A public safety campaign from the publishers of The Food Magazine
Action On Additives

The Action on Additives Campaign seeks the complete removal of six artificial colours from all food and from children's medicines; and further research into the use of the preservative sodium benzoate (E211).

These additives are linked to increased hyperactivity in children. This website shows details of products that have been found to contain the additives recently.

  • In September 2007, scientific research showed that mixtures of the six colours along with E211 could increase hyperactive behaviour in children.
  • The Food Standards Agency has introduced a voluntary ban on the use of these six colours in the UK, and wants manufacturers to phase out their use by the end of 2009.
  • The European Parliament is so concerned about the effect of the six colours, that in July 2008, MEPs voted to add a warning label to all foods containing the colours, to come into force around mid 2010.
  • Despite action at UK and European level, some food manufacturers continue to use the six colours.  There has been no action taken on the use of sodium benzoate and no action taken to address the use of the colours in children's medicines. 
  • Breaking news: 12 November 2009 The European Food Safety Authority has lowered the acceptable daily intake of three of the six colours featured on this site.  

If you know of a product which contains the suspect food additives, you can tell us about it by using the form below.

Add product Add a new food, drink or medicine to the website

If you would like to add a product to this website, please type in the name of the product and click on the 'add product' button.

 

These are the additives we are looking for

Tartrazine - E102 - artifical, yellow food colouring
Quinoline yellow - E104 - artifical, yellow food colouring
Sunset yellow - E110 - artifical, orange / yellow food colouring
Carmoisine - E122 - artifical, red food colouring
Ponceau 4R - E124 - artifical, red food colouring
Allura red - E129 - artifical red food colouring
Sodium benzoate - E211 - artifical preservative

Spotting the additives is not easy – they are listed in ingredients lists, but the print is often very small and they can be listed by either their name or their E number. Some foods are sold without any packaging, and the additives may also be used in restaurant and take-away food. The additives also crop up in medicines for both children and adults.

Some manufacturers and retailers have already removed these food additives, but other companies think it is okay to keep selling products that contain them. This website aims to list all those products which still contain the questionable additives

Jar of colourful sweets

These sweets may look bright and cheerful, but the vivid colours are often produced using artificial colourings, including those linked to hyperactivity in children.

Few children or adults will stop to examine the tiny ingredients information given on a packet of sweets, or will be aware that some artificial colourings are linked to hyperactivity, can cause allergic reactions and (in some cases) are banned in the USA because they are considered unsafe.

The Action on Additives campaign has found suspect artificial colourings in an enormous range of products, not just in sweets, showing that care is needed if these unnecessary and potentially harmful food additives are to be avoided.

The Action on Additives website is coordinated by The Food Commission, a not-for-profit organisation which campaigns for healthier, safer food in the UK. Visit the website at for lots more information on food and health.

The Food Magazine is a quarterly magazine produced by The Food Commission. The magazine is essential reading for anyone who cares about what they, or their children, eat.

The Action on Additives campaign is made possible by support from The Organix Foundation, a charity which seeks to promote better quality food provision for babies and children. See www.organixfoundation.org/

The Action on additives project is coordinated by The Food Commission (UK) Ltd, a public interest watchdog which campaigns for healthier, safer food in the UK

    

Sign up for more information

If you want to be kept informed about food additives, please enter your email address below and press 'add email'. Your email address will not be passed to any third parties or marketing agencies and will only be used by the Action on Additives campaign.

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Support the campaign

The Action on Additives campaign is funded by grants and public donations, and coordinated by the not-for-profit campaign group The Food Commission. To support the campaign, please use the button below to make a secure donation. Thank you.

Seven suspect additives card

If you would like a handy Action on Additives plastic card, listing the seven suspect additives, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the Action on Additives campaign, 94 White Lion Street, London N1 9PF. We can supply up to three free cards to any one address, so you can share the cards with your friends.

If you would like to purchase a larger number of the cards, please email Anna at anna@actiononadditives.com for details of cost.

You can also print a sheet of ten cards by clicking on the link below.
Print more cards

Do you work in the hospitality sector?

The Action on Additives campaign welcomes information from people working in restaurants, hotels or contract catering. If you can tell us more about the use of any of these additives in the hospitality sector, where such additives usually go unlabelled, please click here.