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

Press release from The Food Commission's Action on Additives Campaign 

No Embargo - for immediate release. 19th March 2009

Cadbury and Mars break promises on colours

Food campaigners at The Food Commission have criticised Cadbury for selling products that still contain one or more of the six artificial colours that can increase hyperactivity in susceptible children, despite the manufacturer promising to remove the colours from all sweet brands by the end of 2008.  Big selling Easter brands such as Cadbury’s Creme Egg and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs are among the products that still contain the colours. Cadbury promised to remove the colours in September 2007, and repeated their promise in April 2008 following the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) decision to pursue a ‘voluntary ban’ on the six colours.  Mars also pledged in September 2007 to remove all artificial colours from several ranges including Starburst by the end of 2007.  In March 2009 however, Starburst Choozers still contain two of the colours and Mars Revels contain three of the six colours.  Action on Additives co-ordinator Anna Glayzer commented, “To make these pledges at times of high media attention and then quietly neglect to honour them is simply cynical PR opportunism. It is highly irresponsible behaviour from major multinational confectioners, especially when many other companies have reformulated.”

The Food Commission also expressed concern that the FSA's voluntary ban on the six Southampton Colours is not working effectively enough.  In February 2009, seven months after the Board meeting at which the voluntary ban was decided upon, the FSA launched lists of manufacturers, retailers and caterers that did not use any of the Southampton colours.  The lists, detailing 12 manufacturers, 6 retailers and 2 caterers, were generated by inviting companies to take part, rather than conducting a wider market survey.  Glayzer added, "At the moment, FSA efforts to enforce the voluntary ban consist of three very short lists hosted on a difficult to find area of the agency's website.  It is of little help to parents and it fails to give an accurate picture of the UK market.  A mandatory ban would be simple, effective and would take the burden off the parents."

Notes to editors
Six food colourings which, along with preservative E211 (Sodium Benzoate), were shown by the Southampton Study to increase hyperactivity in children:

  • E102 Tartrazine
  • E104 Quinoline Yellow
  • E110 Sunset Yellow
  • E122 Carmoisine
  • E124 Ponceau 4R
  • E129 Allura Red

Examples of Cadbury and Mars products that contain one or more of the colours:

Cadbury Products
Creme Egg E110
Creme Egg Twisted E110
Dairy Milk Turkish E129
Fry’s Turkish Delight E129
Maynard Sports Mixture E104, E110, E124
Mini Eggs E122, E129
Roses E110
Sugarfree Trident Soft Peppermint E129
Sugarfree Trident Splash Apple & Apricot Flavour E104

Mars Products
Revels E104, E122, E124
Starburst Choozers E104, E122

More on the Cadbury and Mars pledges:

The Action on Additives campaign continues to survey the market, with details of products containing the colours being added to the website www.actiononadditives.com as they are collected.



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