Fedup Newsletters




Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network of Australia

June 1999


FAILSAFE (formerly the Dietpage) supports families using the low-chemical elimination diet recommended by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital - free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers - for health, behaviour and learning problems.

Failsafe is now available free by email. Just send your email address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • eczema and additives
  • "we eat healthy food"
  • behaviour rating scale
  • Belgian food scandal
  • Questions: - CC's Nacho cheese
  • Product warning (?) Sanitarium So Good
  • Cooks Corner: - sausages in foil, jaffle pies, muesli bars

Readers' comments



"Most of the written advice I have seen from dermatologists and other health professionals with regard to eczema discourages people from trying diet.

I realise that it is not always easy to find out exactly which foods cause problems, but our experience has been that the general advice given on skincare, plus the steroid creams prescribed, while useful for stopping the eczema getting completely out of hand do not heal the sores completely or stop them occurring. We are still left with problems, sometimes quite serious.

Sticking to an appropriate diet (in my son's case it is probably only artificial colours and foods high in MSG which cause problems) results in completely healthy skin, with no need for special creams or excessive concern about his skin.

How much money has our family has saved ourselves and the government by using this diet? If we weren't using it, we would have made many extra visits to doctors in the past four years, and had many prescriptions for steroid creams.

We cannot be the only family who is affected in this way and the thought of the personal and financial cost of undiagnosed food intolerance in our additive-adulterated food supply to many families as well as the government is staggering.

It is extremely short-sighted to allow useless additives such as colours and in many cases preservatives, into our food, and then have to spend millions of dollars on drugs to help counter their effects. This is not even taking into consideration the other effects (time, efficiency, etc) to the nation of having people unnecessarily unwell." - many thanks to a reader from Melbourne for this comment, see also Your Questions, below.


MORE READERS' DETAILS AND READERS STORIES at http://fedup.com.au/success-stories/current-stories


'We eat healthy food'


Ten year old Robert spends more than 15 hours a week on his sport and represents his state. But for years he was in constant trouble at school. At home his moods destroyed family harmony. Before starting an elimination diet he scored 21 on the Conners scale (below). There was no family history of food allergy or intolerance.

'We eat healthy foods,' said Robert's mother, meaning that the family rarely bought takeaways or soft drinks. But Robert was having about 20 doses of additives a day in foods like instant noodles, ham, bread, margarine, sausages, biscuits such as Chicken Crimpy and Pizza Shapes, flavoured chips, cordial and icecream.

After eight days of avoiding additives, Robert scored a 2 on the Conner's scale. His mother explained how his black moods have gone. 'He used to wake up cranky and stay cranky all day. It affected everyone.' Now he's calm, happy and helpful. At a recent birthday party, he was 'the best kid there. He used to be just crazy after events like that'.

Homework used to be a really effort. Now he does it without any fuss. Robert says 'I feel so much calmer, I can sit still and concentrate now.' He also concentrates better on his sport. His mother admits 'I didn't want to do this - I thought it was all too hard, but now I'm glad I made the effort. I want him to know what a nice kid he is.'


The Conners Parent-Teacher Behaviour Scale


This test is commonly used to monitor before-and-after behaviour of children taking medication or using dietary management for behaviour problems. Give your child a score on each item, from 0 (if the behaviour is not shown at all) to 3 (if the behaviour is often present). Then add up all the points to see if your child's overall score changes. The maximum is 30. A score of 15 or more is considered a rough guide to ADHD, but most children score below that after three weeks on failsafe foods.

1. Restless or overactive

2. Excitable, impulsive

3. Disturbs other children

4. Fails to finish things he starts - short attention span

5. Constantly fidgeting

6. Inattentive, easily distracted

7. Demands must be met immediately - easily frustrated

8. Cries easily and often

9. Mood changes quickly and drastically

10. Temper outbursts, explosive and unpredictable behaviour


Belgian food scandal


In January this year Belgian farmers noticed that eggs were not hatching and chickens had neural disorders. It took four months for authorities to discover that toxic industrial oil had been dumped in a batch of recycled fat for chicken feed that contained more than 1500 times the legal limit of dioxins as well as PCBs. Meanwhile millions of European consumers may have eaten contaminated eggs, chickens and possibly pigs and cattle.

Experts estimate that people may have consumed from 40 times to 100 times the recommended daily limit of dioxins. The doses consumed were probably too low to cause cancer, but could affect neural and cognitive development, the immune system, and thyroid and steroid hormones in unborn and young children.

This mistake was only discovered because the chickens were especially sick. A New Scientist editorial concluded "We are all the beneficiaries of this century's hyperefficient food industry. But any one of us could also be its next victim."

Those of us whose children are affected by the additives that pervade our food supply would claim we have already been victims of the food industry for years.

Further reading: New Scientist, 12 June, 1999, p3-4




A reader phoned Sanitarium's hotline about possible antioxidants in So Good's sunflower oil. She was told it could contain either BHA (320, not failsafe) or vitamin E (306, failsafe). When we phoned to confirm a possible presence of BHA we were told in three phone calls 1) don't know but will find out, 2) yes, sometimes it can contain 320, and then 3) no, 320 hasn't been used for years. Which answer are we supposed to believe? Because our national food authority ANZFA protects food manufacturers rather than consumers we have this ridiculous situation where food intolerant people must rely on word-of-mouth information which may or may not be accurate. Manufacturers should be required to list EVERY ingredient on the label.

Your questions:


CC's Nacho Cheese


Q. I ate just a few CC's at a staff function. I've eaten corn chips before but not with additive 635. Within an hour I had a red rash and itch inside my right elbow. By the time I went to bed I was scratching all over the armpit and upper body. Having a shower really made it go, across my chest and up my neck on the right. The next morning at an aerobics class I had a red rash over my entire right body from the waist up to my neck, where it formed an unsightly and extremely itchy vivid red high-water mark around my neck.

Three days later I still had lumps and itches in my right armpit and up to my face. I seemed to have become hyper-sensitised to other allergens that rarely affect me, sneezing, scratching and itching. If I hadn't seen this all happen to my son I wouldn't believe that it was caused by such a small amount of an additive. And I knew that it would last a week, based on his experience.

How can ANZFA allow this to be legal? Is there anybody out there that wants to attempt a class action against ANZFA over this?


A. Despite "no preservatives" and "no added flavours" on the label (which is technically correct), CC's Nacho Cheese contain flavour enhancers 621 (MSG), 635, and colours 110, 102. Of these, 635, an additive approved two years ago, seems to cause skin rashes. Any others like this?

Cooks' corner



Failsafe sausages can contain the following ingredients: sausage casing, flour or rice flour, fresh minced meat or chicken, sea salt, parsley, garlic, chives, or shallots. If you can't get your butcher to make them for you, make them yourself (note: sausages labelled "preservative & gluten-free" probably contain herbs & spices which are not failsafe!)

• minced beef or chicken plus any or all of the following ingredients:

• sea salt, finely chopped parsley or celery, garlic, chives, shallots, a little beaten egg.

Lie a long strip of foil on your kitchen bench. Mix your ingredients into little sausage shapes and lie them on the foil end to end. Then roll them up and twist the foil between them to make links. Fry in a hot frying pan - no oil needed. You can make each sausage a different flavour to order. Serve with Birgit's pear ketchup.



•1 frozen slice of Pampas Butter Puff Pastry, cut into 4 & about 1 cup of filling

Filling suggestions:

• minced beef or chicken stir fried with shallots and thickened with cornflour see Fed Up p248

• 1 egg, beaten with chopped chives - this turns out like a quiche

• Sunday roast - slices of leftover lamb or chicken with slices of leftover roast potatoes

Cut pastry sheet into 4 pieces. Lie one piece on each of two hot jaffle pots. As soon as pastry starts to thaw, put 1/2 of filling on each sheet. Cover with top sheet. Close but do not clamp shut and time for 5 minutes. Makes two jaffles.



200 gms butter

2 eggs

200 gms oats

150 gm pear jam (p290 Fed Up or from Parap Fine Foods)

50 gm sugar

100 gm cornflour (White wings if wheatfree)

Put butter, sugar and pear jam in a large bowl, mix well with an electric mixer, add eggs and mix again. Work oats and cornflour into mix. Press into slice tin. Bake at 180 degrees C for 20-30 mins. These are wheat-free and have the chewy texture and fruity taste of commercial bars. - Birgit Setiawan




This newsletter available free by email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by mail for $10 per year from PO Box 85 Parap NT 0804. Thanks to Margie Turner, Ashley, Kerry, Gwen Higgins, Deborah Halliwell, Robyn Bailey, Susan Bull and readers for reports. © Sue Dengate (text). Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up by Sue Dengate Random House, 1998 and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, Murdoch Books, 1991.