Fedup Newsletters




Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network

November - December 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.




Research Food additives do cause behaviour changes


Food Intolerance and depression

Brumby's bread preservative petition

Changes to our Food Standards Code

'Johnny can't read, sit still or stop hitting the neighbour's kid. Why?'

Fast Food Nation

Artificial colours in Sweden, Artificial colours in England

In brief: Tartrazine (102), Nitrates and Nitrites (249,252), Mental illness and medication, Suicide and medication, Panadol

Readers' stories: Andrew Driffield's quest for gold, Struggling with life, Ribonucleotides (635) strike again, Panic attacks, Diet for learning disabilities

Product updates: Sanitarium So Good soymilk, Arnott's biscuits, Pampas Spring Roll pastry failsafe. Nestle Caramel Top N Fill, The Natural Confectionery Co (Binka's) Natural Snakes check, ***Product Warning*** Lowan Whole Foods Kids Bytes Real Apple Fruit Filling with Yoghurt Ribbons.

Cooks Corner: Tortillas (Burritos), Frozen Rice Bubble Treats , Coleslaw , Tofu custard tart, Birthday or Party 'cake', Sugar Cookies , Marshmallow slice


Hello everyone

Food additives have been in the news lately thanks to an Isle of Wight study showing that up to a quarter of all toddlers may be affected by food additives, see lead story. And it is good to see recognition of the FI-depression connection in a medical journal. How much longer can health and food authorities continue to deny the effects of food additives? You can join help raise awareness by signing the Brumby's petition, see below … many thanks to you all for your support throughout this year and best wishes for the festive season. The next newsletter will be in January - when you need a failsafe reminder!

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



Food additives do cause behaviour changes


Parents have long suspected that artificial food colourings can affect their child's mood and behaviour. Now a government-funded study shows that parents were right all along.


Food additives can cause behaviour changes in up to a quarter of all toddlers, even in those who have no history of hyperactivity, according to new government research published in October in the Food Magazine. This is the first time a UK government sponsored scientific study has confirmed the link between food additives and changes in children's mood and behaviour. Researchers from the UK's Asthma and Allergy Research Centre concluded that all children could benefit from the removal of specified artificial food colourings and preservatives from their diet.

A group of 277 three-year-olds from the Isle of Wight took part in the research, which lasted one month. For two weeks, the children drank fruit juice dosed with small doses - 20 mg in total - of artificial colourings (E102 tartrazine yellow, E110 sunset yellow, E122 carmoisine or azorubine red, E124 ponceau red), and 45 mg of preservative (E211 sodium benzoate). For the other two weeks, children drank a placebo fruit juice, identical in appearance, but without the additives. Parents then filled out reports assessing behaviour such as 'interrupting', 'fiddling with objects', 'disturbing others', 'difficulty settling down to sleep', 'concentration' and 'temper tantrums'.

Analysis of the results showed that 'the impact of artificial food colourings and sodium benzoate preservative on three-year-old children's hyperactive behaviour indicate substantial effects detectable by parents'.

The researchers went further, stating that 'significant changes in children's hyperactive behaviour could be produced by the removal of colourings and additives from their diet. The findings of the present study suggest that benefit would accrue for all children from such a change and not just for those already showing hyperactive behaviour or who are at risk of allergic reactions'. The researchers estimate that if the problem additives were removed from all children's diets in the UK, the rate of hyperactivity would go down from one child in six to one child in 17.

The Food Commission has written to the Food Standards Agency asking what action it will take to protect children from the problem additives, and whether guidance will be issued to food companies to remove these additives from children's foods. More information: http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/magazines/issue_59/


Food Intolerance and depression


A recent article in a medical journal alerts doctors to the relationship between food intolerance and depression by describing a case history. The patient was a 30 year old university graduate with a history of social phobia, anxiety, panic attacks, ADD without H and obsessive-compulsive disorder since childhood. He grew up in a stable and caring family but his symptoms worsened in his late teens and he experienced a depressive episode in his early twenties. Medication did not control his symptoms and sometimes made them worse. On a four week elimination diet, his mood and other symptoms improved significantly. On the first capsule challenge (salicylates) his symptoms worsened considerably and further challenges were abandoned. He has remained on the diet and symptom-free for over a year. The Mood Disorders Unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Sydney, is now carrying out further studies into the FI-depression link.

Reference: Parker G, Watkins T, Treatment-resistant depression: when antidepressant drug intolerance may indicate food intolerance, Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2002:36(2):263-5.


Brumby's bread preservative petition


Thousands of Australian consumers have signed the Brumby's petition urging the government to suspend the use of preservatives 282 and 223 in breads until their safety can be proved. To sign the petition, visit your nearest Brumby's outlet. If there is no outlet near you, and you would like to gather signatures, send your postal address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Specify how many pages you would like - each page holds 23 signatures.


Changes to our Food Standards Code


Changes mean that it is now acceptable for food companies to use names OR numbers to list ingredients. If you are used to avoiding numbers, you will now have to learn names, (see names and numbers http://fedup.com.au/information/information/complete-lists-of-additives) However, it is not acceptable for companies to simply list 'natural colour', especially when the 'natural colour' is really two artificial colours, see product warning. Nor is it acceptable for them to list for example, tartrazine as colour (CIN 19140). CI colour reference numbers are allocated in the Colour-Index of the Society of Dyers and Colorists and they are not approved numbers in Australia. Most people are unaware that failure to comply with the Food Standards Code is a criminal offence.


'Johnny can't read, sit still or stop hitting the neighbour's kid. Why?'

Ten years ago, paediatrician Dr Philip Landrigan was asked to investigate the effects of pesticides on young children for the National Academy of Sciences in the USA. What Landrigan found horrified him. Now the director of the Centre for Children's Health and the Environment at Mt Sinai Hospital in New York, he has just run a series of eye-catching full page advertisements in the New York Times about the effects of chemicals on children. 'Eat a wise diet', he says, including 'stay away from food additives' and buy organic foods, especially milk if you live in the USA where bovine growth hormone is permitted. Avoid pesticides inside and outside the home, especially during pregnancy and for the first three years of children's lives. The worst pesticides seem to be organophosphates like chlorpyrifos - now banned in the US, but still in Australian supermarkets in products like cockroach baits - and diazinon - used in hydrobaths. See the advertisements at http://www.childenvironment.org/ and http://fedup.com.au/information/information/useful-links. Landrigan and others have also written Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World (Rodale, 2001) available from Amazon.


Fast Food Nation


In 1998, more than a thousand students in Georgia assembled in the school parking lot, many of them wearing red and white clothes to spell out the word 'Coke' for a photographer. When a senior in the letter 'C' revealed a T-shirt that said 'Pepsi', he was suspended. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (Penguin, 2001) is a bestseller about how fast food has changed our society's values. A highlight for me is a visit to the giant IFF (International Flavours and Fragrances) factory which explains the secret components of 'flavours' on ingredient lists - chemicals. There are up to 50 in a typical strawberry milkshake. So, after years of researching the fast food industry, what did Schlosser conclude? - Refuse to buy! See an excellent review at http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/interviews/ba2000-12-14.htm


Artificial colours in Sweden


Artificial colours were prohibited in foods in Sweden until Sweden joined the EU in 1995 and was forced to accept imported goods containing these colours. The Swedish Consumer Coalition did, however, manage to convince the Swedish food manufacturers to not use artificial colours. A survey in 1998 showed that 11% of candy in average shops contained the previously banned colours. A new survey done in 2001 published by the food manufacturing industry showed that artificial colours appeared in 14% of candy, fizzy drinks and snacks. More details from the Swedish Consumer Coalition, http://www.konsumentsamverkan.se/ (Click on the Union Jack to read reports in English.)


Artificial colours in England


A survey published by the food firm Organix found that colours were used in 93% of children's sweets, 78% of children's desserts, 42% of children's milkshakes, 41% of children's drinks, 32% of crisps and savoury snacks, 24% of children's cereals, 23% of children's cereals, 18% of cereal bars and 15% of children's frozen burgers. http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/magazines/issue_59/

In brief


From the medical journals -


Tartrazine (102): An 11 year old girl had a recurrent skin rash on her left hand. Challenges to the suspect foods - cheese crisps and tartrazine - were positive. 'This case highlights the need to consider artificial flavours, colours and preservatives as potential culprits in [recurring rashes on the same site].' - Orchard DC and Varigos GA, Fixed drug eruption to tartrazine, Australasian J Dermatology 1997;38:212-214.


Nitrates and Nitrites (249,252) can contribute to a condition known as methaemoglobinemia in which the blood's ability to carry oxygen is impaired. Symptoms include headaches, pallor, blue lips and hands, difficulty breathing and ultimately, death. When a Dublin butcher mistakenly used an excessive amount of nitrites in a batch of sausages, his three sons were admitted to hospital. The younger two, who had eaten four sausages each, were called the 'living dead' by nursing staff because they were alert and walking despite white faces and blue lips. The older son, who had eaten 9 sausages, suffered life-threatening collapse. Walley T and Flanagan M, Nitrite-induced methaemoglobinaemia, Postgrad Med J 1987 63(742):643-4.


Mental illness and medication. In the 1970s, it was thought that schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses were due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Eventually researchers discovered that the excess of dopamine receptors in schizophrenics' brains was actually caused by dopamine-inhibiting medication given to schizophrenics - that is, prescription medication caused permanent changes to the brain which caused the condition it was supposed to treat. In 1979, the Word Health Organisation published a survey which showed that 65% of schizophrenic patients in poor countries like India and Nigeria were likely to have made a full recovery within five years compared with less than 20% in rich countries like the US. They concluded that living in a developed nation was a 'strong predictor' that a schizophrenic patient would never recover. If you have schizophrenia or another psychotic illness, know that doctor-prescribed medication mitigates against recovery and there are alternatives, see www.moshersoteria.com. Further reading: Mad in America by Robert Whitaker (Perseus, 2002). See review at http://www.researchprotection.org/endorsements/MadInAmerica.html


Suicide and medication. Results of clinical trials released by the FDA show that psychotropic medications are not effective in preventing suicide and rapid or abrupt withdrawal from certain antidepressants can produce suicide, mania, seizures or psychotic breaks at an even greater rate than while on the drugs. Extreme caution must be taken. Compared with the rate of 11 per 100,000 persons per year for the population at large, the rates of completed suicide were up to nearly 70 times higher:

*752 per 100,000 for those treated with atypical antipsychotics--risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and quetiapine (Seroquel)

*718 per 100, 000 for those treated with the SSRIs - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa)

*425 per 100, 000 for those treated for 'social anxiety disorder' with nefazodone (Serzone), mirtazapine (Remeron), and bupropion (Wellbutrin/Zyban)

*136 per 100,000 for those treated for panic disorder--with benzodiazepine alprazolam (Xanax)

*105 per 100, 000 persons for those treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder with anticonvulsant valproate (Depakote).



Panadol (paracematol, acetaminophen) may not be as safe as previously thought. There have been reports of deaths from accidental overdoses all over the world, including that of 13-year-old Wade Dunn, who suffered paracetamol-related liver failure in Sydney two years ago after being given the medication in a hospital setting. Authorities warn that the difference between a safe dose and a toxic dose is very small. Never exceed recommended daily dosages. - Moynihan R, Killing with kindness, Australian Financial Review, 2/10/02, p61.


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


Andrew Driffield's quest for gold


Andrew Driffield's story (extract below) is the most extraordinary of all the failsafe stories. Andrew has Fragile X syndrome and incredible determination. His example has already helped my family. When Andrew had to receive an award at the national championships official dinner in an Italian restaurant, he took his own cream cheese sandwiches. This story helped my daughter's teacher to understand that failsafers can be winners - and it is OK to take your own failsafe food to restaurants. Good luck, Andrew!

'Andrew was recently assessed by a leading psychologist. He has a measured Full IQ of around 65 and an Overall Adaptive Functioning cognitive measurement below the 1st percentile. So it is amazing that Andrew is not doing what a specialist once told us was all that was possible, to expect nothing more than having him working in a sheltered workshop doing repetitive tasks. Although eligible for a full disability pension Andrew has foregone it to work 5 days a week on a recycling truck so he can afford to reach his goals and keep his mind and body active instead of sitting at home watching TV.

In 1999, Andrew was selected on the Riding for the Disabled National Squad. He is now among the top riders in Australia and hopes to be selected to represent Australia at the next World Championships. This is quite an achievement especially when his Grade, Grade 3E for intellectual disability, is not recognised at international competitions, so he rides against able minded, but disabled body riders in a grade above his. Andrew's goal is to represent Australia. He is hoping for selection onto the Australian Paralympic Team.

By far the most significant change in Andrews's life has been our discovery of Sue Dengate’s book FED UP in 1998. Through use of the Fed Up diet and avoiding all intake of natural and artificial chemicals that Andrew reacts to, his mind is clearer, and he is able to control his actions and temper. As he says, he hates it when he eats the wrong foods because it makes him feel bad and depressed. Before discovering the diet we had some hellish times, including major temper tantrums which in the main were triggered or caused by the wrong foods. Without the fed up diet, Andrew certainly would not be where he is today, in mind or ability'. - Elizabeth Jenkins, see the full story at http://fedup.com.au/stories/2002/225-andrew-driffields-quest-for-gold-november-2002


Struggling with life


For years I have been struggling to get on with life trying to avoid massive headaches and fogginess-in-the-brain situations. I thought I had an allergy to wheat. I have bought spelt flour, eaten corn bread, bought rice pasta and changed to oats for breakfast. I watched with extreme interest your story on TV and I have been recently testing physically my reactions to different bread products. This gives me the key. Some bread does nothing to me, pizza is fine, bread rolls are the worst. Now I have a few questions about the bread preservative. (See Q&A) - Kevin M, Sydney.


Ribonucleotides (635) strike again


I had my first experience of hives in my life after eating sausages bought at the supermarket when on holidays in Brisbane. I am 33 year old doctor with no previous history of allergy, no asthma, eczema, or sinusitis. I ate one sausage for breakfast on Friday and other again on Saturday. Saturday morning I developed a burning, itchy, erythematous, slightly raised rash on my face, which by Sunday morning had progressed to hives all over my arms and legs. The sausages contained both 621 and 635.

These additives are pharmaceuticals, not foodstuffs, in my opinion. You wouldn't take 5 pharmaceuticals at a time and not expect some drug interaction, why are we so naive as to think that it's ok to be eating 50 different chemical additives a day? - Tonya, Canberra


See our new Factsheet with colour photos of a 'ribo rash' http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/635-msg-boosters-ribo-rash-ribonucleotides-627-631


Panic attacks


I recently got your books and have been following the diet pretty closely. It is so nice to be able to leave the house again ... I had such bad anxiety and panic attacks that I could barely leave. It always started after eating something [containing salicylates] like avocado or olive oil. I would get scared and feel like I didn't know what was going on around me. I would get mean, really mean, to anyone who tried to talk to me for the next four hours. My family is so appreciative! I could not go in cars ... or even leave the house because I felt so strange and panicky. - reader, USA


Diet for learning disabilities


Dear Sue, like you, my husband and I were blessed with a beautiful child who was always a little different. I guess I had a sniff of this before putting him into school because I chose a small parish school for him, feeling that it would be slightly more nurturing.

Well, what a mistake that was! He stood out like a sore thumb and presented as a true enigma to his teachers. You can almost guess the rest of the story: Significant learning disabilities despite profound conceptual strengths was to be the flavour of his first three years at school. The WISC scale [IQ testing] showed a huge scatter and we found it wasn't long before the system was trying to attach labels to my son! The really frustrating aspect of this was that we just wanted our son's educational program to be set at his level and to not have this obsession with labelling our child!!

My husband and I were feeling more and more patronised by the system and uncharacteristically we started to feel here that we knew more about educating our son than these supposed professionals did! We were both professionally educated (I am a physiotherapist and my husband is an electrical engineer) and we had friends who were enlightened and intelligent people. I sought the advice of people in the SPELD organization, I read heaps on SLDs and took Daniel to a developmental paediatrician who found through thorough assessment that Daniel did not have Asperger's syndrome and that my major priority was to look at the systems in place to address my son's learning disabilities. He suggested that Daniel needed to be taught phonetically.

I went to lots of schools and luckily found Redfield College (A Pared school: Parents for Education). Daniel started year 3 at Redfield at the beginning of this year. Well, what a change six months has made. My son has been placed in an environment that is so positive, far less concerned with labelling children than teaching them. Gently the special needs teacher and classroom teacher have restored our wounded faith in the educational system.

Firstly, his literacy is no longer taught by the scatter-gun whole language system. He is being taught with the Spalding method. He now has glasses to correct his long-sightedness, he does co-ordination exercises to help his motor planning and learns music. The school is rich in sport, an area in which he does well and has true pastoral care!

The final step was the recommendation from the special needs teacher for us to read your three books, along with Friendly Foods from RPA. Strictly we have been doing the elimination diet for three weeks, but I had been experimenting for a few weeks before that. I, like many others, have made lots of little mistakes, but I am learning. Daniel's teacher has already noticed big differences. At home we have no headaches, no vagueing out, no wanting to wag school (12 days last year compared to 0 this year) and a much calmer demeanour!

I feel that your books are the final brick in the wall and can't believe that it has taken me until he was 9 to work it out. I guess that I never really had the behavioural element that does make a parent desperate. When I look back we always had a horror start to holidays where we would put the kids in the car and head north, uncharacteristically stopping at Macdonalds for convenience only!

Thank you, Sue. I know that there are no simple answers for kids like Daniel. Importantly however I believe that we need to look at system by system and not leave diet out of the whole picture. These kids have difficulty processing lots of sensory information, why wouldn't they have diet sensitivities? We feel as parents that the most important thing is to place our child in a supportive, happy environment while we look at how to help him, otherwise his spirit may be broken and we will have truly significant problems on our hands. I know that as I pursue this further Daniel's life will be completely different. I am in your debt!

PS We did the amine challenge last week-end. The day after Daniel had such a strong headache he spent the afternoon in bed and vomited in the evening. It took about two days for him to be reasonable again and a week for his concentration to return. - Daniel's mum


MORE READERS' STORIES on the website



Product updates


We are pleased to announce that Sanitarium So Good soymilk is now failsafe again. A Sanitarium dietitian wrote to inform us that a failsafe antioxidant from the range 300-309 is now used in the So Good range instead of harmful antioxidant TBHQ (319). You won't see any change on the label, however, because TBHQ was never declared on the label and nor is the new antioxidant. Huh? How can they get away with this? Under the 5% labelling loophole in the Food Standards Code, additives in ingredients which form less than 5% of a product do not have to be declared unless they perform a technological function. The oil in So Good soymilk forms only 4.5% of the total product. Who decides if it performs a technological function? The food manufacturer.


This case makes a mockery of the assurances we received from the Office of the Federal Minister for Health, Senator the Hon Kay Patterson, regarding the labelling of food additives (this was in response to my study about calcium propionate, 282):


"We recognize that adverse reactions to food additives occur in a small proportion of the population … The labelling of food products helps people who are sensitive to some food additives to avoid them." If you feel like giving the Federal Minister for Health a blast about this, phone 02 6289 5160, Fax 02 6289 5100 or write to GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601.


Arnott's biscuits Arnott's customer information service tells us that the oil used in their biscuits is palm oil with 50 ppm tocopherols (306-309 - failsafe). This is good news. Last time I checked, during the bread study, all Arnott's biscuits contained unlabelled BHA and some of the children were reacting to it. This means that Saltines, Saladas, Saos and plain sweet biscuits like Morning Coffee are completely failsafe. You will still have to be careful of any biscuits with flavours like Nice or colours.


Pampas Spring Roll pastry is failsafe.


Nestle Caramel Top N Fill recipe has changed from milk and sugar to milk, sugar and carrageenan (407). Carrageenan will not cause food intolerance reactions, however, it has been associated with cancer. You may want to limit its use.

The colours in The Natural Confectionery Co (Binka's) Natural Snakes and other confectionery are all natural and do not include annatto. These products are not failsafe because of fruit flavours and moderate salicylates in the colours. However, many failsafe families report that these sweets are ideal for party bags and occasional treats. Although definitely not to be used during the elimination diet or for children who have not improved, they are a lot better than the alternatives for school canteen managers who feel children need colours.


***Product Warning*** Lowan Whole Foods Kids Bytes Real Apple Fruit Filling with Yoghurt Ribbons are not failsafe, but you would expect them to be additive-free, especially when the label says 'natural colour'. However, when we asked what the natural colour was, we were told: tartrazine (102) and sunset yellow (110). Check for yourself: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. How many other mislabelled foods are out there? And who is looking?

Your questions:


Q. Is the bread preservative calcium propionate 282 in some bread products and not mentioned?

A. Yes, it can be present without mention legally when in whey powder, or illegally when food retailers neglect to declare it on the label.


Q. Is 282 in 'bakers flour' as opposed to 'flour'?

A. No.


Q. Can you confirm that 282 causes migraines in some people?

A. Yes, see Additive Code Breaker.


Q. Does 282 occur naturally in anything?

A. It occurs in small amounts in dairy products, Swiss cheese (this is the highest) and other fermented foods, human sweat and the digestive products of ruminants. Reactions are related to dose. The more you eat, the more likely you are to react.


Q. I have to go into hospital. There is only a tiny section on the form for 'special diet'. What can I say?

A. Hospitals are probably the easiest places to be failsafe. If you specify 'Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Simplified Elimination Diet', hospital dietitians should either know what that is or find out. They will have access to the RPAH booklets. You might get some very strange meals but at least you will be able to eat them. For dairy and gluten free, leave out the world 'Simplified'.


Q. Since going failsafe three years ago, everyone in our family gets a lot less colds, flu and other infections. Is there a reason for this?

A. Some studies have showed that both nitrites (meat preservatives) and propionic acid (bread preservatives) cause in vitro immunosuppression, that is, in laboratory studies, they stop the immune system from working properly. Researchers suggest that this may be related to recurrent infections. Presumably some other food chemicals have the same effect. References: Ustyugova IV and others, Nitrates/nitrites alter human lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production, Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 2002 ;43(3):270-6; Wajner M and others, Inhibition of mitogen-activated proliferation of human peripheral lymphocytes in vitro by propionic acid, Clin Sci (Lond) 1999 Jan;96(1):99-103.

Check out the Questions and Answers section in the website for many more details.

Around the groups: getting in touch


Support in Perth


We now have more support and failsafe friendly dietitians in Perth, email me. 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.

Are there any failsafers in Canada who would like to help a new failsafer? Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Sue Dengate will be giving talks as follows:

Tuesday 19th November Alice Springs NT, enquiries: Andra 08 8952 8057

Friday 22nd November Sydney NSW Youth off the Streets conference, Bankstown, Sydney, presentation to full conference, 9.30 am, workshop, 11.00-12.30. Enquiries 02 8220 2489, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., website www.youthoffthestreets.com.au


Monday 13 January 2003 in St Barnabas Church Hall, Fendalton Rd, Christchurch New Zealand. $5 admission, proceeds to Allergy NZ. Contact Robin Fisher 03 312 8824

Monday 29th September 2003 Darwin NT Australian Association of Special Education national conference, more details later




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 20 or $10 for 45 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


Tortillas (Burritos)


4 cups flour

4 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and rub in butter. Add water, a small amount at a time and work mixture into a dough. Knead dough until smooth, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Form dough into balls the size of an egg. Roll each ball into a circle approx 12 cm in diameter. Heat fry pan on medium to high heat. Place tortilla in pan and cook approx 1 minute each side. (Tortilla should be lightly speckled.) Eat plain, with butter or as burritos using the garlic meat as for pizza topping, lettuce (and carrot and cheese if permitted). My boys love to take these to school/kinder with just butter, especially on special days such as excursions.- Elaine Keeley


Frozen Rice Bubble Treats


250g (10 oz) butter

200g (1 cup) sugar

2 eggs beaten

6 -7 cups rice bubbles (this is a double batch because one went nowhere)

Boil butter and sugar. Allow to cool slightly, add egg and cook together for about 1/2 minute. Mix in rice bubbles. Place in lined lamington tin and refrigerate. When set cut into bars and place in container and then freeze. These are best eaten straight out of the freezer and were a huge hit at my house. - Elaine Keeley




1 leek, sliced and lightly sauteed (makes for a milder flavour than raw!)

3 sticks celery, finely sliced then chopped more in food processor bowl with

3 sprigs parsley, chopped

2 brussel sprouts, sliced finely (disguises their flavour completely) - Alison Hawthorne


Tofu custard tart


1 pie crust, to line quiche dish to allow enough depth for filling, blind baked, then filled with:

250 g silken tofu in food processor bowl and whizzed up with

2 eggs

1 cup soy milk

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup golden syrup

Pour mixture into pie crust and bake in moderate oven until set (30 - 40 minutes or more). Serve with homemade icecream and sprinkle of chopped raw cashews. - Alison Hawthorne


Birthday or Party 'cake'


3 Pavlova Magic Eggs (or make pavlova bases from cookbook)

600ml cream

2 tbsp icing sugar

white marshmallows

decorations - flowers, ribbons, toys etc

Mix the pavlova magic eggs as per the instructions and make 3 pavlova bases (I did this as one each night before the party, the last one cooked being the base of the cake). On the day of the party break two of the bases into pieces and place on top of the chosen base, shaping into a mound. Whip the cream with the icing sugar until thick (we added cocoa). Spread all over the mound of meringue and decorate with the marshmallows and ornaments (for kids) or flowers and a bow around the base for the older people. The kids loved it. - Jill Joy


Sugar Cookies


2 and 1/3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1/2 cup safflower oil

2 tsp water

1½ cups sugar

extra sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180°C). In one mixing bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. In a second bowl, mix eggs, oil, and water. Mix in sugar thoroughly with the wet ingredients. Using a fork, slowly mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Put spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet and flatten with your hands to make a small circle. Sprinkle extra sugar liberally onto the tops of all cookies. Bake for 8 and a half to 9 minutes. If the cookies turn brown then you cooked them too long. And if there is a small dark circle in the middle of any cookie then you didn't cook them long enough. Be careful of not cooking them long enough especially if you make them big. (You run the risk of getting salmonella poisoning from the eggs if they aren't cooked enough.) Enjoy those cookies. - Matt (from failsafeUSA discussion group)


Marshmallow slice




1 cup SR flour

¾ cup rice crumbs (or crushed rice bubbles)

½ cup sugar

125g butter

Melt the butter and add to the dry ingredients. Press into a greased slice tray and bake in a moderate oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until just starting to brown (you want it soft and chewy rather than toasted). Cool in tray


Marshmallow topping.

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon gelatine

1 cup water

Place all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to boil and boil for 3 minutes. When cool, beat until thick and white. Pour the marshmallow topping over the base and allow to set. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight container. - Heather Waldron



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 several groups:

If you are just starting out, we suggest that you join the 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 USA Discussion Group has just started for USA members. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Frontpage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/failsafeUSA)

The FAILSAFE Adult Discussion Group has just started for adults seeking support. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Frontpage: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/failsafeadult )

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

The original FAILSAFE Discussion 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 With thanks to Annette Abolins, Duncan Cross, Rebecca Dengate, Deb Halliwell, Steve Jenkins, Sheryl Sibley, Alison Tickle, Duncan Waldron, Rex Warren from ACTA, everyone who contacted me about the Isle of Wight study(!) and members of the failsafe discussion groups. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up, the Failsafe Cookbook and Different Kids by Sue Dengate Random House, and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, Murdoch Books.