby. – Nicolle, NSW

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[912] 160b: Rash and head banging with bruises from annatto (June 2010)

From about 12 months of age, my son developed intermittent spots, rashes and blotches on his face and around his mouth. On 3 occasions he swelled up in the face, neck and hands (twice at daycare, once at home). We took him to an allergist who told us it was intolerances, gave us a list of additives to avoid, and told us he would outgrow it. The only additive that I could definitely identify at the time was 160b. Each time he ate it he would get develop a rash or tiny spots around his mouth and the blotches would return. Interestingly, at the same time, he also would bang his head in frustration on the floor. It was usually as part of a tantrum, he would drop to the floor and bang his head. He had a permanent bruise in the middle of his forehead for several months (see photo – it’s really a bruise upon bruise upon bruise, from banging his head on the floor!) I cannot say for sure if the headbanging stopped at exactly the same time as we eliminated 160b, because I never associated them together, but am now thinking it was related.

As it turned out, the allergist was wrong and he did not outgrow his intolerances, they just manifested in a different way and he became a very difficult child around 2.5 years of age... At 3 years of age we went additive free for 6 weeks, and while this did help, it was not enough, so we have now been failsafe since Oct 2007. He is very sensitive to sals, sensitive to amines and cannot tolerate some additives. – by email, Vic

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You can see full text of the following stories about annatto 160b in the updated Factsheet

[911] 160b: Head banging stopped when additives were removed (June 2010)

[910] 160b: Annatto related head banging in a 2 year old (June 2010)

[909] 160b: Head banging in a 3 year old (June 2010)

[908] 160b: irritability, defiance, head and body banging (June 2010)

[907] 160b: agitated, uncontrollable, full of energy, hyperactive (June 2010)

[906] 160b: Restless legs and sleep disturbance (June 2010)

[905] 160b: Screaming, angry, yelling, defiant and hysterical (June 2010)

[904] 160b: Sneaky poos reaction to McDonalds Soft Serve (June 2010)

[903] 160b: Attraction to the colour yellow (June 2010)

Don’t forget, you can see all current stories at http://fedup.com.au/success-stories/current-stories

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Product updates


The full list of product updates is available at http://fedup.com.au/information/shopping-list/blog. Here are recent updates from that list:


A2 yoghurt from Freedom Foods and Jalna has been in the stores for some time. Any feedback? Note that yoghurt is listed as moderate in amines in the new RPA Handbook 2009, so not suitable for your strict elimination diet.


Online store: Jenny Trezise, one of our recommended dietitians, has just opened a new online store www.AllergyTrain.com.au specialising in food and personal care products for people with food allergies, intolerances and chemical sensitivities. No need to travel to different health food shops or pay separate shipping fees for the specialty products you need - a flat rate delivery to your door.


Failsafe sweets: According to the latest RPAH guidelines (Elimination Diet Handbook 2009), AVOID sweets with natural or added colours; and flavours other than vanilla, musk or caramel. If you are avoiding dairy foods, check for milk. The Little Lolly Shop has expanded its range: see Butterscotch Drops, Butterpops, Star Pops, Pear Drops and Pops, White Musk Sticks, failsafe Plain Boiled Lollies, gf failsafe Citric Lollies and Lollipops, ‘Lemons’ and white Fairy Floss. New products appearing soon include small carob bars, fudge, plain white meringues and failsafe plain biscuits. Always read the ingredients list. Some of the products in the Failsafe & Friendlier category do not fit within RPAH guidelines due to natural fruit flavours such as lime and orange. (Little Lolly Shop has discontinued).


Naturally gluten free bread update: ***Warning*** The “Classic” Naturally Gluten Free bread is not failsafe. The corn in it is in fact ground corn not cornflour. There is a failsafe loaf called “Oriental” where the corn in the “Classic” has been replaced by “Rice Flour”. – thanks to Melissa


***Product Warning*** ‘Cultured wheat’ is cultured to produce propionic acid (280). It’s another way of getting the bread preservative (usually calcium propionate 282) into bread without putting it on the label. – thanks to Kathleen


Herron Gold paracetamol: White Herron products have recently been replaced by coloured Herron Gold tablets and tabsules. No thanks to the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration), colours do not have to be listed on medication labels. Enquiries to the manufacturer resulted in confusion and conflicting advice: by telephone one failsafer was advised that the new yellow colour is sunset yellow (artificial colour 110, definitely NOT failsafe) and by email another person learned that the colours in these products are Titanium dioxide (white - colour 171), and Iron oxide-yellow, black or red (colour 172, natural, both approved by RPAH as neither of them are plant-derived). Further enquiry led to confirmation from the MSDS (Material safety data sheet) that the latter is correct. So the new Herron products are still failsafe - although not ok to use in the baby paracetamol recipe due to the film coating.


Butcher in Dalby QLD: Dalby Country Quality Butchers now stock failsafe sausages. Address: 74 Cunningham St, Dalby Phone: 074662 2213 They are delicious and sell for $10.99/kg. They sell them frozen.

Thanks to Danielle. Reminder: always check ingredients with your butcher. Their version of ‘failsafe’ may be different from yours.


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Your questions


All questions from Food Intolerance Network members that have been published since September 2002 http://fedup.com.au/information/frequently-asked-questions Some of the information, particularly that about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe shopping list http://fedup.com.au/information/shopping-list/blog

Q: Are chia seeds failsafe?

A: Chia seeds are not allowed on the RPAH elimination diet (RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook 2009 www.allergy.net.au). Chia is a member of the mint family. Mint is very high is salicylates and there have been numerous reports of gastrointestinal symptoms due to chia seeds from salicylate sensitive people overseas (http://nutritionalconcepts.blogspot.com/2008/03/caution-regarding-chia-seeds.html).

Q: Can you suggest any cold and flu remedies for failsafers? When I have a cold - which fortunately isn't often - I can't take honey and lemon drinks, nor eat oranges or kiwi fruit due to salicylates. I normally don’t take medication, but last night I took Demazin tablets and had a terrible reaction.

A: According to the new RPAH handbook, page 118 (available from www.allergy.net.au), Cold & Flu products containing paracetamol, codeine, antihistamine and/or pseudoephedrine can be suitable if not coloured and flavoured. They recommend the butterscotch/vanilla flavoured Demazin Cough & Cold syrup 2 years to adult, not to be confused with other Demazin syrups that may contain peach flavour and other additives. However, this syrup is currently off the market while being reformulated to remove pseudoephedrine, now tightly regulated due to its use in making cystal meth or ice. Another option is to have a similar medication made specially by a compounding pharmacist (expensive but safe) or try the failsafe version of hot lemon drinks – made with citric acid and Vitamin C - in the Failsafe Cookbook.

Q: Is Stevia failsafe?

A: Stevia is NOT approved for the RPAH elimination diet which recommends avoiding artificial sweeteners (RPAH handbook & shopping guide, p53). Although Stevia is promoted as natural (ie plant derived) by the food industry, as we all know, natural is not necessarily safe - e.g. salicylates. See more information at nutritionist Kimberley Bither’s website http://thewellnessworkout.typepad.com/the_wellness_workout/2009/04/is-stevia-safe-the-fda-now-approves-its-gras-status-but-dont-let-that-fool-you.html.

Q from #63: I'm failsafe, gluten free and dairy free – when I get stuck without food, what can I buy as a quick healthy snack in a supermarket?

A: Thanks to Leah who says: as I’m also very sensitive to sals and amines, and intolerant to soy, my favourite (and only) supermarket snack is Sunrice ricecake thins. Make sure you buy a bottle of water too coz they are a bit dry. I would have gone hungry many times without these.

Q: My 19 month-old son has bad reactions to salicylates so I've changed his diet accordingly. However, he had a high temperature two days ago and although I knew it would upset him in the following days, I gave him children's panadol as it was bedtime and I didn't want him sleeping with an awful fever. Anyway it's now day 2 and we're dealing with a very cranky and irritable little boy (am now regretting the Panadol decision!) I knew the "strawberry flavour" would affect him, but what else can I give him?

A: You can ask a compounding pharmacist to make up an additive free version (one family paid over $50) or you can ask for our paracetamol recipe (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). A week later this mother wrote again: ‘we've been using the dissolved panadol as per the "recipe" you provided and it has been a life-saver! Our baby boy doesn't have to be sick AND cranky any more!’

Q: I’m annoyed about the new Woolworths fruit juice drinks in Blackcurrant & Lemon, Orange, and Tropical flavours that sound as if they are natural. They say Natural Colours & Flavours, No artificial colours or flavours, No added preservative 211 (sodium benzoate); but they contain sorbates preservative (202). I think that’s misleading.

A: I agree with you but technically it’s legal. To protect themselves and their children, consumers must be able to read and understand ingredient labels. We wouldn’t recommend juice drinks anyway because they contain strong flavour additives (salicylates). Water is the best drink but if you want juice as a treat, and can manage salicylates, it is best to buy 100% pure juice and dilute it with water.

Q: Just a quick question regarding the Coles Smart Buy pears in syrup. Are they failsafe? On the product updates it says to avoid the snackpacks (due to natural juice) but I just wanted to check the tins are ok as my son is not quite as well behaved as he used to be. I didn't know if he was having a reaction to something or just going through a phase.

A: Coles canned pears in syrup should be OK (ingredients: pear halves, water, sugar).

Some possible problems:

· pears should be ripe (if pears are hard, they are moderate in salicylates)

· pears are limited to 2 peeled pears per day or equivalent (including pear jam etc)

· pears should be the traditional varieties such as Packham, Williams, Beurre Bosc, Bartlett NOT Nashi, Ya or other crisp Asian pears. I phoned the Coles free call number 1800 061 562 to ask about the country of origin and variety of the pears. (You need the barcode if enquiring about a product). The customer liaison officer was very helpful - he confirmed that the Coles pears in syrup are Australian and will be either Williams or Bartlett depending on the season. Could it be some other food or environmental chemical affecting your son? You are very welcome to send me a list of what he eats in a typical day so I can check for possible problems (including brand of toothpaste, washing powder etc).

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Around the groups: getting in touch


Around the groups


The failsafe groups are still buzzing with the implications of the many salicylate and amine updates in the new RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook 2009. These changes are based on clinical experience, not new analyses. For newbies, there are few changes to the strict elimination diet. People who have been living with the diet satisfactorily for years do not have to alter what they eat. However, for people who have been experiencing difficulties, fine-tuning may be easier knowing what you are most likely to tolerate. I’ve been enjoying a few slices of peeled cucumber now that it has been downgraded to the moderate category. If you are still using the charts in Friendly Food, you can ask for our updated Salicylate and Amine Mistakes information sheets 2010. Order forms for the new handbook are available from the RPA website http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/


New factsheets Factsheets are becoming our major way of making information available, now in printable format as well as online.

Depression (see new video)

MSG (monosodium glutamate)

Annatto 160b (updated)


Can you help?


Is there anyone out there who can point us to how to have a phone application made that allows you to key in the additive number and get information on whether it is nasty or not? Please email Howard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Nearly 2 million people have now visited www.fedup.com.au – about 1,000 per day. Over 7,000 families now receive this quarterly newsletter.


See http://fedup.com.au/information/support/contacts for local contacts who can generally answer some questions about failsafe eating - many have brochures and a copy of the DVD to lend out. They can also advise on supportive dietitians locally.


Email support groups: we currently recommend failsafe3 for beginners. It is the smallest of the big general groups. You can join by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line.




The Fedup Roadshow 2010 by Sue Dengate - talks are planned as follows - detail as it arrives at http://fedup.com.au/information/support/fedup-roadshow-talks.


Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to consider hosting talks that might fit the following schedule or to help with planned talks.




Toowoomba QLD Tue 3

Brisbane QLD Wed 4

Bingara NSW Thu 5

Inverell NSW Mon 9

Gunnedah NSW Tue 10

Newcastle NSW Wed 11

Sydney NSW Thu 12

Canberra ACT Mon 16

Yass NSW Tue 17

Wagga Wagga NSW Wed 18

Wodonga VIC Thu 19 TBC

Wangaratta VIC Mon 23 TBC

Launceston TAS Wed 25 TBC

Hobart TAS Thu 26

Burnie, Devonport or Smithton TAS Mon 30




Melbourne VIC Thu 2

Millicent SA Mon 6

Adelaide SA Tue 7

Port Lincoln SA Thu 9

Mildura VIC Tue 14




NOW AVAILABLE in Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Nepali and USA http://fedup.com.au/information/support/food-intolerance-brochures. Translators for other languages please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Printable trifold brochures on food intolerance and oppositional defiance are available. We'll post two free that you can copy, or you can buy bulk copies at cost $A0.33 each plus postage. See instructions on the website for accessing pdf versions. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with enquiries.




All Failsafe Newsletters from 1998 - today http://fedup.com.au/fedup-newsletters.There is a wealth of research, issue discussion, recipes, personal reports and recipes now available in one place. But some of the links are out of date and you must always check current products rather than relying on historical information.


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Cook’s corner


Hint: rice cakes spread with Original Nuttelex margarine and put in the oven for 5-10 mins or so. They make bland food taste so delicious. Eat whole or crush up in a bag and sprinkle with either salt or icing sugar to make them taste like popcorn. – from the email support groups


Hint: Poko cake ‘Has anyone tried the Poko cake recipe from the Failsafe cook book? I’ve just made it and it is absolutely beautiful. Who would have thought that a combination of cashews, chokos and pear would ever work, but it truly does!’ – thanks to the failsafeeczema group


Home-made “staminade” recipe from WHO

Rehydration drinks and sports drinks replace fluids and electrolytes. This is useful for extreme athletes who sweat a lot each day due to hours of hard exercise in a hot environment such as this failsafer: ‘My husband who is food intolerant finds our home made "staminade" helpful. He works outside in the Darwin heat and under hot engines and excessive sweating and heat exhaustion can be a problem. He sips this between drinking lots of plain water throughout the day and feels better for it’.


1 tsp salt

10 tsp sugar

1 litre drinking water


Most people who exercise for less than an hour don't need sports drinks. Warning: Adult sports drinks should not be used for babies and young children. Children with diarrhoea need rehydration drinks designed for children. – thanks to Donna from the failsafeNT group. See also http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/06/09/2593413.htm.



Delicious eggless soy ice cream


2 tsp powdered agar agar (from health food stores, not cheap)

3 cups soy milk

½ cup castor sugar

1/3 cup sunflower oil

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

2 tsp carob powder (or cocoa powder if ok with amines)


Combine agar and 1 cup soy milk over medium heat stirring until dissolved and milk begins to boil. Remove from heat and process with remaining ingredients in food processor. Refrigerate until chilled then use an ice cream maker or the beat’n’freeze method – thanks to the failsafeeczema group


The FAILSAFE Newsletter: You can have this Newsletter emailed to you for free about every three months, and also see it in colour with graphics on www.fedup.com.au. Subscribe: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Frontpage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/failsafe_newsletter

Unsubscribe by sending a blank message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to Di, Tanya, Lisa, Jo, Vera, Pamela, Sheryl, Linda, Anne, Robin, Jenny, Bron, Melissa, Brian, Kathleen Daalmeyer and Jenny Ravlic from the Melbourne group and the many others who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, (Murdoch Books).