Fedup Newsletters

FAILSAFE special


Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network of Australia

April 2000


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.



  • "A Current Affair" (Channel 9) TV Story on ADD and diet
  • ResearchResearch: Prozac for babies
  • The Ritalin Debate (letter)


Current Affair TV story on ADD and diet


In recent weeks, popular TV show A Current Affair has featured a number of stories about ADHD and children's behaviour problems. After each program they received phone calls saying "but what about diet?" As a result, and prompted by a letter in The Australian (see below) a crew flew to Darwin recently to talk to parents using dietary management for their ADHD children.

We hear via a reader that the decision about which stories are going to air for A Current Affair is not made until the day. According to one of the producers, it is probably that the story on ADD and diet will appear early next week, being the week of Easter Monday. "Keep an eye out Good Friday as well, but it will be more than likely early next week. Thanks for your enthusiasm about this story. I am sure you will like what we have done on this topic area."


Research: Prozac and Ritalin for babies - computer glitch hinders survey

In 1994, 3000 prescriptions for Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride) were written for babies younger than 1 year in the USA (1).


A survey of prescribing rates of psychotropic medications (Ritalin, antidepressants like Prozac, and clonidine) for US preschoolers aged 2-4 found a dramatic increase between 1991 and 1994. Full analysis of prescribing rates for children younger than 2 were not presented because Medicaid prescriptions record the year of birth as a 2 digit number, so researchers were unable to distinguish between 1 year olds and 100-101 year olds. Researchers noted that Ritalin was prescribed for babies one year or younger, but full statistics are not available (2).


1. Grinfeld MJ Psychoactive medications and kids; new initiatives launched. Psychiatric times, 1998, 15;69

2. Zito JM and others. Trends in the Prescribing of Psychotropic Medications to Preschoolers, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2000, 283, 8;1025-1030




The Ritalin Debate

Thanks to US First Lady, Hillary Clinton, for highlighting increased Ritalin use in young children. There is an alternative: dietary management.

Here in Darwin, we probably have the highest proportion in the world of children who control their ADHD symptoms with diet. The reasons for our success include:

(1) the elimination diet developed by Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. This is more effective than diets in the U.S.

(2) A supportive and knowledgeable dietitian.

(3) Encouragement from a number of doctors.

(4) Practical support from schools and local food suppliers.

(5) A strong food intolerance support group, website and newsgroup.

Medical authorities tell us that only a small number of ADHD children react to foods. This is not our experience.

We have found that support from heath professionals, schools and food suppliers works. Mothers cannot manage diet alone. If doctors and the pharmaceutical industry encouraged dietary management of ADHD as much as they encourage medication, use of Ritalin-type medication would decrease.

Sue Dengate, Darwin ADD Support Group, Parap, NT

- letter from the Weekend Australian, March 25-26, p18



Email support group


There are now mothers from nine countries in our new email discussion and support group, sharing their 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, Deborah Halliwell, Marina Dalla Rosa, Sally Bunday (HACSG) and contributors © 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.