Fedup Newsletters


Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network

June - July 2002

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

The FAILSAFE Newsletter 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.


* Why school tuckshops should ban artificial colours

* Worst additive Competition ** Win a book!!

* WHO report on kids and chemicals

* Chlorpyrifos ban in US

* Use of 635 spreads

* Lactobacillus GG does it again

* Research Carrageenan (vegetable gum 407)

* In brief: Early puberty, Ritalin, Autism, Autistic symptoms and salicylates - reader story

* Readers' stories: The next generation , Who protects the parents? , Reaction to food colours (1), Reaction to food colours (2), My child and gluten, Bakers yeast is failsafe, Slow miracles, Our town

* Around the groups:, getting in touch, talks, brochures

* Cooks Corner: No-cook failsafe 2-minute meal, Cook your own kidney beans, Candied ricecakes, Sticky rolls (using dough from a bread maker)

Hi everyone

Welcome to all the new list members. There is increasing recognition of the adverse effects of foods and it was lovely to meet so many failsafers among the hundreds who attended my recent talks in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane. Special thanks to those who travelled for long distances, including the group from Warragul, a reader from Shepparton, and a flight attendant who flew specially from Sydney to Brisbane. See reader's report "Our Town" for the effects of a failsafe talk in a small community. As the word spreads that failsafe really works it is good to see more doctors, lawyers, media presenters and other opinion leaders amongst our membership.

This month I am pleased to announce our new web address. It is much easier to remember - www.fedup.com.au. To celebrate, we are having a Worst Additive competition, see below. Don't worry, the old web address will be available indefinitely too.

- cheers, Sue Dengate (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Why school tuckshops should ban artificial colours

The effects of food additives on children's behaviour need to be re-evaluated following last year's warning from thirteen leading medical journals that industry-funded studies tend to be biased. Although industry denies the food additive-behaviour link, when non-industry-funded scientists from the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reviewed 23 diet and behaviour studies, they found evidence in 17 of them that some children's behaviour significantly worsened after they consumed artificial colours or certain foods.

CSPI recommendations included:

* Schools, camps, paediatric hospitals and clinics should minimise the use of food additives that may contribute to behavioural disorders.

* Government, private agencies and health practitioners concerned about children with ADHD and other behavioural problems should acknowledge the potential for diet to affect behaviour and should advise parents to consider modifying their child's diet as a first means of treatment.

* Parents should consider dietary changes - along with behaviour management - as the first course of treatment for children with behavioural problems before turning to stimulant drugs.

* The FDA [in Australia, ANZFA] should consider banning any dyes in food widely consumed by children and other foods that affect behaviour.

* Fast food chains and manufacturers of foods, drugs, and vitamin supplements popular with children should minimize the use of dyes and other unnecessary additives in products widely consumed by children, including cupcakes, candies, sugary breakfast cereals, vitamin pills, drugs, and toothpaste. The use of such dyes, the report notes, has increased four-fold in the past four decades.

Further reading: Relman, A. "Trust me, I'm a scientist". New Scientist 15/9/01 p46-47, "Lies, damn lies and statistics", Editorial, New Scientist, 15/9/01; Jacobson MF and Schardt D, "Diet, ADHD, and behaviour: a quarter-century review". Center for Science in the Public Interest, l999. www.cspinet.org .

** Worst additive Competition ** Win a book!!

In your opinion, which is the worst food additive and why? No word limit. Two best entries win a choice of a copy of Fed Up or Different Kids. Winning stories will be published. Competition closes July 31. Send your answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "Competition" in the subject line.

WHO report on kids and chemicals

Children are more vulnerable to chemicals than adults, experts say.

The warning comes from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Environment Agency (EEA). The two organisations have published a report, Children's Health and Environment: A Review Of Evidence, presented in Brussels on April 15.

Children have greater exposure to chemicals because they breathe, drink and eat more than adults relative to their body weight, and so absorb relatively more toxins. The hand-to-mouth behaviour of very young children is an added risk.

"Children are at risk of exposure to more than 15,000 synthetic chemicals, almost all developed in the last 50 years, " said Domingo Jimenez-Beltran, the EEA's executive director. He said the spread of disorders possibly linked with environmental factors, including neurodevelopmental problems, was reaching "unacceptably high levels in many cases". More at: www.euro.who.int

Chlorpyrifos ban in US

The most commonly used pesticide, chlorpyrifos has been banned for domestic use in the US after residues of this product were found in the urine of more than 90 per cent of US children in numerous studies. (Environ Health Perspect 2001 109(6):583-90.) The partial ban by the Environmental Protection Agency extends to most chlorpyrifos-based over-the-counter household insect sprays and lawn and garden products, and some agricultural uses. Chlorpyrifos is still available in Australia in similar products including cockroach baits.

Reader story: "I used chlorpyrifos in a product called Chemspray when I was pregnant with my daughter (three weeks before she was born eight weeks prematurely). We were moving and our house was to be tenanted, we had evidence of previous termite activity and I was concerned the house was going to get eaten. I remember covering myself while using it and even showering after. The bottle did not indicate how poisonous it is. I had no idea. Our environmental doctor says this is why my daughter is the way she is. She was diagnosed at 11 months with severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and severe food intolerance. We have gone as chemical free as possible, we no longer take her shopping as the reactions are too severe and her outings are pretty limited." - by email

Use of 635 spreads

This month there have been more reports of reactions to flavour enhancer 635, including in commercial rotisseried chicken. Remember that reactions can occur up to 30 hours or more later. A woman ate rotisseried chicken on Friday evening, started itching in bed on Saturday night and got up on Sunday morning to find she was covered in an unbearable itchy rash. Of course she blamed the food last eaten (Saturday night's meal) and phoned to enquire about preservative in wine. It was only when we went back through everything eaten in the last two days that we found the culprit.

A reader reports: "I'm 56 and another victim of 635"

Congratulations on an excellent website, I wish I'd found it a few months ago when I was scratching myself until I was bleeding from the worst rash I have ever had. Just in case some people think that food additives only affect children, I'm 56 and another victim of 635.

I believe that packet soup was what triggered the rash, then things like BBQ chicken from Woolies, pizza and even KFC, although I can't prove that it contains 635 (but I bet it does) … The most amazing thing is that neither my allergist nor my dermatologist had heard of 635. I could have saved the $1000 that I spent at the specialists. My allergy specialist says I can now safely eat those foods again because the rash has gone but I won't be charging into a 635 diet to see if it comes back. Nine months of hell was long enough for me. - by email

Lactobacillus GG does it again

In Failsafe #31 I reported how my son had recovered from his gluten intolerance with a course of Vaalia yoghurt. Vaalia is the only Australian source of Lactobacillus GG, which is considered to be by far the most effective probiotic ever isolated. If you cannot tolerate dairy products, there is an alternative. A Darwin mother and her six year old daughter, both failsafe, dairy intolerant and formerly very sensitive to gluten, have recovered their gluten tolerance (but not dairy tolerance) by using dairy-free Lactobacillus GG capsules from the US. Here is her report: "I ordered the LGG capsules through the vitallife website (see below) and paid for it on my visa. It was VERY expensive but well worth it. The web site was very easy to follow and the parcel arrived in less than 2 weeks. I just had to fax some info to customs in Sydney about it and state that it was for personal use. It cost me almost $300 Australian for 3 boxes of 30 capsules (including post) which is about $3.30 per capsule but as I said - well worth it. Our paediatrician was very supportive and very keen to hear how we got on."




Carrageenan (vegetable gum 407)

Although carrageenan is failsafe - it does not cause behaviour problems, headaches or skin rashes - there is evidence that it is a definite risk for gastro-intestinal cancer, according to a review of 45 studies. It is also a possible risk for breast cancer. Derived from seaweed, carrageenan is widely used as a thickener in ice cream, yoghurt, cheese and processed puddings, as well as a fat substitute in processed meats and can be found in condensed milk and some soy products as well as beer and salad dressings. Dr Joanne Tobacman, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Iowa who conducted the review, estimates that the average person on a western diet consumes 10mg of degraded carrageenan each day. "If people want to avoid it, they should look at labels and eat basic food products and less processed food," she said. Gums with similar thickening properties can be used instead of carrageenan, including locust bean, guar and xanthan. Environ Health Perspectives 2001 109(10):983-94

In brief

Early puberty

Some hair products contain small amounts of hormones that could cause premature sexual development in girls. The products are sold as shampoos or treatments to deep-condition dry, brittle hair. The labels usually state that they contain placenta, hormones or "estrogen". New Scientist, 6/4/02, page 6.


When Matthew Smith died at age 14, the coroner blamed his death on the Ritalin Matthew had taken for 7 years. His father writes:" If we weren't pressured by the school system, Matt would still be here with us today. I cannot go back and change things for us at this point. However, I hope to God my story and information will reach the hearts and minds, of many families, so they can make an educated decision …" . More at www.ritalindeath.com


The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has reported that during the first 92 days of this year (January 3, 2002 – April 4, 2002) there were 812 new cases of level one autism added to California's developmental services, a system that has been diagnosing and serving persons with autism since 1971. The 812 new cases identified during the first quarter of 2002 is an all time record for numbers of autism cases reported in a quarter. The California system currently serves 17,614 cases of autism. Level one autism has become the number one disability in California's developmental services system. The rapidly increasing autism epidemic shows no signs of abating, escalating from an average of 5 new children a day just a few years ago to the current rate of nine new children a day, seven days a week. - American Society for Autism

Autistic symptoms and salicylates - reader story

My son aged 21 months has been quite ill since his birth with many of the symptoms you mentioned: colic type pains, vomiting (stopped at around 19 months when taken off a soy formula and put onto rice milk), diarrhea, constipation, difficult to settle and poor sleep patterns. Since his vaccination at 13 months old he has been extremely irritable - hyperactive one minute, passive the next, and throws many tantrums. Also his co-ordination is poor - he only started walking at around 18.5 months, loss of speech - he had about six words at 12 months which he lost at around 13 months- and more recently he has been having strange hand movements like spasms, less eye contact and what I would describe as some autistic type traits. Since purchasing your books (Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook) I have also read about salicylates in fruit and veg being of concern, so we immediately reduced his fruit intake and we have noticed a big difference. His attention span is longer, he now wants to talk again, his co-ordination and eye contact are a little better and spasms have reduced. - by email

Diet not working as well as you'd hoped?

One tiny mistake can make a huge difference. For fine-tuning, see the list on the website Checklist of common mistakes. With new guidelines for extra sensitive salicylate responders, thanks to Robin from the email discussion group.

Readers tell us this list is very useful.

Readers' stories

Thank you to readers who tell their often heart wrenching stories and give permission to display them on the website. Nearly everyone says the same as Dani Hewton from WA, "I would love you to include my story - anything to prevent others going through such hell for such a long time."

The next generation

"We are the generation with so many chemicals running though our bloodstream that we have become human guinea pigs for the manufacturing giants of the world. Make no mistake, this is a war where the consumers must stand up for their rights against the corporations." - Emma Farnell, aged 16

Who protects the parents?

The link between child abuse and food intolerance is starting to gain gaining recognition. Parents of abusive children need support. How much punishment can a parent take? See Susan Bull's dramatic story, extracted below, in full on the website.

"Our paediatrician always listened to me but I felt that I was perceived as some kind of neurotic woman who was speaking a strange language that no one else could understand. I phoned her one day in tears after one of these episodes and said that I was afraid that I might hurt him if things didn’t improve. She told me she could arrange for respite care if I needed it. After that phone call, at every visit, Nicholas was asked to take off all his clothes with the exception of his underpants. He was checked thoroughly from top to toe. I know that these children are considered "at risk of abuse" and I realise how close I have come to hurting this child on a number of occasions, but I have to say that this was one of the most humiliating experiences I’ve ever had to deal with.

"At this point, I started asking questions like "who protects the parents?" It seemed that it was okay for Nicholas to kick, punch and head butt me, but it was not okay if I lost my temper one day and hurt him.

"I remember sending him to time out on one occasion and I was bending down holding one leg to remove his shoes. He swung around with the other leg and kicked my nose. On another occasion he threatened to break my glasses. Another time, he told me he was going to break my arm and he kicked me so hard in the forearm that I actually thought he did. I went to our local GP who said that it wasn’t broken but that the deep muscle tissue was badly bruised.

"There are other instances where he has kicked and bruised my legs, and these have been recorded on my medical documents. These dramatic violent outbursts were always followed by periods of remorse where Nicholas would come to me crying and feeling bad about whatever it was that he had done. I always took full advantage of these times and we would sit down on the couch and have a cuddle and talk about it. These times actually reinforced to him, that we did still love him very much, and they reinforced to us that he truly didn’t want to be the way he was." From Nicholas: our six year journey by Susan Bull, on the website.

Reaction to food colours (1)

My son is nearly 4 years old and we have been doing the elimination diet for almost a year. Often he will go somewhere as an angel and be exposed something with colours in it. About 24 hours later he becomes argumentative, vague, aggressive, violent, restless, with no concentration, and will often have to be restrained in his room for the sanity and safety of others.

About 5-7 days after he has ingested colour, he becomes extremely lethargic, and gets a fever. This lasts for about 4-6 hours, and is quite scary. (I took him to the doctor once when this happened and they diagnosed him with flu. Got him home and had a cool bath, he threw up and was playing and eating in 10 minutes). Once this has occurred, he loses the aggressive and violent stage and continues with the restless, irritable behavior for another 1-2 weeks. Other than keeping him away from society, I don't know what else I can do. It must not be much fun for him either, as he complains that he feels sick "all over" throughout this time.

Examples of colour exposure include: *Fruit loops used at kindy for threading *neighbour giving him red jelly (she said that it was OK because it was the low-cal kind) *blue food colouring added to water troughs at kindy to make water play fun *coloured, uncooked plain rice used to make collages at kindy *chocolate milk (Breaka) given, because he tolerates amines (Didn't check the label for ingredients.)

Does anyone else have experience of reactions like this? - Feedback from readers is welcome!

Reaction to food colours (2)

Recently my daughter was given a Fizz Bomb Cup made by Home Ice-cream by my sister as a treat for her. Unfortunately it became a bad treat. She immediately became uncontrollable and very "high" hitting me and shouting etc. That night she slept in our bed as this was the only way we could get her sleep.

The next day was all sulkiness and tears as nothing I did would be okay even grandma was on the outer. She slept in her bed for the night but fell out several times and walked the house as well.

Saturday night she had a headache and was in tears for most of the night and only wanted me to cuddle her. She has finally calmed down after four very long days and nights!

We were stunned to find out exactly how many colours are in a Fizz Bomb Cup [Vanilla Flavoured Ice Cream with Blue Heaven Syrup and Fizz Powder - eight doses of artificial colours, includes three doses of 133 (Brilliant Blue, Blue #1 in the US)].

We have been following the diet closely but this is the first time she has had a bad reaction like this to any thing apart from pineapples. She will definitely not be having any more food colours after this reaction. - Moya Connell

My child and gluten

Three years ago I stood in the bookshop with 'Fed Up' in my hand debating whether to part with $20. Your book has repaid itself a thousandfold. I send my heartfelt thanks. My youngest son's problems are a long saga. Eliminating additives and low amines as suggested by your book provided the answer for some time.

Then at nearly nine, out of the blue, he had some sort of breakdown. The teacher suggested Asperger's but he soon became worse - quite autistic, wild and extremely violent. He was off school for three months. The doctors I approached turned their backs on me. I couldn't believe it. I can only think they thought that as he already had a disability (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) it was part of the condition and didn't realise how extreme his behaviour was. I insisted that he be screened for a variety of degenerative diseases, but they came back negative.

Finally realising that no one else "gave a stuff", I turned back to your book. If it was diet before, then maybe, it's diet again, I thought. I tried eliminating salicylates, he got worse; I tried wheat, no change; I tried dairy no change. Eventually I tried eliminating both dairy and wheat and he improved.

He spent two years on a wheat free, dairy free, no additive, careful about amine diet and he could manage if he had a small dose of Ritalin 5mg breakfast, 5mg at lunch as well. Our lives were back on track, he was progressing at school, having a go at different sports, and excelling in his favourite sport. But it was all because of the Ritalin - and diet. Without the medication it was still like living with a drunk - he could be fun sometimes, but more often silly and tiresome, and aggressive too often. I always felt that the child that he had been was still there deep down, intact and undamaged, although why I believed it, I don't know. When he turned 11, I contemplated the thought that maybe he did have irreversible minor brain damage, but I couldn't accept the notion. Then a few months later, by chance ("Mum, I don't want Rye bread this morning, I want Rice cereal") we realised it was the GLUTEN.

I never suspected it, because I'd known a baby who nearly died of coeliac disease and the symptoms were quite different from my son's. I followed up your footnote in Fed Up [p344] and read Professor Duggan's article in Aust. Med. Journal. The blood test was positive and the doctor diagnosed Coeliac disease. My son has been doing well on his diet for a month now.

As you can see I am much indebted to you. It was only fine reading of your book that has helped me tease out my son's difficulties. I shudder to think where he'd be now (at a special school, I'm sure) if it hadn't been for your persistence in acquiring all this knowledge and for passing it on. - Anne, by email

Bakers yeast is failsafe

Three years ago, my son had such terrible candida you could smell the yeast on his breath and his skin. We learned to avoid yeast, almost as a reflex. It's a habit that's hard to unlearn, but unlearn it we must, because yeast free breads are dangerous if you react to amines. My son reacts to amines. I knew anything fermented was bad, and that foods cooked for long times are bad. But I didn't know that the "alternative breads" fit this category. The label says: wheat, water, salt. It doesn't say how long the bread is baked (slow-rising), it doesn't say there are amines, and the bread doesn't smell or taste different. It's just bread, and yet it's not! Alternative breads, made without yeast, are invariably long-rising, via a fermentation process. They are high in amines and should be avoided. I always thought wheat was bad, precisely because of these alternative breads.

And now, probably because he is failsafe, yeast doesn't bother my son at all. No sign of candida. So we are back on yeast. My son is happy to be back on wheat and dairy again, as you might imagine. There's even a commercial pizza he can have, Hungry Howies (may not be available in Australia), original crust, cheese, ground beef. The cheese is pure 100% mozzarella, and he can have that once in a while. . - Karl from the discussion group

Slow miracles

A $225 per hour child psychiatrist that I saw once suggested I give a sleeping sedative as well as more Ritalin. When I mentioned diet he said there was nothing conclusive within science!! He rang me almost exactly a year to the day of that appointment "to see how we were getting along?" Well, I told him again about diet control and elimination of certain foods and he said that an English study had just been done confirming a link ! - miracles do happen - but slowly." - by email

Our town

Thank you for coming to our town to spread the word. There has been some very positive feedback, and a number of families are currently on elimination diets. One Mum is so excited. She, her family and the teacher noticed definite behavioural changes in her 6 yo son after just one week … One of our local bakeries is very happily baking failsafe bread. He has a son who had some intolerances to some foods, so he is very supportive and obliging … A parent on the school tuckshop committee (they currently sell chips, lollies and softdrinks) has done a survey where a majority of the replies supported some changes to a 'healthier' tuckshop. So they plan to slowly remove and replace the most offending foods … Also we have a butcher who is very happily making failsafe sausages for us … We seem to be having some great things happening in our town now, and it is to you we send our thanks. - parent from a small town which recently hosted a failsafe talk

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

Product updates

***Warning*** Home Icecream dairyfree product NO MOO lists the ingredient "vegetable shortening". The company tells us the vegetable shortening is supplied by Meadowlea. It contains mostly palm oil with some canola and sunflower oil and antioxidant propyl gallate (310) - not declared under the 10% labelling loophole and NOT FAILSAFE. (thanks to Sue Black)

Failsafe butcher: Perth, WA (Fremantle area) preservative-free, gluten-free and hormone-free products (like eggs), and will make sausages to order. They do also deliveries outside metro area, if the order is big enough: Paul & Chris, Love me tender Butchery, 61 Carrington Street, Palmyra, ph: 9339 1091, mobile: 0416 075 364

Dairy free lactobacillus GG

See story in Failsafe #31 for the benefits of Lactobacillus GG. If you have a problem with diary foods, you can buy dairy free capsules from the US, expensive but effective according to one reader, story above

Your questions:

Check out the Questions and Answers section in the website with detailed answers to your questions:

Q. Are there any failsafe moisturisers?

A. Look for products without perfume. Sorbolene is the product best tolerated by very sensitive people. See also the Q.V. range by Ego Pharmaceuticals, and the Dermaveen range by Dermatech.

Q. Isn't canola oil dangerous?

A. This is an urban legend running wild on the internet. See http://www.urbanlegends.com/ulz/canola.html

Q. What is your personal opinion of medication for ADHD?

A. I agree with the CSPI report (see www.cspinet.org): parents should be warned of the adverse effects of medication, offered the option of diet, and use medication as a last resort rather than the first and often only option.

Q. I've been doing the failsafe diet with my son for two weeks. Already he seems to be less angry and has more self control. Two days ago he had king prawns for tea and today he seems more uptight again. What is it in prawns that that causes this reaction?

A. Prawns - and most seafood - are high in amines. The only exceptions are very fresh white fleshed fish (not tuna or salmon) and white fleshed seafood, eg fresh crab, lobster, calamari, scallops and oysters. Caviar is very high in amines.

Q. Is sake failsafe?

A. Sake is low in salicylates but contains amines.

Q. What's the colour that makes some egg yolks much darker than others? My son seems to react to them.

A. I am waiting for a reply from the Australian egg industry. In Britain, chicken feed often contains canthaxanthin (E161g), citranaxanthin (E161i) and beta apo81 carotenal (E160). See for yourself what it does to the eggs - http://www.iceland.co.uk . Also see two interesting articles about colours fed to chickens, fish (farmed salmon) and animals to enhance the colour their eggs or flesh, see http://news.bbc.co.uk and search for canthaxanthin.

Q. My son refuses to have any vegetables.

A. Have you tried vegetable soup? I started with just potato, cabbage and salt blended well so you couldn't tell what was in it, no lumps. My kids only had to lick the tiniest amount off one teaspoon (just touch it with their tongue) the first night to get a reward - a small toy. The next night they had to have more (lick a small amount off the teaspoon) to get another small toy. The next night it was twice as much and so on. By the end of two weeks they would eat a mug of vegetable soup. Then we cut out the rewards and established the most important rule of the house - no dinner until soup is eaten. Since then they have eaten vegetable soup nearly every night of their lives. My 19 yo daughter has been living away from home for a year now. She cooks failsafe vegetable soup once a week, freezes it in one serve portions and has a cup every night. My 16 yo eats a huge serving of soup every day. I can put any failsafe vegetable in the soup including Brussels sprouts, lentils and dried beans and he will eat it without complaint.

Q. Which book of yours should I buy?

A. My books are all different and they are all worth reading. Failsafers tell me that The Failsafe Cookbook is the best one to start on because it is so clear and easy to follow.

Q. We live in SE Asia and the only golden syrup we can get is Tate and Lyle's from the UK. Is that failsafe?

A. I haven't seen Tate and Lyle golden syrup for years, but Rebecca used to react to it. It must contain salicylates. It tastes better than CSR, and the rule is "if you like it, you can't have it". Stick with CSR golden syrup or see the FS Cookbook page 161, for mock maple syrup. You can use that instead but omit the vanilla if your child hasn't turned into an angel yet.

Q. We'd like to break the diet occasionally but not too much. Can you recommend some not-too-bad treats?

A. Everyone is different. It depends what affects you the worst. You have to work it out for yourself. We always avoid additives. Dairy foods are the least of my problems but amines (and salicylates) are bad so a treat for me is a chocolate covered icecream like an eskimo pie. I can manage the occasional slice of rockmelon or watermelon but a whole serve of commercial fruit salad isn't worth the consequences. My daughter can manage some dairy foods, has to be even more careful of salicylates but can manage amines. She sticks to her diet strictly for weeks before important occasions (like exams and performances) then will have a treat like a Sara Lee chocolate pudding, caramel top n fill on icecream, or Paul's custard (with 169a). She also likes to have a few Dick Smith's shortbread cream biscuits every so often, but she doesn't eat sweets like Werther's original butter candy, Fantales or Pascall's Chocolate Eclairs because they set up a craving. However, my son and I can eat these as occasional treats.

Q. Is white chocolate failsafe?

A. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa product, so it won't contain amines to the same extent as brown chocolate. RPA cautiously restrict the amount allowed as they're not sure and the milk itself (because it's 'aged') will probably contain amines. "Flavours" in both white and brown chocolate can be a problem.

Around the groups: getting in touch

Can you help?

I'd like to hear from anyone living in the Adelaide area who reacts to bread preservative (282). This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Support contacts

There are now over 40 support contacts in Australia, New Zealand and overseas - see website.


Sue Dengate will be giving talks as follows:

June 17, Darwin failsafe playgroup, Sue Dengate will be there, you are welcome to come and ask questions, phone Cathy 8927 9077.

July 25 NAPCAN online chat with Sue Dengate, more details TBA - see talks on website


Printable trifold brochures on food intolerance and oppositional defiance are now available.

Collect from the Yahoo website if you are a member (which is free). Access http://groups.yahoo.com/group/failsafe_newsletter then click on "File" on the left. Select blueleafletfinal.pdf or oddleaflet.pdf and doubleclick. Your Acrobat Reader should open it in a form you can save and/or print.

Or, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. requesting the brochure and we'll email you a pdf file that you can print in colour or black and white and which you are free to copy.

Or, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for mailed copies of our new glossy paper, two colour versions. We'll send you one of each for free (and you are welcome to photocopy them), or $5.00 for 15 or $10 for 35 including postage. This is only to cover costs. Cheques payable to Darwin ADD Support Group.

We loved this comment from one satisfied failsafer:

"Ah, the answer to my prayers. I had no idea the brochure even existed, but thanks so much for directing me to it. I am not very Internet savvy, however I found it easy enough. Regarding possible opposition to failsafing within the child care setting ... now all I have to do is hand over a copy of this and let them ask questions! Thanks again. I highly recommend everyone print this out if you don't already have a copy, it sure cuts out the "but WHY can't your kid have (insert food here)?" questions. Great for grandparents too."

Cooks' corner

No-cook failsafe 2-minute meal

This is a nutritious meal you can prepare in a motel room with no cooking facilities, or when you don't feel like cooking.

1 cup cous-cous (contains gluten)

1 cup boiling water

2 tsp butter (optional)

1 tin kidney beans, drained

1 tin green beans or peas and corn, (moderate)

4 tbsp natural Vaalia yoghurt (contains dairy)

Measure cous-cous into a bowl. Pour over boiling water, add butter for flavour if desired, and stir through with a fork. Let stand for two minutes. Serve topped with kidney beans, other vegetables and yoghurt. Serves two. Variations: use frozen failsafe mince or lamb stew topping, frozen veg.

Cook your own kidney beans

Did you know? Kidney beans are the least windy of any bean.

1 cup dried kidney beans

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp light brown sugar

Rinse beans and discard any broken bits. Cover well with water and soak in fridge at least overnight and up to three days. The longer the soaking time, the shorter the cooking time. Drain, cover well with fresh water, add salt and sugar, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender - up to one hour. Leftovers freeze well.

Candied ricecakes

1-2 pkt of thick ricecakes crushed = approximately 4 cups, but lesser amount will do (the more evenly they are crushed up the more like popcorn they will look)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Put sugar and water in saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil; boil uncovered, until small amount of toffee "cracks" when tested in cold water. Remove from heat. Add rice cakes. Stir constantly until toffee crystallises and coats ricecakes. Turn onto a large plate to cool. Store in an air tight container as soon as cool as mixture will go stale quickly. - Caroline Garner

Sticky rolls (using dough from a bread maker)

1 quantity of sweet dough made in a bread maker

3 tbsp butter

4 tbsp brown sugar

Vanilla glaze

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)

2 teaspoons milk

Roll dough out to a 40cm X 38cm square. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Brush half over dough. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons brown sugar over rolled out dough. Drizzle remaining melted butter over sugar mixture. Roll up widthwise and cut into 2 cm thick slices. Place on a greased baking tray, 5 cm apart. Cover with lightly greased plastic food wrap and stand in a warm area for 20 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Combine all ingredients for vanilla glaze until thin enough and drizzle over rolls. - Linda Gaebel

The FAILSAFE Discussion Groups : On-going support is the key to success with FAILSAFE eating. Access the wealth of experience and information in this free email group and share recipes and stories with people from around the world, particularly from Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia and USA. You will receive a daily digest of all emails, or choose individual emails if you want, and can respond to individuals or the group by email or over the web. There is also an on-line chat facility.

We recommend that you have the diet booklets from the hospital or have read one of the following books: Fed Up, the Failsafe Cookbook, or Friendly Food before joining the group.

Groups are closed when they have 100 members to maintain a community of support. There are now three groups: If you are just starting out, we suggest that you join the new FAILSAFE2 Discussion Group by sending an email with subscribe in the subject line to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Frontpage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/failsafe2). Some experienced failsafers are there to help.

The FAILSAFE BASIC Discussion Group is currently closed. Frontpage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/failsafebasic

The third group is now limited to existing members or those with extra needs such as severe food intolerance or gluten intolerance (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Frontpage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/failsafe).

The FAILSAFE Newsletter: You can have this Newsletter emailed to you for free about every two months, and also see it on this website. Subscribe: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Frontpage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/failsafe_newsletter

© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 85 Parap NT 0804, Australia. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thanks to Duncan Cross, Sue Black, Erica Waite, Stephanie Stephens, Rex Warren (ACTA) and everyone who contributed stories and recipes. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate Random House, and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, Murdoch Books.