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

Success for Action on Additives campaign: artificial food colourings to be removed from food and drink products

10th April 2008

The Action on Additives campaign welcomes the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) decision to advise ministers to call for a mandatory EU ban on six artificial food colourings. This advice will be coupled with a voluntary ban in the UK by the end of 2009. Advice to parents will be re-drafted in line with this policy decision.

The Action on Additives campaign website, www.actiononadditives.com provided evidence to the FSA Board on intake of colours amongst UK children. The website lists over 1,000 products that contain one or more of the additives shown to increase hyperactivity in children. Campaign co-ordinator Anna Glayzer said, “We are delighted that the FSA has put its duty to the consumer first in their decision to recommend an EU ban. We will be keeping a close eye on industry to see what effect the voluntary ban has. We will also continue to lobby the European Commission on this issue.”

The Action on Additives Campaign co-authored a joint statement, issued yesterday, calling for the European Commission to ban six colourings. See http://www.actiononadditives.com/Media/statement_EU_April08/ The statement was signed by over forty consumer organisations from twelve member states. Glayzer said, “The onus is now on the European Commission to follow the example of the FSA and act for benefit of the consumer. The colours are totally unnecessary and a risk to children’s health. There is no public benefit whatsoever in allowing their continued use.”

Further information:

Typical children’s products which contain the additives (information taken from www.actiononadditives.com):

Cadbury Creme Egg is coloured with Sunset Yellow (E110),

Swizzels Matlow Bumper Bag of sweets contains Quinoline yellow (E104), Sunset yellow (E110), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124), Allura red (E129)

Hartley's Jellies are typically coloured with artificial colourings, such as Carmoisine (E122), Sunset yellow (E110) and Quinoline yellow (E104).

Fanta Fruit Twist, made by Coca Cola, contains Quinoline yellow (E104), Carmoisine (E122), and Ponceau 4R (E124).

Irn Bru contains Sunset yellow (E110) and Ponceau 4R (E124).

M&Ms contain Quinoline yellow (E104) and Galaxy Minstrels contain Quinoline yellow (E104), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124). Both are made by Mars/Masterfoods.

Woolworths Mini Cookies are coloured with Quinoline yellow (E104), Sunset yellow (E110), Carmoisine (E122) and Allura red (E129).

Haribo Micro Mix contains Quinoline yellow (E104), Sunset yellow (E110), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124) and Allura red (E129). In Denmark, most Haribo products are free of the colourings, but until now they have continued to use them in the UK.

For a full list of products see www.actiononadditives.com

The six food colourings which, along with the 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

For further information contact Anna Glayzer 020 7837 2250, email: anna@actiononadditives.com website, www.actiononadditives.com

Disclaimer: The products listed on the Action on Additives website have been purchased over a period of ten months. Whilst every effort is made to keep this website up-to-date, some products are being reformulated as manufacturers remove the suspect food additives. Use this website as a guide to products which have contained the suspect additives, but always check the ingredients lists on the products themselves to check their current ingredients. Please use the 'add comment' button to inform us of any changes you find.

The Action on Additives campaign is coordinated by The Food Commission, an independent food watchdog, and was set up in direct response to September 2007 research which showed a link between consumption of food colourings and hyperactive behaviour in some children. See www.actiononadditives.com.

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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.

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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.