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

Parent power shines a spotlight on suspect food additives

Monday 5th November 2007

Avoiding the food additives which can increase hyperactive behaviour in children just got easier, thanks to a new website set up by campaigners at The Food Commission.

The website, at www.actiononadditives.com, lists over 100 foods, drinks and medicines which contain the suspect food additives, and also gives parents the power to submit new products. The website is the first project to be funded by the newly launched Organix Foundation.

Ian Tokelove, a spokesperson for The Food Commission, said, “This website will use parent power to expose the products which continue to use these unwanted and unnecessary additives. Bright colourings may look nice, and they certainly entice children, but the scientific evidence indicates they can cause psychological harm to susceptible kids.”

Products already featured on the website include Fanta and Irn-Bru soft drinks, The Simpsons and Scooby-Do! Freezepops, Starburst sweets, Skittles, Maynards Wine Gums, Calpol children’s paracetamol as well as a Celebration Cake and a Giant Lucky Bag featuring children’s favourite SpongeBob Squarepants.

Parents and other users are invited to visit the website where they can view the complete list of products, submit more products, and comment on the foods, drinks and medicines already listed.

For more information see www.actiononadditives.com

Notes to editors:

For further information contact Ian Tokelove on 020 7837 2250 or ian@foodcomm.org.uk

Six artificial colouring additives and one preservative have been linked to an increase in hyperactive behaviour in susceptible children. The research was commissioned by The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and published in The Lancet in September 2007.

The additives which have been linked to an increase in hyperactive behaviour are:

  • Tartrazine - E102
  • Quinoline yellow - E104
  • Sunset yellow - E110
  • Carmoisine - E122
  • Ponceau 4R - E124
  • Allura red - E129
  • Sodium benzoate  - E211

The FSA issued the following advice to parents, “If your child shows signs of hyperactivity or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you should try to avoid giving your child the… artificial colours because this might help improve their behaviour.”

The Organix Foundation

The Action on additives website has been funded by a grant received from The Organix Foundation, an independent, grant-giving body which seeks to improve the health of children via information and activity that links food quality to child health. The Organix Foundation is funding projects that investigate:

  • The links between food additives and child health
  • The links between pesticide residues and child health
  • How better labelling can help parents make healthier choices

For more information on the Organix Foundation please contact Melissa Fife on 020 7403 2230.


The Food Commission

The Food Commission is an independent watchdog which campaigns for healthier, safer food in the UK.

Monday 5th November 2007


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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.