Fedup Newsletters




Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network

June - July 2003


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.




TV demonstration of additive-free food: 60% improve


Ribo Rash to be tested


The ketogenic diet for weight loss and epilepsy

Research Autism, diet and 'clean room'

In brief: Hiccups, School policy on food intolerance in the ACT, Phytoestrogens

Readers' stories: [260] - [275]

Product updates: Soul Pattinson Plain toothpaste, Failsafe foods online at Great Aussie Food, Birgit's pear jam and failsafe chutney, Granma's 1908 cordial,*** Product warning: Panadol ***,*** Product warning: Devondale Extra Soft butter and Lite spread ***,Customer Hotlines,***Product warning: Bread preservative in New Zealand ***

Cooks Corner: Failsafe sukiyaki, Coleslaw, American Crumb-topped Coffeecake, 'Lemon' meringue pie version 2 (contains dairy foods, no sulphites)


Hi everyone

While health officials stick to their lame excuse that 'only a few' are affected by food additives, independent British TV demonstrated what a lie that is. Nearly 60% of a class of six-year-olds improved on a two week diet of additive-free foods, see below. Meanwhile, we are receiving more stories of improvements from asthmatics - with a few surprises, especially the effects of BHA (320). Experts who are supposed to protect our children's health continue to ignore or deny the effects of foods, but not for much longer, we hope!

In response to your frequent enquiries, there are four new factsheets - depression and antidepressants, epilepsy, diet during pregnancy, autism and Aspergers, available through the Factsheet button on the website main menu. There are also factsheet updates on constipation and sticky poos, failsafe support and ribo rash (additive 635, ribonucleotides with photos).

My apologies for the delay in getting this newsletter to you.


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


TV demonstration of food additives: 60% improve


Food regulators who say only a few children are affected by food additives had egg on their face last month when nearly 60% of a class of six year olds improved on an additive free diet - on national television. Britain's ITV Channel provided two weeks' worth of additive-free food for Mrs McCreery's class at the Dingle School in Cheshire and filmed the results.

Professor Jim Stevenson from the Psychology Department at Southampton University demonstrated that he could detect which one of a set of identical twins had been following the additive free diet. After observing the behaviour of Michael and Christopher Parker for one hour, he chose Michael. His observations were confirmed by the results of with written achievement tests that showed Michael's score had improved 15 per cent more than his brother's since their prediet assessment.

Nearly 60 per cent of the parents reported improvements in sleep and the desire to cooperate, as well as an overall improvement in their child's behaviour.




Since the release of 'Fed Up with Asthma', stories have been pouring in about improvements in asthmatics related to a variety of food chemicals. I have previously observed that New Zealanders have an unusually high intake of BHA (antioxidant 320) in foods such as bread, margarine and cooking oil and New Zealand has an unusually high prevalence of asthma, so I was particularly intrigued by the following report from a failsafe kiwi:

'When my daughter was about four, she required Ventolin whenever she ate bread and so she ended up wheat free. The only time she has had asthma since last year was during the antioxidant (BHA, 320) challenge. You were right about the wheat - it is no trouble whatsoever. We realise now that our daughter was wheat free unnecessarily for years.'

See more asthma stories about BHA and other additives, unlabelled sulphites and salicylates in foods and medications, in Readers Stories below and in the Asthma feature on the website.


Ribo Rash to be tested


Since the segment about ribonucleotides (flavour enhancers 635, 627 and 631) on A Current Affair in April, we have been deluged with stories from people who have been affected, from 10 month old twins to a young, fit people including an aerobics instructor to seniors in their 70s. Every story represents suffering. People told of going through months of hell with rashes so extreme and unbearably itchy they couldn't sit, walk or lie down to sleep. Seniors told of being unable to go out for months. Others were in and out of hospital with life-threatening swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or face due to 'unknown causes'. The effects of these additives demonstrate a failure by public health authorities to adequately test food additives and a failure to warn consumers. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Clinic are now setting up a study of 635. If you think you react, live in Sydney and would like to take part, phone 02 9565 1464. See new stories and photos on the website feature 'Ribo Rash'.




Mothers of difficult children are often given 'happy pills' to help them cope. Be aware that antidepressant users (perhaps up to ten per cent for some brands) may experience serious side effects ranging from inner restlessness to suicidal thoughts. The time of greatest risk is when starting or stopping your medication. If you find yourself unable to stop taking antidepressants because of withdrawal symptoms, manufacturers recommend tapering the dose. Support groups say that dropping one tablet at a time is way too much, you have to divide each tablet into eighths, see www.QuitPaxil.com. (Paxil is Aropax in Australia.) If you missed the recent Four Corners eye-opening exposé of antidepressant side-effects, you can still read the transcript, see the new Depression Factsheet on our website and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/programmes/panorama/transcripts/seroxat.txt;


The ketogenic diet for weight loss and epilepsy


'I used to fill this', said a man in a baggy T-shirt proudly as he described losing 18 kg in 10 weeks using the ketogenic Atkins diet. 'It's failsafe', he enthused, 'No additives, limited fruit and vegetables.' People tell me that Atkins is easy and effective for weight loss, because you never feel hungry. The program recommends high fat and protein such as fried eggs, sausage and cream - but no fruit or toast. It is opposed by most nutritionists who say the long term health benefits have not been proven. This newsletter neither recommends nor condemns the Atkins diet. We are just noting that, if you chose to avoid additives and amines, the ketogenic diet can be failsafe - which is probably why researchers into use of the ketogenic diet for epileptic children have observed positive behaviour changes as well.

Further reading: Atkins diet ( http://au.atkins.com/ ); failsafe weight loss factsheet; failsafe epilepsy factsheet.




Autism, diet and 'clean room'


In a study of nearly 50 autistic children, researcher Karen Slimak found the children's symptoms appeared to be 'fully reversible' with a combination of diet and avoidance of volatile organic compounds. 'The children in the program (universal diet and clean room) returned to normal', said Dr Slimak. She commented that a broad spectrum of severe and chronic autistic symptoms appear to be caused by chronic exposure to volatile organic compounds.

Our failsafe contact in Canberra, Sheryl Sibley, agrees. 'My son suffers from food-induced autism', she says. 'All his autistic symptoms, including rocking, flapping and face blindness, are related to food and environmental chemicals'.

Further reading: See Karen Slimak's full abstract and more information in the new Autism and Failsafe Factsheet on autism on our website.



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.


In brief


Hiccups: An easy cure for hiccups is drinking liquid through a straw. New Scientist, 1/3/03, p27.


School policy on food intolerance in the ACT: the ACT may soon acknowledge food and chemical intolerance as a contributor to children's health, learning and behaviour problems in their current review 'Looking at the health of school-age children in the ACT'. If you would like to contribute, contact Sheryl: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Phytoestrogens: A review of phytoestrogens by Britain's Food Standards Agency has raised concerns about the health effects of soy infant formula. Plants such as soybeans and lettuce contain phytoestrogens that act in a similar way to the hormone oestrogen. A study of 8000 boys found those born to vegetarian mothers - who are likely to consume more phytoestrogens - were five times more likely to have genital abnormalities. A second study found that women fed soy formula as babies showed small increases in duration and discomfort of menstruation. These studies are inconclusive, but since babies fed soy-based formula receive higher phytoestrogens than any other group, experts are debating whether to recommend non-soy alternatives (such as Pepti Junior, Alfare and Neocate) rather than soy as an alternative to breastmilk or cows milk formula. New Scientist, 15/5/03, p11.

Readers' stories


[275] Asthma (June 2003)


I am writing to thank you for all the help your book 'Fed up with Asthma' has given my family. My daughter is two and a half years old, and was diagnosed with asthma when she was 10 months old. She was hospitalized with croup and later we were told she has asthma. She was put on a steroid puffer and I was told she would need this for most of her childhood.

I knew that food additives were not safe and I tried not to buy anything with 'numbers' on the back of the packs, which proved to be difficult. Still this didn't seem to help, I also put her on goats milk and took her off all other dairy products.

I took her to an asthma pediatrician, three months ago. He gave her an allergy skin prick test which came back totally negative. She was allergic to nothing! The doctor assumed that food was not a cause of her asthma. I was told that the cold winter nights were triggering her asthma, to go home and put her back on her steroid puffer.

This winter she seemed to get worse. As the cold nights set in, her coughing increased to the point that I was up every 20 minutes comforting her. I was desperately trying to keep her off the steroid puffer and I was about to give in, when I saw your book.

My daughter has now been on the failsafe diet for three weeks with amazing results. By the end of the first day she coughed only once, same the second day and the next two days nothing.

I've only made one mistake, when I gave her crackers which probably contained BHA (320) as a preservative in oil. At the time I thought they were failsafe so my daughter had quite a lot as a snack. That night she was back to coughing every two minutes and using her ventolin puffer. After 24 hours she was okay again and back on the failsafe diet.

I realise that we still need to discover other sensitivities but for now she can breath easy with no barking cough and we can both have a good nights sleep. If it hadn't been for your dedication to this cause I don't where we would be today. Thank you. - Joanne Mueller, Perth Western Australia



[274] 635: 'This damn additive' (June 2003)


Thank you for bringing this horrible food additive 635 to the attention of the media. Until the program on ACA, I had no idea that other people were suffering like me.

My problems started in July 2002, when I ate roast chicken that caused a dramatic rash to appear all over my body. I was sure the roast chicken was the cause as I had noticed on two previous occasions severe thirst and disorientation after consuming roast chicken bought from a Woolworths supermarket. On the third occasion I had the same symptoms plus the rash. The rash was so severe that I needed oral cortisone. Woolworths informed me that 635 was the sole flavour enhancer in the chicken. I saw an allergist a about a month later who dismissed my view, saying that it was more likely to be a non-specific reaction that would eventually die down and disappear.

I didn't subscribe to that diagnosis and decided to stay away from roast chicken for my health's sake. I began to notice that it was affected by other commercially produced foods, including a salad dressing that contained 631. The rash usually starts on my upper thighs around my backside and travels down my legs. It also appears on my back and shoulders. At its worst when it first appeared it was also on my face and torso. The welts were large, covering a wide area, very hot and maddeningly itchy.

The most disturbing aspect of this situation is that 635 is being used in takeaway foods and restaurants. The consumer has no way of knowing that 635 is present in the food. I am beginning to avoid all commercially prepared food. Can you believe it? Imagine if I became anaphylactic to this substance. I recently attended a wedding reception and cautiously ate the three-course meal provided, avoiding the gravy on the meat, only to find the rash reappearing by the time I got home.

I now religiously read the ingredients provided on packaged foods and have stopped eating Asian and Indian takeaway and takeaway pizza.

Are you aware of an allergy clinic in Sydney that screens for allergy to 635? If so I would very much appreciate the details as I am more than willing to be a part of the 'clinical evidence' required to nail this damn additive. - Anna, NSW, 35 years of age (To take part in a clinical trial of 635, phone Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Clinic, 02 9565 1464)


[273] 635: 'At death's door' (June 2003)


I am 58 years old and came across your website by accident. I was dumbfounded when I saw the pictures of the effects of food additives 635. This was what I had for nearly 3 years!

I could not believe it. My symptoms too started in the early hours of the morning with dreadful itching. By the time I got up my thighs were black and bruised from scratching. Over time this went and welts came all over my body. I looked like I had been beaten. I also had rashes that were itchy and painful. The only part that was not affected was my face and head.

So many doctors and tests, so many creams and tablets - and nothing would stop it. I had tests that showed I was allergic to things I had never had, like horsehair and oysters. To top it off I started to get fungal infections in my fingernails. I had bouts of crying and wanted to die.

Eventually I was told it could be emotional or change of life. Then in June 2002 I started have rigors (uncontrollable shaking). I ended up in hospital, where I had every test under the sun including biopsies. My body was swelling up and I had blood tests every couple of hours. My temperature would not come down. I was seen by the elite of dermatologists and a professor of infectious diseases who told me that 'sometimes the body will not reveal its secrets'. They called what I had 'hypersensitive vasculitis' or a toxic shock from an unknown source. They said that I was at death`s door. Then my temperature went down and I was discharged.

It never occurred to me that it could be the food I was eating, as I hadn't changed anything. I would have meat pies or sausage rolls at least once a week and sometimes pizza. Eventually I cut out processed foods and now make my own sausages rolls. I still do not know which one started off this torment but I have thrown out everything in my pantry with 635/621 and my symptoms have gone away.

At the very least, these food additives should be listed in bold lettering or a different colour. - Maree, by email



[272] Constant trouble for misbehaviour (June 2003)


I am a mother of three kids - 8, 6 and 3 years of age. This year has been so stressful at school for the older two boys; they have been in constant trouble for misbehaviour in the classroom and schoolyard. Until last week, teachers and I just didn't know what to try next.

Last weekend I was desperate. I pulled your books (and Friendly Foods) off the shelf, started cutting out additives and bought Woolies unpreserved bread.

The difference has been remarkable - at home and at school. Teachers and the deputy principal are most impressed at the difference a change in diet has made in less than one week. I intend going the whole way to 'failsafe' foods, then challenging suspect offenders one by one.

Thanks for your help and wonderful work, life as a mother is worth living again! - Barb Holmes, Qld (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



[271] Autistic sound sensitivity improves on diet (June 2003)


We discovered failsafe over a year ago when my son Liam was four. Ironically, because of the failsafe internet support group he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome a while later.

He used to hate loud sounds and either shut down, cringing in a corner with his hands over his ears, or more often, he rose above it with the most aggressive behaviour and loudest noise he could muster. One time I had the blender on for one minute and he screamed and threw a chair across the room, quietening down as soon as I turned it off. This has dramatically reduced now. It was not instantaneous with the introduction of diet but somewhere in the course of last year it improved. I have found that this is the improvement which most intrigues other parents of autistic kids. Liam still doesn't like loud noises such as fire alarms but he is content to hold his hands over his ears.

For Liam, the diet has been like unfogging his brain and allowing him to catch up where he is delayed, mainly socially and in his emotions. But the most interesting thing was watching his drawing develop. When he first started Kindy, he drew like a two year, all scribbles. After he started the diet, his drawing just took off and in a matter of months we watched him improve to above his age level. Literally every week there were new dimensions. It was so exciting and a very visible reminder of how the diet now allowed him to develop.

Liam is gluten, dairy and egg free as well as failsafe and he has soy only once every four days. I could not say he is perfect, but he is light years ahead of where we were. - Caroline (finb and Failsafe discussion group)



[270] A 21-year-old looks back on diet (June 2003)


When I was around 4 years old I had quite severe behavioural problems, so my mum went from doctor to doctor looking for a possible solution. Eventually one doctor suggested the Feingold diet. I started the elimination diet in 1986, and my parents found an immediate improvement. One day my grandparents gave me red cordial which pretty much confirmed the effects of food additives. My parents and I found that I reacted to salicylates, and lots of artificial colours and flavours.

I went from a kid who everyone said would grow up to be a juvenile delinquent, to a better behaved kid who is now 21, studying for an Information Technology Bachelors degree. I also finished a 12-month employment contract not long ago and started a new job.

I'm surprised that it's only recently that people have been talking about the link between food and behaviour. - Danny Frencham, student



[269] Vanilla makes a difference (June 2003)


My son is going well, although it was a bit rocky for a while until the vanilla ran out. He had been helping himself to lashings of vanilla essence in his cereal, drinks etc. Once the vanilla ran out he was back to being wonderful - such a little thing and such a big impact - a very big difference between the two allowable drops, and his great sloshes!! - by email, NSW



[268] Helped by the Failsafe Cookbook (June 2003)


We want people to know that we feel sorry for anyone who tries to do the failsafe diet without the Failsafe Cookbook. - group of mothers from the Brisbane Kettle Club at a recent failsafe talk



[267] Borderline ADHD and additive-free diet (June 2003)


My son was diagnosed with borderline ADHD and we have him on a colour and preservative free diet. It has made such a difference. It is nice to have other people comment on his behaviour in a positive way now. Before he couldn't sit still in church for the first part of the service before going out for Sunday School but now he happily sits still. - Jennie Breach, NSW



[266] Please don't feed my child! (June 2003)


Last year I wrote an article in the school newsletter called 'Please don't feed my child!' It paid off, as parents are still approaching me to talk about it. I feel that my son and I are now being so well supported within the school community, it is amazing. I really wasn't sure what reaction I would get from the article, but it has certainly brought the issue to the fore and has got a lot of people thinking. - by email, NSW



[265] Reversals during salicylate challenge (June 2003)


We started our salicylate challenge on a Sunday. By Monday afternoon, my son was climbing the furniture more than normal and told me he felt silly. He was very giggly. On Tuesday afternoon he was again climbing the furniture and not responding to me when I talked to him. He was very happy and giggly again and it was actually kind of nice. His writing has improved so much lately, I was astounded when we sat down to do his homework and he started writing badly again. About 75% of his letters were backwards and he couldn't work out how to spell easy words. This is what really shocked me and what will make me avoid salicylates. When he got dressed he even put his clothes on backwards! - failsafer, by email



[264] Migraines from MSG (June 2003)


I am a chronic migraine sufferer. MSG is one of the big ones for me (triggers migraines and rash) and almost every major food company feels a need to use this in their products - Maggi is the main offender with others, eg Trident, not lagging too far behind. Why are these in our food if they are harmful? - John, by email



[263] From an ex-Feingolder (June 2003)


I am in the failsafebasic and failsafe2 email support groups. Joining was certainly the best thing I ever did because I know I am not the only one struggling with my daughter. She has improved immensely since we started the diet. When I looked over her old diet (Dr Feingold's), I realise that it is really only halfway there, which explains why sometimes she reacted and sometimes she didn't. - failsafe mother from Sydney



[262] Stuttering (June 2003)


Our latest mistake was when our son was given a "special treat" of a glass of orange juice by his well meaning grandparents. Aaaaaargh. I have noticed since then his speech has gotten worse, but improves once we give him some bicarb soda (mixed with golden syrup) as an antidote. We noticed his speech worsened when we did the salicylate challenge. The speech problems come into play when he is hyper, which is days 1-2 post salicylate and slowly improves from there. - by email



[261] Unlabelled sulphites in paracetamol (June 2003)


Further to Karen finding out recently that white Panadol tablets contain a preservative, I have done some investigating and was horrified to find that the brand at the hospital that I work at, Febridol paracetamol, has sulphite preservative in it. This could be a problem for asthmatics admitted to the hospital! Many other brands I looked at also contained sorbates and benzoates as preservatives. Herron tablets are colour free, gluten free and preservative free (see product updates.) - from the failsafe group



[260] CFS and failsafe (June 2003)


A bad case of Glandular Fever triggered my CFS, which resulted in two miserable years of bouncing from one medical practitioner to another trying western medicine and other alternatives such as acupuncture. The responses were often unsympathetic and showed a complete lack of understanding about the condition.

It was through a recommendation from the CFS society in Melbourne that I saw a failsafe allergist.

It took nearly three months on a very strict elimination diet before I felt my old self again and the glands in my neck no longer felt like golf balls. It wasn't long after the three months that I was back working in the outdoors. With hindsight the recovery was remarkable after spending so long with little to no energy.

The nature of my work made it very difficult for me to effectively reintroduce all foods so I am still unsure of all the chemicals that affect me. However, MSG is a shocker!! as are most preservatives. When I start feeling the CFS symptoms coming back I put myself back on failsafe.

Despite a careful diet I still need more sleep than most people (9 - 10 hours a night) to function effectively. I rarely drink alcohol, this makes the CFS symptoms worse and I seem to be very sensitive to strong smells such as deodorant and perfume. I definitely feel better when living outdoors.

Without a doubt, going failsafe saved me from years of depression and frustration. I never take my good health for granted after being so deprived of the lifestyle I love. - Amanda, Melbourne

MORE READERS' STORIES on the website


Product updates


Soul Pattinson Plain toothpaste

Can be ordered online from Great Aussie Food (see below) or www.soulpattinson.com.au Enquiries:Soul Pattinson Chemist, PO Box 123, Wentworthville, NSW 2145, phone 61 2 9843 5195, fax 61 2 9843 5870.


Failsafe foods online at Great Aussie Food


Run by a failsafer, Great Aussie Food provides a personal shopping service and caters for expat Australians. The following failsafe foods are already on the list: CSR Golden Syrup, Pavlova magic, Sakata Plain Rice Crackers, Kettle Plain Crisps, Pascalls Vanilla Marshmallows, Decaf Coffee, Egg-like Egg replacer, Arnotts Sao, Vitawheat, Glengarry Shortbreads and Milk Arrowroots, Allens Milk Shakes and in the pantry section Soul Pattinson plain Toothpaste, Caltrate plain white calcium supplements and Macro M multivitamins. www.greataussiefood.com.au or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Birgit's pear jam and failsafe chutney

These continue to be a great favourites. Note a freight price change to 5 punnets for $9.00 - see this website under product updates for ordering info.


Granma's 1908 cordial


Helen Thomas makes a beautifully presented range of additive-free cordials, also available in bulk. Her range includes a few supposedly low-salicylate cordials such as elderflower. Please note, these are not guaranteed to be low salicylate, but they do taste bland so you are welcome to try them, carefully, after your challenges. Helen will also do a special batch of magic cordial (sugar, water and tartaric acid) on request.  email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*** Product warning: Panadol ***


Plain white Panadol brand tablets contain preservative and are no longer failsafe. We now recommend HERRON brand paracetamol. The RPAH recipe for homemade baby paracetamol is available from Jenny in the failsafebaby group.


*** Product warning: Devondale Extra Soft butter and Lite spread ***


A failsafer writes: 'I recently checked our butter which used to be okay according to the label but since the new labelling laws it now has 635 in it!!! … I contacted the company and asked if it was a new addition or previously unlabelled, but they have not responded. Needless to say we won't be buying anything more from Devondale!' The Devondale consumer hotline told FAILSAFE that both of the above products contain flavour enhancer 635 (ribonucleotides, known for 'ribo rash') and that prior to the new labelling laws, flavour enhancer 635 was listed as 'flavour'.


Customer Hotlines Australians can question or complain about product ingredients (eg antioxidants in oil) on the following freecall national supermarket customer hotline. Coles: 1800 06 1562. For Woolworths, you will need to complain to your regional office.


***Product warning: Bread preservative in New Zealand ***


Our Auckland contact reports increasing use of use of the additive 282 in New Zealand, now in breadrolls made and sold by the supermarket Foodtown and more Quality Bakers lines - more details from Linda Beck (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Your questions:


Q. I had two sips from a bottle of the new Pepsi Blue and within 30-40 seconds I became violently ill. I was taken to hospital and it took me approximately ten days to recover fully.


A. Pepsi Blue contains two artificial colours, Allura red 129 and Brilliant Blue (133, Blue #1). Except for ribonucleotides (flavour enhancer 635), it is very unusual to experience a ten day reaction to food additives, but we have once before received a report of a dramatic ten-day reaction to Brilliant Blue.


Q. We have been doing to the diet now for 2.5 weeks and we are really struggling. My daughter's behaviour seems to a be a little worse than before, crying, pains in tummy, tantrums, irritable, and my son is very grumpy. I have read stories/frequently asked questions and I may be feeding them too many LCM's ( only 1 per day). I have just discovered that Helgas ( which we have been living on) is not failsafe! … I'm now off to Brumbys.


A. The diet will not work if you make mistakes. Read the Checklist of Common Mistakes on the website. I don't recommend any LCMs until your children have already turned into angels, and even then, be careful. Many children can't manage them. If they set up a craving, avoid them. It is also essential to get your bread right.


Q. We have definitely seen an improvement overall in my son at school since going failsafe, but not a total elimination of all behavior issues, just more tolerable - so it may mean we haven't gotten it all yet. How much vanilla is too much? My children have vanilla in cookies, vanilla flavoured soy milk and icecream.


A. Vanilla is supposed to be limited to 2 drops per day, but if the diet isn't working 100 per cent for you, try cutting it all out for a few weeks, and especially the vanilla flavoured soydrink.


Q. Mannateck Phytobears changed my daughter into a squealy, unsociable little two year old. What's in them?


A. Phytobears are very high in salicylates and/or amines (in broccoli, cauliflower, kale, tomato, turnip, onion, carrot, papaya, pineapple, ambrotose, aloe barbadensis, larix decidua, astragalus gummifer, anogeissue latifolia) and also contain annatto 160b natural colour, the only natural colour which affects some kids as badly as artificial colours although it is often a next day grumpy reaction. A few people have reported that their children improve on phytobears - they must be kids who don’t react to salicylates, amines or annatto.


Q. Are you able to help me with ideas on how to change school lunch order choices? My daughter's school has a terrible list (party pies and choc donuts).


A. See the website for the School Tuckshop Factsheet. People say it is very helpful.

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

Around the groups: getting in touch

Thanks to everyone who answered my question about failsafe and stuttering, it seems certain than some children have food-related stutters, although as you would expect, the triggers can be different - sulphites, salicylates and 'additives' were all mentioned.

Here's another question: Does the failsafe diet ease symptoms of menopause? Anyone know?

Any failsafers in Sydney interested in meeting occasionally in a coffee shop? Contact John, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A failsafer would like to contact anyone who has developed food or chemical sensitivities after using Zyban for smoking cessation.

Is there anyone using failsafe for sticky poos who can answer some questions for a new failsafer? - replies via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bigpond and ameritech email addresses are causing intermittent bounce problems. If you haven't received a response from me, please send me an alternative email address.


Email discussion groups


Email support groups are immensely popular. There are now three big general groups and an increasing number of special interest or regional groups. Failsafebaby (to subscribe, email 'subscribe' in the subject-line to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is off to a strong start and has been expanded to include toddlers and children of any age who still need Neocate. New regional groups include finNT (Northern Territory) and finC (Canterbury NZ). See more details on the failsafe support Factsheet on the website.


Support contacts


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


Talks and television


The Little Things with Antonia Kidman will feature failsafe families on Sunday July 6th at 6.30pm on FX Channel; failsafe talks coming up in Bordertown SA, Adelaide, Darwin, Brisbane South, Gold Coast, Launceston and Devonport Tasmania - see talks on the website.




Printable trifold brochures on food intolerance and oppositional defiance are available. We'll post one of each for free that you can copy, or you can buy bulk copies at cost. See instructions on the website for accessing pdf versions. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with enquiries.

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


Failsafe sukiyaki


1 tbsp brown sugar

2-3 cups homemade failsafe chicken stock

1 leek cut into 4 or so pieces

1/4 cabbage coarsely chopped

1 swede cut into rings

handful of green beans - leave whole or cut in half if long

failsafe rice noodles (eg Fantastic)

1 chicken breast OR piece of steak

water if necessary

4 eggs

cooked rice

8 small Chinese bowls

Place brown sugar in a preheated electric frypan, stir briefly until starting to caramelise and add stock. Bring to the boil and add prepared vegetables and noodles - the whole thing will be about 1 to 2 inches (3-5 cms) deep. The cabbage covers the pan, but gradually cooks down to very little. Top up with water during cooking if necessary. Cook until all ingredients are almost ready, then add thinly sliced (almost paper thin) beef or chicken to top of ingredients in pan. You can use a food processer to slice the meat while frozen. The meat should only take a few minutes to cook. Meanwhile, beat one egg per person in each person's bowl, add a large scoop of the boiling broth to each bowl and stir - this cooks the egg. Then add vegies to the soup mix in each person's bowl, placing meat on the top - it makes a very thick soupy meal. Serve each person with a second bowl containing white boiled rice. The idea is you take a piece of the vegetable or meat and dip it into the rice before eating. It is important to have good quality stock and soup. Serves 4. - Judith Webster




1 leek, sliced

failsafe oil for sauteeing

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)

Lightly sautee leek slices for a milder flavour. Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl. - Alison Hawthorne


American Crumb-topped Coffeecake




1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup margarine, melted

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla essence


Crumb Topping


In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup soft butter or margarine; mix lightly with fork until crumbly.

Preheat oven to 190 C and grease 8 inch X 8 inch X 2 inch baking pan. Make batter by sifting flour with baking powder and salt and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat egg with a rotary beater until frothy; then beat in sugar and butter until well combined. Add milk and vanilla. With wooden spoon, beat in flour mixture until well combined. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool partially, in pan, on wire rack. - Linda Gaebel


'Lemon' meringue pie version 2 (contains dairy foods, no sulphites)


prepared failsafe crust, see cookbook

1 395g can of condensed milk

1/2 cup hot water combined with 1.5 tsp citric acid, allow to cool

3 eggs, separated

1/4 cup caster sugar

Blend together condensed milk and citric water. Add lightly beaten egg yolks and combine well. Pour evenly into chilled crust. Beat egg whites until stiff, gradually adding caster sugar. Spoon meringue on top of filling and bake in a preheated 180ºC for 10 minutes until golden. See dairy free 'lemon' meringue pie in Fed Up with Asthma, p253.



The FAILSAFE Newsletter: You can have this Newsletter emailed to you for free about every two months. 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 Deborah Birchall, Jennifer Glenister, Julie O'Donoghue, Bernard Trudgett, Jenny Saal, Robin Fisher, Helen Thomas, Birgit Setiawan, Linda Beck, Jenny De Carli, Judith Wilson and all who have contributed. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up, Fed Up with Asthma, the Failsafe Cookbook and Different Kids by Sue Dengate Random House, and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, Murdoch Books.