Failsafe 71 April - June 2012


The Food Intolerance Network provides information and support for 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.

The FAILSAFE Newsletter is available free by email. Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fedup Roadshow 2012 starts this week

Research: Sulphites survey by FSANZ 2012

In brief: Sue Dengate now on Facebook; Girl, 6, handcuffed by police for throwing a tantrum; Are McDonalds burgers additive free?; Helping Holly - Desperate for a Cure (A Current Affair's story of a three year old girl with severe eczema); Australian breads slammed in latest Today Tonight show; Nestle UK ditches all artificial additives from its products

Now targeting: Fed up with school canteens and tuckshops?

Success stories: [1105]-[1110]

Shopping list: new products, warnings

Questions: a couple of quick label quizzes for you

Around the groups: meet our members, itinerary for Fedup Roadshow 2012

Cooks Corner: Gluten-free pizza base, Useful recipe blogs



Hello everyone

Check out our latest newsletter, especially the reader stories from ‘saved our marriage after years of trouble and seriously considering divorce’ to the ‘One Smacko and he goes Whacko’ dog tale. Plus some extra helpful recipe ideas.


We will be on tour with our annual Fed Up Roadshow until the end of June, speaking in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and many regional centres. I’m looking forward to meeting some of you in person at the talks!


      Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate




Fedup Roadshow 2012 starts this week

Our 2012 roadshow includes talks in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth and 14 more from Rockhampton to Bunbury - starting next week - seats are still available at the door for all talks or you can buy tickets online at


Kingaroy QLD Saturday 12 May

Rockhampton QLD Monday 14 May

Hervey Bay QLD Tuesday 15 May

Maroochydore QLD Wednesday 16 May

Brisbane (Beenleigh) QLD Thursday 17 May


Urunga NSW Thursday 10 May

Macksville NSW Monday 21 May

Orange NSW Wednesday 23 May

Sydney (Eastwood) NSW Thursday 24 May

Wollongong NSW Monday 28 May

Albury NSW Wednesday 30 May


Canberra ACT Tuesday 29 May


Melbourne (Vermont South) VIC 6 June

Melbourne (Essendon) VIC Thursday 7 June


Victor Harbour SA Tuesday 12 June

Adelaide SA Wednesday 13 June


Perth (Willetton) WA Monday 18 June

Perth (Claremont) WA Tuesday 19 June

Bunbury WA Wednesday 20 June


Talk details when you book or at



Books, DVD and Failsafe magnifying card now available through 


Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook  are now available as an ebook:  for Kindle,  in ePub version suitable for Tablet PCs, PCs, Macs, Laptops,  in ePub for digital and iPhone/iPad.





Sulphites survey by FSANZ 2012: FSANZ, together with state and territory agencies, conducted a national coordinated food survey on the levels of sulphites in sausages, cordials and dried fruit and concluded that


  • most sulphite levels detected in sausages, cordial, dried apple and sultanas were well below the maximum permitted levels (MPLs) in the Food Standards Code
  • on average, cooked beef sausages had higher levels of sulphites than pork, lamb and chicken sausages
  • regular cordials had higher sulphite levels than diet, light or no added sugar and concentrated varieties
  • levels of sulphites in sultanas are generally lower than found in previous surveys.


The overall average of sulphites levels in sausages were similar to those reported in a similar 2008 survey but, notably, the concentrations of sulphites levels are lower in sultanas and apricots than those earlier reported. The mean level of sulphites in prepared regular cordial drinks was higher.


The Maximum Permitted Levels (MPLs) for sulphites ( 220-228 including sulphur dioxide, bisulphites, and metabisulphites) is


  • 500 mg/kg in sausage and sausage meat containing raw unprocessed meat
  • 115 mg/kg in water based flavoured drinks
  • 3000 mg/kg in dried fruits and vegetables.


FIN comment: the overseas upper level for sulphite in dried fruits is 2000 mg/kg so Australia is the highest in the world. Sulphite sensitive individuals can react to levels from 10 mg/kg. People who know they have food intolerance do not eat the foods surveyed, but many others suffer from the effects because there is no education campaign about the effects of sulphites on health and particularly on the 65% of asthmatic children who do react. More details at and


A FIN survey in 2004 found that 43% of beef mince contained sulphites, later confirmed in NSW at a level of 53% of samples. It is illegal for beef mince to contain ANY sulphites. We would welcome a current survey of this law-breaking.




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. You can also ask for our Salicylate, Amine or (new) Glutamate Mistakes sheets (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


In brief

Sue Dengate now on Facebook: Sue is now sometimes available to discuss anything related to food intolerance and failsafe eating (free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers)

Apologies to more than 1,200 members who were lost by Facebook when they did an unexpected "migration"!


Girl, 6, handcuffed by police for throwing a tantrum: Police in the US handcuffed a kindergartner with her arms behind her back after the girl threw a tantrum. Salecia Johnson, 6, was accused of tearing items off the walls and throwing books and toys in an outburst Friday at an elementary school in Georgia. Officers in the police department's squad room tried to calm the child by giving her a coke. Several years ago, police in a similar case arrested a kindergartner who threw a tantrum during a jelly bean-counting contest in Florida.


FIN comment: The link between tantrums and what children eat has been documented for years which is why in the EU, foods containing certain artificial colours must carry the warning 'may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children'. The people I'd like to see handcuffed are not kindergarten children who are unknowingly fed such tantrum-fuellers but the 8 adults on the FDA's Food Advisory Committee who chose to protect the food industry rather than the nation's children last April by voting against similar warning labels in the US.

See also our tantrums factsheet


Are McDonalds burgers additive free? The Mcdonalds doco appeared to give that impression - based on the meat patties, lettuce and tomato. It is true that there are no additives in the McDonalds beef patties, tomatoes and lettuce. However, there are additives listed in many of the other ingredients in a Big Mac. For example:

  • six doses of preservatives - 282 (bun), 202 (sauce), 211 (sauce), 200 (cheese), 202 (pickles), 211 (pickles)
  • colour 160b - annatto, the only natural colour as bad as artificial colours (cheese)
  • hydrolyzed Protein which is a glutamate containing ingredient, or in other words, a way of adding MSG without saying so.


Helping Holly - Desperate for a Cure (A Current Affair's story of a three year old girl with severe eczema): Many thanks to all who have contacted us about this recent TV story which generated huge public interest. It was disappointing to see thousands of viewer suggestions about eczema creams rather than dealing with the possible causes of the problem. Comments included "this story reminded me of my child prior to failsafe" and "this story is so close to ours it is amazing. I could see she was so similar to our kids (both our kids are still failsafe. No itching, sleeping all night & very clever too. Such a turn around). Holly's family now knows about the potential benefits of a low salicylate diet, thanks to Deb and Olivia.


Australian breads slammed in latest Today Tonight show: Takeaway and snack foods are always being slammed for having too much salt, sugar, fat and additives - but the latest studies show the humble loaf of bread is one of the biggest culprits in our diet, often loaded with dangerous levels of hidden salt and preservatives. Sue Dengate of the Food Intolerance Network says preservatives propionic acid 282 and sorbates 200 and 202, retard mould growth, so the bread keeps longer. But the side effects, she says, can be horrendous.


"The preservatives in bread can cause really serious problems in children and adults," Dengate said. "Emulsifiers and softeners are not likely to cause the kinds of problems that can be caused by preservatives, colours and synthetic antioxidants." Dengate said.


Irritability, restlessness, inattention, sleep disturbance and other problems such as headaches, migraines, irritable bowel symptoms, rashes and bed wetting can be some of the side effects linked to preservatives.


Channnel 7:


Nestle UK ditches all artificial additives from its products: 'Nestlé is proud to be the only major confectionery company in the UK to announce it is 100 per cent free of artificial preservatives, flavours or colours across the entire portfolio' the managing director of Nestlé Confectionery UK announced on 1 March 2012.


The firm's research found that three quarters (74 per cent) of consumers buying confectionery now look for natural products, which includes the need to be free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.


Failsafers need to be aware that their new colours are mostly from natural sources such as carrot, hibiscus, radish, safflower and lemon and so may be high in salicylates. More info at


Read more:




Now targeting

Fed up with school canteens and tuckshops?

Now that Coles has removed artificial colours from own brand products, there are no excuses for school canteens selling artificially coloured products. How does your school canteen measure up? We would like to hear about it, good or bad - ­ we will not embarrass you or your school by naming names. See our school canteen factsheet


School canteens in the news on Channel 7's TODAY TONIGHT




Success stories

For every story we report, there are probably another 10 which cover similar issues. And these are just the ones we get to hear about.

See all stories and search them. Names have been changed to protect privacy.

[1110] How learning about food intolerance changed my life (April 2012) COURAGE AWARD

I thought I knew about food and nutrition, as I learnt about this at Uni ......however, little did I know, how little I knew....about 6 years ago now I heard that Sue Dengate was on TV talking about food additives and how they affected kids behaviour, so I went to her website where I bought her DVD and books, at that stage purely as part of my ongoing education, as I treat a lot of kids in my practice.

After watching Sue’s DVD with my husband, we decided to try the FAILSAFE program, which is based on the program created by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, as we wanted to see if it would help my husband’s asthma.

After just a few days of my whole family being on the program we were amazed to find that not only my husband’s asthma had dramatically improved, but my son was much calmer, and happier. In addition, we were all sleeping better, and from that time pretty much all arguments have stopped in our home.

Personally, I noticed that I became more calm and relaxed, not that I thought I was uptight or stressed before, but after 5 days on the program I felt incredibly happy, and couldn’t stop smiling, I felt as if I was on a yearlong holiday!

I hadn’t realised that food intolerances were affecting the way I was coping in life, but now life is so much easier, and I accomplish so much more, because I am even more ‘clear thinking’ than I was before.

I really notice it in my son......if he eats foods that are not the best for him, he becomes cranky, and emotional, plus he suffers from nightmares and unnecessary worrying during the day. But when we are careful with his food, which is most of the time, we have a happy, relaxed boy who sleeps well and wakes up with a smile.

Over the last 6 years I have recommended many of my patients to try the Failsafe program, and most of them are amazed at how it changes their lives. A side benefit, for people suffering with back pain, is that many back pain sufferers, as well as migraine sufferers, actually have less frequent bouts of pain when following the program. I personally experienced this as well....after having Chiro for many years to help my bad back, I was relieved to find that by simply eliminating problematic foods for me, I became pain free like I had never done before. Today I still have Chiropractic for preventative health reasons, but knowing about the food side of things and how it affects my health has truly made such a change to my life.

On a very personal husband and I were constantly arguing before we changed what we ate, we had years of trouble and were seriously considering divorce. After 5 days on the program we suddenly had peace between us. Very quickly our relationship was rebuilt without the negative effects of food intolerances affecting our moods and attitudes to each other. I will be forever grateful to Sue and Howard Dengate for making this information public, apart from our massive health benefits, both my husband and myself firmly believe that the Failsafe program actually saved our marriage. When we look at what we have today, a strong happy family living peacefully together, we have to pinch ourselves, as it is so far from the reality of our lives before we learned about our food intolerances. We are incredibly grateful for Sue and Howard’s work, we believe it has saved our boys from having to live in a split family, and has saved us from the stresses ad sadness that would surely have come from our divorce. - Kellie Dawson, Chiropractor, Springwood, QLD

[1109] One-liners (April 2012)

'As a parent of two children who are on the Failsafe diet, the work you and your wife are doing is incredible, life changing and so valued. I continue to spread the word as much as I can and enjoy your facebook page on a daily basis.' - Sarah by email.

‘Thanks for all you have done in setting up this great information and support network, we’ve have massive improvements with the boys when we suddenly twigged about what we were eating and now my wife and I are much happier and healthier too’ – Daniel of Bywong

'I already can't quite believe how much calmer our 5 month old is in the last few days, and is sleeping much better than a week ago. I wish I'd heard about this before I was pregnant!' - Fiona by email

‘I feel like we wasted 2 months doing Feingold when we could have done a 3 week elimination diet and known for sure!!! We are 1 week into the elimination diet and have seen more changes in that week than in the last 5 years of dietary interventions. I hope more American nutritionists will look at Failsafe instead of Feingold because it is much more complete' - Anna, USA

‘Thanks for the Mistakes sheets. Wonderful! All 3 feel like pure gold! Thanks so much for all your hard work.- Tracey by email. (You can request Amines, Salicylates or Glutamates Mistakes sheets from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

‘Failsafe has been our saving grace. I was at my wit's end with my son - the diet has helped me like him again.’ –Alethea by email.

‘We've been using your cookbook for a few weeks and her eczema rashes, hives, and swelling have been more under control than any time in the past two years!’ – Jessica, USA

[1108] Food intolerance story 20 years long (April 2012)

My story is similar to many of yours but it has taken us until Jan this year to work it out!

My daughter is 20 and has suffered bloating, runs, painful wind and, at times stabbing stomach aches which had her writhing on the floor and necessitated rushes to the doctor for pain relief, calls to afterhours drs, and hospital emergency. For the following days she was lethargic and her whole tummy area hurt. These awful symptoms which seemingly came with no warning at all were very distressing for a young girl living away from home in a Uni college, attending university and working part time.

She moved out of college accommodation this last year and has been in a shared house. Her symptoms got worse as the year went on until at the end of last year she was a mess. ( I suspect she was eating 'healthier foods' since moving away from the college.) She didn't want to eat anything as everything she felt all food was the cause of her painful bloating every night, headaches and migraines, not sleeping well (she told me later she was living on panadol and would take sleeping tablets if she had to work early the next day) After Xmas lunch she was in a lot of pain and it was very noticeable she was losing weight.

When i think back we had been to the dr with various symptoms since her birth. In late high school, after a particularly bad stomach attack our dr. could only recommend wind tablets. It is interesting to note that she had glandular fever the previous year in year 11.

During her college years her dr recommended an elimination diet. Yay! Unfortunately it was the FODMAPS elimination diet which is full of salicylates. It seemed to make some difference for a while probably due to less additives and preservatives and of course she fell off the wagon as the improvements were minor.

Our next step was to have her tested for coeliac. We were desperate although from reading I was pretty sure that was not her problem. I was right. Expensive, invasive tests for nothing. She has not wanted to do anything else for a year or so but I did say to her in November last year that when she had finished her exams and moved house she would need to see a dietician. (In the past we had only seen what was really a weight control dietician.)

Late December 2011 I spoke to a friend about my concerns and she said one of her daughters suffered greatly from stabbing pains after Xmas dinner! Her eldest daughter who has just completed a degree in nutrition and suggested her sister might be sensitive to salicylates.

I went into research mode and found a list of symptoms for salicylate sensitivity. All of the symptoms she had been having were there plus many we did not realise were part of her problem. Ringing ears, ulcers in the mouth (at the time she had 5) weeping eyes, irritability (we thought that was hormones) awful rashes under her arm. Just about everything except chronic fatigue and some eye tic!

I continued reading and helped her start the elimination diet. The bucket affect was a revelation. No wonder we could not pin point the problem foods. I read everything and borrowed Sue’s books from the library and passed all the info onto my daughter. I will buy the Failsafe Cookbook. She was quite upset as looking at the list of what she couldn't eat and combined with how unwell she was, she needed lots of support. I found recipes and went shopping. She came home for a few days and we cooked and shopped and read labels. So much is just knowing the alternatives. No honey but golden syrup fine, no olive oil but canola fine. So many simple changes that are so easy. We didn't cut out amines as she was upset enough at what she couldn't eat. I thought if she still had symptoms and she was in a more cooperative mood we could cut them out later. Also she had been to Zimbabwe to visit her boyfriend’s family and she had been really well. They ate a lot of aged meat and I bet their produce is stored and picked differently to ours. She gave me the food from her pantry she couldn't eat and I sent her back with foods she could eat and patties and dips and muffins.

After about a week her physical symptoms were almost gone. No more bands of heaviness in her head, or headaches, really only some mild bloating when she made a mistake with labels. Not many mothers would be happy to get a text from their daughter saying they just had their second proper poop! But I was.

She has been very busy moving, house hunting, and finishing summer school and had some special social engagements so we have not progressed to the challenges. We planned the social events and she went prepared and still enjoyed herself. She was a little bloated (which seems to be her default symptom) but managed well. She will start the challenges when she is settled. We are looking forward to it as we want to have a better idea of what is actually the main culprit. I know it may be more than one. I suspect salicylate sensitivity, flavour enhancers and maybe some preservatives. She certainly doesn't want to avoid food she doesn't have to!

Last night I got a text from her that said she felt she was not as scattered in her thinking and did not get upset and weird about things. She feels more in control and settled. Wow! These comments were after 3 particularly busy and stressful days. The physical improvements were the most noticeable at first but now the mental and behavioural improvements are showing. This has all happened in a month.

When I think back I think she has suffered since birth. She had reflux and after falling asleep would wake and cry for hours. Of course everyone said colic but even colicky babies settled sometimes. When I look at her baby photos she just looks pained and unwell. After about 4 months my husband joined me at the drs as my health centre nurse was concerned she was not putting on weight (no wonder! All her milk was on my clothes!) He told the dr we had to do something now as things were becoming desperate at home. The dr prescribed a drug that helped keep the flap at the top of her tummy closed after eating. I am pretty sure we also changed to the bottle because I was exhausted and she needed to put on weight. Well, in about a week we had a new child. Happy, smiling, sleeping putting on weight. I always attributed the improvement to the drug but now suspect it was changing to the bottle! In affect I was poisoning my baby!

She was quite good through primary school. Probably there were not as many additives and preservatives in the food and our fruit and vegetables were picked ripe. She did have some aches and pains, a rash here and there and we did joke about her lack of concentration. Nothing that really impacted her life; that was just her.

High school was ok but she was a child that always seemed to some ailment or other. Nothing too serious though. She found Year 11 and 12 difficult as she found it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. Also she had glandular fever. I am actually very proud of her to get through year 12 with an OP 8, work part time and live away from home since she was 17. In fact the part job she has had for the last 2 years has been a guest service agent in a busy Brisbane hotel. It is very demanding. Also she has worked really hard in 2011 in her studies and achieved excellent results. I actually feel so excited for her now as she has done this well with a huge health disadvantage, I can’t wait to see what she does from now on. We have a dietician from the failsafe recommended list (Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for this list) who is actually one of my daughters friends mum and she is helping with the challenges and reading my daughter food diary when things go wrong. I have purchased The Failsafe Cookbook.

If my daughter had been born now I am pretty sure we would have gone through the trials so many parents I have come across in my reading and on the DVD. This probably shows how much our food has changed over the last 20 years. At least parents today have to deal with it early in their child's life. I know this has been difficult for them but I think it is better than our experience as it has been over so many years and during some challenging teenage times for my daughter. Then again I have read of people not getting the answers until their later years and I bet many have never come across the right answers.

I really wanted to write my story and also to sincerely thank Sue and Howard and all the parents whose stories I have read. All helped piece the puzzle together. – Sylvia by email

[1107] ODD: Our whole house/lives revolve around him (April 2012)

I have an almost 5 year old son who I believe has ODD. I am yet to get this diagnosed (awaiting appointments) but would lay my soul on it that this is the case. He is the youngest of 3 children (all boys - 12, 11 and 4) and has been difficult from the word go. Things are just becoming more obvious and scaling to a higher level the older he gets. At first we were told (12 months ago) that it's a development stage he will grow out of but this just does not seem to be the case.

Our whole house/lives revolve around him. To say he dictates the household dynamics is an understatement. For the last 4 years of his life, my husband and myself have felt it was us who had the problem.

Something we were doing wrong, something we weren't doing enough of. We have read so many self help books to assist us in being better people, more controlled, more patient, more understand towards others and more at peace with our struggles. We have questioned ourselves as people and our abilities as parents everyday of our lives since he was born. Whilst this has not been of waste (improvement of any kind can only be for the better), we are now realizing that it is not us. We are not bad people and not what creates the problems.

After researching what is happening to him and his behaviors, I have stumbled across ODD, which I have never heard of before. He fits this mould to a tea. Not just four of the symptoms, but all of them and not on a weekly basis but on a daily basis, several times a day.

What I would like to investigate is the option of elimination diet to establish whether food plays a part. Definitely there are better days than others which leads me to believe certain foods may be a contributor considering there are variations to his behaviour. I have not documented nor memorized these instances as I had not even considered this could be a contributor.

Could you please help me in my quest to educate our family and assist my son with what could possibly mean a major difference in our lives?

8 weeks later:

The diet has been working really well. We hired the Fedup dvd from our local library and got the whole family to watch it so everyone could understand the effects of foods in health and behaviours and also what we were trying to achieve. We also purchased the Failsafe Cookbook for recipe ideas as well as the many helpful guides around good choice/bad choice products which became very useful when grocery shopping.

We started with small changes that were a daily consumption. Stuff like breads, milk, spreads, cereals, drinks. These items were traded for better choice products. We didn't remove anything without replacing it first with a healthy alternative. It was important for the children to understand that they were not being deprived of anything but instead by being aware of what they were eating and making better choices, they could still enjoy all the food groups including sweets.

The positive results were almost instant. Our problem son was becoming less of a problem right before our eyes. He became more emotionally in control, less aggressive within his outbursts and far more affectionate than ever before. I started getting hugs and kisses and told several times a day how much he loves me (which by the way in his words is twenty fifty hundred - I'm assuming that’s somewhere near infinity). Such simple changes with so much benefit. As a family unit, we have all changed for the better. I can't say there isn't a household member who hasn't noticed at least one benefit within themselves or each other.

It brings tears to my eyes to know that something so simply had controlled our lives for far too long and left myself and my husband questioning our abilities as people and parents. I thank the heavens above everyday for stumbling across your website which provided our family with the tools to make the changes we needed for a better, loving life. For the first time in 5 years, we can now finally bond with our son. Instead of being the control of the family, he has joined with the rest of us in becoming part of the family.

I spread the word everytime food is brought up in conversation. Not just for the benefit of children like my son but for the health and benefit of all people. My only hope now is others out there are able to be introduced to this information, somehow, someway.

Thank you for all you offer families and all the best in your quest with educating the world. – Carina by email.

[1106] One Smacko and he goes Whacko! (March 2012)

For our son's birthday last year we got him a Border Collie named Jax. We got him from a rescue place and he was apparently about 2 years old - seems he could be younger as he is so bouncy, and chews things and the vet said he may be only 18 months. We had to get a dog trainer out to see him cos he was too boisterous - and what was the first thing she told us? - to change his diet!! Which of course we did straight away and in 3 days we had a much calmer dog. The next week the trainer asked if we had changed - of course we had bought the new food that same night - she was surprised we had done it as many people don't bother changing the diet. Up at the dog park a lady gave Jax a piece of Smacko and of course he went Whacko. We just love the fact we got a dog who is food affected too!! - Anne from Brisbane

[1105] "can manage more salicylates" (February 2012)

Thanks for your research about chilli! I have found I can manage more salicylates e.g. pumpkin, sweet potato, rockmelons - but I had a rough night last week when I took some leftover sweet potatoes from the fridge for a snack at work & didn't eat chilli first. That night I was right back to the salicylate reactions - difficulty falling asleep, insomnia, and bad dreams that have plagued me for years – and I forgot about ENO (that's another one, forgetfulness). – Lydia, Qld

Don’t forget, you can see all current stories


Shopping list

The Failsafe shopping list is updated on an almost daily basis and is fully searchable. Look there in the first instance. Here are some important updates since the last newsletter:

Toothpaste is now in a factsheet to keep up with changes.

4715 Biloela failsafe sausages CQ Quality Meats 1300 276 328 or Cliff will make them up fresh at request, also supplies heaps of other organic cuts of meat. – Thanks to Miranda

Nabisco Belvita breakfast biscuits with wheat flour, oat flakes, rye flakes - contain wheat and dairy.

Reader review: I bought them to try as a biscuit and we quite liked them and have them as a snack for morning or afternoon tea or as treat after dinner. Glad to know that they are failsafe as it just adds an alternative to the list of things we can eat. - Thanks to Nicole

Shampoos and conditioners

Reader review: I bought a salicylate-free shampoo online from Cleure and, aside from it costing a ton, even though it is sal-free it has a ton of other stuff in it and I don't tolerate it. Itchy, oozing red bumps on my scalp. - from failsafe Canada group


Your questions

These Homebrand noodles claim "No added MSG", so what makes them so delicious?


ANSWER: Talk about misleading. Look at the Ingredients panel!


The lawyers have written this label technically correctly – there is no added monosodium glutamate (MSG or food additive 621). Instead Woolworths have added 620 glutamic acid, which is an almost identical source of free glutamates. Then there are two doses of the ribonucleotide flavour enhancer 635, which is only added to boost the effects of glutamates. So where are the glutamates? They are very high in the "ingredients" yeast extract and hydrolysed soy protein, plus the "added" 620 glutamic acid.

This Network wrote the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) complaining about the increasing and misleading use of "No added MSG". They told us to talk to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), who in turn told us to talk to....the ACCC.

Here's the packet – is this Mission spinach and herb wrap failsafe?


ANSWER: It looks clean and green, but ALWAYS check out the Ingredients panel:


How many ingredients here are not failsafe?

The worst ingredients are the two artificial colours 102 tartrazine and 133 brilliant blue, which are in the herb seasoning! This wrap also contains two preservatives 282 calcium propionate and 200 sorbic acid, known to affect food intolerant children. Then there's the synthetic antioxidant 320 butylatedhydoxyanisole (BHA) which affects many people.

Five nasty additives in one healthy-looking wrap. It is 1% "spinach and herb seasoning plus green colour" to make you think it actually contains spinach and herbs.

NOT failsafe.


Some of the information, particularly that about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe Shopping List for the latest information.

Many more questions are answered by knowledgeable failsafers in the Failsafe forum, which you are free to join. See all FAQs at



Around the groups: getting in touch

New factsheets  Factsheets are becoming our major way of making information available. The only new factsheet this newsletter is Toothpaste


More than 3.3 million people have now visited . Over 8,600 families now receive this quarterly newsletter.

See 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..

The Failsafe forum is also an active source of support.


Fedup Roadshow 2012 is now on – details and bookings


NOW AVAILABLE in German, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Nepali and USA. 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 are available. We'll post two free that you can copy, or you can buy bulk copies at cost $A0.35 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.


All Failsafe Newsletters can be searched and printed. 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. 


Cook’s corner

Gluten-free pizza base

Have tried a few different bases without success, this is the best I've found for a crispy base and it’s gluten-free and yeastless, not dairy or egg free. If anyone wants to try it dairy free and has success please let me know. Not exactly the same but my oldest said it was as good as Baker's Delight bases! Felt so pleased with myself – sfrancis on Failsafe forum.

Preheat oven to 210’C

1/2 cup of cornstarch, 1/2 cup rice flour, 2/3 cup milk, 1 tsp of salt, 2 eggs

Mix all ingredients with food processor and pour batter into pizza tray or greased pie dish. Bake for 15min. Lift out of dish and put on baking tray. Cover with pizza sauce (we used hommus) and toppings. Baked about another 10min. This quantity made enough for one 12inch pizza tray.

Useful recipe blogs

The following were listed on the Failsafe forum. While existing recipes have been checked, please make sure that they really are failsafe.

Real Meals

“Low Salicylate, Amine and Glutamate (with a Thermomix)' and my main aim when I started was just recording those recipes I'd tried and had worked. Basically, it's my family cookbook. My go-to list of recipes. Then in September last year, I got a Thermomix!! So, that changed the direction a little bit. Many of the recipes give Thermomix instructions, but some of these can be done in a food processor or similar. Some can't. Some don't need a Thermomix at all! Most of the meals are using foods from the LOW columns with a little bit into the MODERATE. Earlier recipes used occasional spices, but I've stopped doing that. Mistake!! Recipes come from the Failsafe book, Friendly Food, TMX, the internet or my head. I always give credit when using someone else's recipe, as I hope they would for me.

“So far, the outstanding favourites have been Crunchy Chicken (FF), Crumpets and Vanilla Slice. Wow, the Vanilla Slice saw a huge spike in readership!!! Ha ha ha.

Cooking for Oscar

“Especially great for those of you who can tolerate amines! Be careful as some recipes are moderate in salicylates. The recipes I put into my blog are things I feed my 18 month old daughter so they are often things that adults wouldn't want to eat if they had a choice.

Sandra says it is "discovering a new love of cooking through creating recipes for my family and friends to eat, which are also safe for my son. This blog is about Oscar-friendly food. Food that is low to moderate in salicylates and glutamates, and free of artificial additives, colours and preservatives. And a little bit about the challenges of living with food intolerance along the way. There are also many recipes that are suitable for the RPAH Elimination diet and Failsafe diet."

Failsafe cooking with the Thermomix

“My adventures with combining Failsafe and dairy-free ingredients with the Thermomix to produce low chemical culinary delights for our family (not all are failsafe)

Failsafe Foodie

“I love to cook and love experimenting with different cuisines, so when we realised that my son had food sensitivities it severely limited my ingredients. He is on the FAILSAFE diet. This means Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. He is also currently gluten and dairy free. This is my effort to make his food fun and tasty.

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© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to the many members who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter. Further reading: Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate.