Fedup Newsletters




Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network of Australia

October 1999


FAILSAFE 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.




• Less, not more

• GM foods

• diet and crime

• chronic fatigue syndrome

• bookshelf

• chlorine

• warning: Arnott's biscuits

Cooks Corner: hints, pear crumble, rice cookies





There will be many more additives in our food supply from Oct 22nd unless you act now (see Failsafe #11). If you have ever seen the effect of food additives on your own or any child please take action. Talk to your local member, write a letter or copy the enclosed letter and send it to as many politicians as you can.


GM foods: our policy


This network does not oppose the concept of genetically modified foods. In theory, we could benefit from genetically engineered low-salicylate fruit and vegetables. However, we feel not enough is known about possible adverse effects and we oppose:

• inadequate testing of the health, behavioural and cognitive effects of foods

• incomplete or inaccurate consumer information

• lack of consumer choice

• foods engineered to withstand more herbicides or pesticides

Why should we believe the assurances of the food industry that GM foods are safe? They have already failed to test adequately food additives currently in use.


For these reason we support campaigns for:

1) a five year freeze on genetic engineering and patenting in food and farming and

2) full labelling of GM foods

Although the decision has been made to label all GM foods in Australia, activist groups still have the following fears:

* Food manufacturers would be able to say "may contain GM ingredients" labelling option if they "have taken all reasonable steps to ascertain the source of their ingredients". Enforcing this will be difficult, however, so it could become the easy way out. Most processed foods could end up being labelled as "may contain …" which would not help consumers at all. This option was tried in Europe but found not to work.

* No labelling of all GM ingredients in takeway and restaurant meals.


* GM processing aids that do not appear in the final food will not be labelled.

* It will be 12 months after gazettal before labelling is mandatory ie. probably not until the beginning of 2001.


More information:

Consumer Food Network (www.ozemail.com.au/~confoodnet)

Gene-Ethics Network (nor.com.au/environment/genethic)

GE Action group 02 95585112

National Genetic Awareness Alliance, Ph: 03 9532 5089 Fax: 03 9532 6080



UK Diet and Crime expert


There are two categories of offenders: cunning, successful criminals who plan their jobs carefully and are rarely caught, and impulsive frequent offenders who are often apprehended and clog up the system, according to former police superintendent Peter Bennett.

Visiting Darwin last month as a guest of FINA, Mr Bennett reported that criminals often suffer from poor health, arriving in prison with asthma puffers and medication for a variety of minor chronic illnesses. During government-funded Masters at Oxford University, Peter Bennett studied science, psychology and the environmental with a view to criminal prevention. This led to investigation of the link between diet, health and criminal behaviour.

In the Shipley Project (see Failsafe #3), chronic juvenile offenders improved dramatically on an elimination diet. Those who stayed on the diet never re-offended. A subsequent study showed that 75% of chronic offenders have health problems often associated with food intolerance.

Peter Bennett has noticed that criminals enjoy the improvement in their health when they change their diet, and report feeling much happier. "Let's help them to prevent themselves from re-offending by clearing up their health problems. Then we can get on with the business of catching the real criminals," he concludes.

Further reading: Bennett CPW and others, 'The Shipley Project: treating food allergy to prevent criminal behaviour in community settings', J Nutr & Environmental Med, (1998), 8, 77-83. See also BBC TV's "Little Monsters".


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Thank you to the many 'Fed Up' readers who have inquired after my daughter Rebecca's CFS. I am happy to report she is now fully recovered.


In CFS, people develop fatigue after exertion and twice as much lactic acid in their muscles as normal. Sufferers in the acute stage of this illness do not catch colds, perhaps indicating that CFS is linked to over-activation of the immune system.

After a total of two and a half years at home with CFS Rebecca is now in her third term at senior college with a full load of subjects achieving As and Bs and manages six hours a week in a classical ballet/ contemporary dance group. We attribute her recovery to:

  • Rest when necessary. This is the cornerstone of CFS treatment.
  • Avoidance of food chemicals and fumes as recommended by Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Salicylates, additives and dairy that had previously provoked irritability and restlessness caused irritability and depression during CFS. Rebecca was generally worse on Mondays. When our cleaner changed to Tuesday, the bad days changed too. After a few remaining chemical cleaners were banned, bad Tuesdays stopped. Rebecca's sensitivity to chemicals has returned to normal.
  • Supplements. Researchers at Newcastle University recommended amino acid supplements. We used Nutra-Life powdered egg white supplement because there are no added flavours.
  • Exercise A gentle gym program three times a week when possible is recommended by Dr Simon Clarke of Westmead Hospital. This helped during the recovery (rebuilding of wasted muscles) stage.
  • Sunshine, a few minutes a day and a daily cold dip in our pool when possible were helpful.
  • by Sue Dengate

More information: Fed Up by Sue Dengate; Loblay RH and Swain AR 'The role of food intolerance in chronic fatigue syndrome' in Hyde B and others, editors 'The clinical and scientifical basis of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome' The Nightingale Research Foundation, Ottawa, 1992, pp521-559; Adolescent CFS Workshop by Dr Simon Clarke at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference, Sydney 1998



Books about foods & chemicals


• Toxin by Robin Cook, MacMillan, 1998 is a medical thriller about hamburgers, and you'll never want to eat one again. Based on information in Nicols Fox, Spoiled: what is happening to our food supply and why we are increasingly at risk, Penguin 1998


• Children of a toxic harvest, Eve Hillary, Vantage, 1977. Gripping story by a former nurse about the use of agricultural chemicals.


• Anna's story by Bronwyn Donaghy, A & R, 1996. 15 year old Anna Wood died after taking one tablet of ecstasy.


Sue Dengate's FAILSAFE talks


• Wollongong Saturday Oct 23 2-4pm St Bridget's Primary School Parish Room, Gipps St, Gwynneville ph 02 4229 8595

  • Sydney Sunday Oct 24 2-4pm Dougherty Community Centre, Chatswood ph 02 94112186

• Monday Oct 25 7.30 pm Sydney Uni, Holme Building (behind footbridge theatre), McCallum & Cullen Room, ph 02 95441867


• Melbourne Tuesday Oct 26, 7.30 Lady Gowrie Child Care Centre members only

• Wednesday Oct 27, 7.30 Ross House, 4th floor, Haydyn Raismith Room, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, phone ACTIVE, 03 9650 2570

• Thursday Oct 28, 7.30 Warragul, ph 03 56232243

Readers' comments



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

Your questions:



Q. My daughter is doing marvellously well on the failsafe diet. She reacts very quickly to non- failsafe foods and also gets better within a day. But she is quite 'hypo' during and after swimming in our pool. Could it be the chlorine?


A. Yes! A saltwater pool or a diatomaceous earth filter to reduce chlorine might help. Any reader suggestions?



*** Warning Warning ***


"Arnotts have changed the ingredients on some biscuits and now the Baking Powder has an asterisk(*) on it. Elsewhere on the packet it lists the baking powder ingredients which includes sodium metabisulphite (223)! Milk Arrowroot and Scotch Finger are among the affected lines. I am really cross because my son is very sensitive to meta and now our biscuit range is reduced."


- reader comment


Cooks' corner




* My son was so excited the other night as I made fish and chips for tea, the fish was battered and then I deep fried it in canola oil. Linda (discussion group)


* Teenage tummy filler: put equal quantities of white rice and peeled, chopped potatoes in a pot and cover with double the amount of water you would use for the rice. Cook & serve with a meal. - Jane Moore


* Put a teaspoon of whisky into your jar of pear jam. It will help preserve it and also takes away the sickly sweet taste. - Jo (discussion group)


* We have been making "Mega-bites" jellies from 'Fed Up', cutting them into shapes with mini biscuit cutters and rolling them in caster sugar instead of icing sugar. Although some of my family prefer the taste when rolled in icing sugar, this method is for parties and taking to special days at school. They look more like commercially made jellies - Caroline Robertson


* Today as a treat we had lollipops from the 'Fed Up' recipes. I put them in a small cellophane bag with a fancy sticker to seal it. Very popular. Linda (discussion group)


* 'Funny Bunny' is a game with Pascall's white marshmallows. Players take turns to put a marshmallow in their mouths and say 'funny bunny'. When the player's mouth is too full to talk or fit anymore in he is out of the game and eats the mouthful. The last person wins - Kim Setiawan (13)




Pear Crumble


1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter (or equivalent)

1 can pears in syrup

Mix flour and sugar and then rub butter in with your fingertips. Sprinkle crumble mixture over pears and cook in moderate oven for around 15 minutes. Serve. - Julie (discussion group)




Rice Cookies


(failsafe, gluten free, dairy free)

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

125g margarine

up to 1/3 cup water

Mix rice flour, arrowroot, sugar and baking powder. Mix in margarine with fork, or rub in lightly, until a fine texture. Add enough water to make a soft dough. Form into balls and flatten slightly. Place on oven tray and press lightly with fork. Bake 15 mins in 200°C oven. Makes 30. Serve plain, iced, or joined in pairs (icing slightly creamier than usual by adding a little extra margarine and beating well). For a different texture, puffed rice or similar can be added before the water - Caroline Robertson




New email support group


There are now mothers from four countries in our new email discussion and support group, sharing their failsafe recipes, successes, laughs and dramas from how to obtain failsafe food and what icing sugar is called in the USA to how to change your school's policy on junk food.


To join, http://fedup.com.au/information/support/email-support-groups You will receive every message posted by group members. To contribute, press reply. How to unsubscribe details are on the foot of each message.



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, Deborah Halliwell, Melita Stevens, and reader 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.