Fedup Newsletters


Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network

July – September 2006

The Food Intolerance Network supports people worldwide using a low-chemical elimination diet free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers (FAILSAFE) for health, behaviour and learning problems.

The FAILSAFE Newsletter is available free by email. Just send your email address with “subscribe” in the subject to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Labelling of antioxidants in fats and oils

Additive-free school canteens

The Get Smarties campaign

Kidney beans every day keep the doctor away

Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour – the DVD


Research Reversibility of the effects of additives, Changes in what children eat, Australian children targeted


In brief: Looking for a school fundraiser?, Want to comment on failsafe?, Iodine intake of children , Chronic Fatigue Syndrome stories?, US unions seek limit on butter flavor additive, Sainsbury’s UK Supermarkets, If governments won’t do it, people power will


TargetingGet Smarties Campaign

Readers' stories: [438] - [453]

Product updates:detailed help and information.

Questions: detailed help and information.

Cooks Corner: Failsafe lemonade, Chicken frittata, Bread and butter pudding



Hello everyone


Thank you to the many failsafers who have added their voices to our Get Smarties campaign! As UK manufacturers increasingly switch to additive free products we have to make sure Australian kids don't get left behind. Eighteen months ago, we applied to food regulators FSANZ to have the 5% labelling loophole closed, at least with regard to synthetic antioxidants, because we believe that consumers have the right to know when there are nasty additives in their foods. Now, finally, this matter is to be considered, see lead story.

Also in this issue, some interesting new products, quick and yummy recipes from readers, and more stories - our Courage award for a school confrontation, how peanut allergy was a blessing in disguise, an extraordinary story about fear of the dark, and much more ...

Happy failsafe eating - Sue Dengate

Labelling of antioxidants in fats and oils

Many Network members know how frustrating it is trying to find out whether synthetic antioxidants such as BHA 320 are in their food. Often the labels don’t declare them or are just plain wrong. The only way at present is to ring the manufacturer, who may or may not know, and may or may not tell you. We can change this situation: FSANZ have just released an initial assessment report, triggered by the Food Intolerance Network, which seeks to have all antioxidants in fats and oils declared on the label, irrespective of whether they are performing a technological function in the food in the view of food manufacturers. Please make a submission before 20 September!

You can post/email a submission. Here is a draft letter you can use: add your own health, behaviour and learning experiences, or the foods and labelling that that trip you up. Details now at http://fedup.com.au/information/fin-campaigns/what-you-can-do-to-help

Additive-free school canteens

The Food Intolerance Network has received so many enquiries about developing Additive Free school canteens that Kathleen Daalmeyer and Jenny Ravlic from the Melbourne group are putting together a newsletter to assist in Supporting an Additive Free Environment (SAFE) in your local school/kinder. They say: “We hope to offer you some ideas that can help in promoting change, suggest SAFE alternatives that can be offered for sale, and provide a forum for the sharing of support and information. The SAFE newsletter will also include some ideas and support for those in a preschool/childcare setting. Contact us with your questions, your frustrations, and your success stories. The tide is slowly turning and we are riding the crest of the wave. Together - we can learn to surf!”

To subscribe send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “Subscribe to SAFE” in the subject line. Include a brief blurb on who you are, where you are, and what stage you are at. Thanks to Kathleen and Jenny for this marvellous new initiative.


The Get Smarties campaign

Many thanks to all of you who contributed to the Get Smarties campaign asking Nestle Australia to replace artificial colours with natural colours as in the UK. We know there were heaps of submissions because failsafers who were less than impressed with the Nestle reply often forwarded it to us. Special thanks as well to Brenda Hunting and members of the Brisbane group who appeared on Channel Ten about the issue. There is no need to be discouraged by rude replies from food manufacturers as we find that manufacturers really listen, even if they seem to be in denial at the time. A spokesperson from Nestle tells us that they will be watching UK results closely, so at this stage we have to hope the naturally coloured Smarties sell as well as their artificially coloured counterparts.


Kidney beans every day keep the doctor away

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of beneficial natural antioxidants not to be confused with nasty synthetic antioxidants like BHA 320. The benefit of antioxidants is that they can neutralise free radicals known to cause cancer. In 2004, researchers from the US Department of Agriculture rated 130 common foods for their antioxidant power. Three of the top five entries were failsafe. Beans and nuts scored particularly high and of those, red kidney beans are exceptionally good value. Coming in at number three, and as the only dried beans that don't cause wind, they contained more than three times the antioxidant power of apples. Most of the top 20 were beans, nuts or berries.



Antioxidant capacity TE units (tocopherol equivalents)


pecan nuts

not failsafe


mexican red beans

14,920 failsafe


red kidney beans

14,412 failsafe


pinto beans

12,358 failsafe


black beans

8,040 failsafe


black-eyed peas

4,342 failsafe


red delicious apples

4,257 moderate in salicylates

Research shows that antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C and betacarotene in supplements do not have the same beneficial properties as whole fruit and vegetables. More information: Lisa Melton, The Antioxidant Myth, New Scientist,
5/8/06, p 40-43. See Cooks corner for How to eat kidney beans.


Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour – the DVD

Thanks to everyone who has emailed to say how useful and entertaining Sue’s new DVD has proven. Many people are buying it for their schools as a resource, daycare centres lend it to parents, schools use it to teach children and lend it to parents, parents lend it to educate their doctor, mothers lend it to their less-than supportive parents-in-law, kids enjoy it more than a book….you can buy it through the website, or order from any Angus & Robertson’s bookstore, or Australia Online Bookstore http://www.bookworm.com.au, Capers Bookstore http://www.capersbookstore.com.au, some Dymocks Bookstores, Learning Connections http://www.learningconnections.com.au, and many more places. An NTSC version (for USA, Canada, Japan and South America) will be available soon – check the website.




Reversibility of the effects of additives

It has generally been thought that adverse effects of food additives are reversible. Now Japanese doctors have reported the case of a five year old girl who developed multiple chemical sensitivity after an initial severe reaction to brilliant blue (133) and tartrazine (102) artificial colours in sweets and repeated exposure to food additives in foods and medication. Doctors commented that azo dyes in foods and drugs might play important roles as elicitors of paediatric MCS. Naoko Inomata and others, Multiple chemical sensitivities following intolerance to azo dye in sweets in a 5-year-old girl, Allergology International. 2006; 55(2):203-205. Free full text http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1323893015309680


Changes in what children eat

It’s official, what children eat is changing dramatically and at an increasingly rapid pace. Especially in the USA, the trend is towards increased snacking, more fast food and calorically sweetened beverages. Adair and Popkin, Are child eating patterns being transformed globally, Obesity Research 2005;13(7):1281-1299 free full text through www.pubmed.com


Australian children targeted

Researchers concluded that Australian children need protection from the targeted promotion of unhealthy foods on television after finding that the average Australian child watches more than 4000 TV advertisements a year for unhealthy foods high in fat and or sugar. Neville and others, Food advertising on Australian television: the extent of children's exposure, Health Promot Int, 2005 20(2):105-12, free full text http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/20/2/105

Diet not working as well as you'd hoped?

One tiny mistake can make a huge difference. For fine-tuning, see the Checklist of common mistakes. Readers tell us this list is very useful.

In brief


Looking for a school fundraiser? The perfect school fundraiser and it’s not chocolate (or any unhealthy product)  And 50% of the profits go to natural health and education initiatives for young children. 


Want to comment on failsafe? Remedyfind is an international and unbiased site (not sponsored by any drug companies etc.) that lets individuals rate the effectiveness of the treatments they have used for specific health conditions. They have asked for more ratings of failsafe from parents who are using it with their children. The site is free and members can be as anonymous as they would like.


ADD/ADHD http://www.remedyfind.com/rem.asp?id=5041>http://www.remedyfind.com/rem.asp?id=5041


Asthma http://www.remedyfind.com/rem.asp?id=6831>http://www.remedyfind.com/rem.asp?id=6831


Autism Spectrum Disorders



Iodine intake of children A national study of Australian schoolchildren aged 8-10 years has found that there is an inadequate iodine intake in the Australian population http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newscategoryid=1&newsstoryid=904


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome stories? Alex is compiling a book of recovery stories to give hope and ideas to help themselves to people with CFS who are still sick. If you want your story heard, email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He’d love to hear from you.


US unions seek limit on butter flavour additive - unions representing food processing workers have asked government workplace safety regulators to limit exposure to an artificial butter flavouring additive. Diacetyl, a primary component of artificial butter flavour in popcorn and other foods, has caused bronchiolitis obliterans, or "popcorn workers lung," in dozens of workers. "There is compelling scientific evidence that diacetyl causes terrible lung disease," said David Michaels of George Washington University's School of Public Health. © Reuters 2006


Sainsbury’s UK Supermarkets will phase out use of the bread preservative calcium propionate (282) in their Kids range by year’s end, as part of their re-defined brand standards which “include significantly tighter restrictions on the ingredients and additives which are permitted to be used in Sainsbury's food and drink”. The tide is turning.


If governments won’t do it, people power will - while food regulators dither, European consumers are saying no-nyet-non-nein to artificial additives in droves and the market for natural colourings is booming, more details from http://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/2768/Nothing_to_declare.html

Now targeting… We team up with Western Australian-based www.additivealert.com.au to target a different additive in each newsletter.


Get Smarties Campaign - Nestle Australia have no plans to remove artificial colours from Smarties because ‘the company has received no consumer complaints’. They

want complaints? We’ll give them complaints! You can contact Nestle

By email: www.nestle.com.au click on Contact Us, By phone 1800 025 361, By mail: Consumer Services Department, GPO Box 4320, Sydney NSW 2001.


If you’ve already helped with Smarties, consider post/emailing a submission on the labelling of antioxidants. Here is a draft letter you can use: add your own health, behaviour and learning experiences, or the foods and labelling that that trip you up: info now at http://fedup.com.au/information/fin-campaigns/what-you-can-do-to-help

Readers' stories

We are starting a Courage Award for the best story in each Newsletter, with the prize being a copy of the DVD “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour”. Here is the inaugural winner, showing how one person can make a big difference:

[438] I have well and truly got their attention now (August 2006)

Maybe as parents we should take our children into these places, give them the harmful products and walk out and say see what happens and good luck. Then they might start listening. I did this to my son's school recently after they thought I was a mother overreacting to my son taking part in morning tea that was brought in by other students in the class. The Principal actually commented that "you need to let your children have a bit of fun in their lives". So I decided to let him join in the fun!

They got the shock of their lives when they saw the reaction they got in my son. His teacher made a comment to me that she was shocked at the change it caused in him. He was totally uncontrollable. I said "yes, I am not a mean mum just a caring one". She then said that she had discussed it with the Principal and they know that I am trying with him. It's amazing how they change their mind when you show them. Unfortunately he had to get into trouble to get their attention. But I think I have well and truly got their attention now - Tania from WA

[453] One liners (August 2006)

Our 6 year old son’s urticaria and rhinitis have improved dramatically by avoiding cats and dustmites (for allergies) and additives annatto 160b and flavour enhancers 621-635. He is now starting to feel better, sleeping better and behaving better (previously we were told it was ADHD but I have my doubts now).

It is great to see that food intolerance and other chemical sensitivities are now getting recognition - I have spent a lot of time and energy explaining to people why I can't eat certain foods or why certain smells (paint, new carpet, nail polish) cause nausea and sometimes cause an asthmatic reaction.

Our dietician has already cleared one thing up for me - why I often find my throat closing up when eating peppermints. I had no idea that it would be a salicylate issue.

An added benefit of this plainer diet is that their tastebuds have become accustomed and now they actually eat vegies etc more than they ever used to because they don't taste so bad compared to everything else (previously highly salted and flavoured) on their plates.

Since failing her amine challenge three months ago my six year old daughter has had no more amines, and no more snotty or blocked nose, nasal sprays, nightmares, sore tummy, teeth grinding, sore legs or nail biting - and her nails are growing for the first time in her life.

Your DVD opened the eyes of my family and my son's school teachers! It's really well put together, and my son was excited to be able to take a DVD to school to show his class all about his food! - Karena, Tas.

Without your information about diet, my family would have been torn apart, purely because of the behaviour of our five year old son. He is now a pleasant person to have around - most of the time. My husband and I are also much calmer and handle our children in a far nicer way than we did previously.

I look forward to your newsletter - keep up the good work and there are more and more of us sounding the warning bell.

Food additives are a big issue with consumers and getting bigger all the time. – excerpt from an email from a failsafer to a food manufacturer – thanks to Helen.

[452] One liners 2 (August 2006)

I let my 7 year old eat as many dried apricots as he wanted for the sulphites challenge because he’s definitely not salicylate sensitive - he ate 10 (little) whole apricots yesterday and said it was a bit hard to breathe even thought he has no known asthma problem.

Last night my son had 3 night terrors close together, where he screams and his legs cramp and he twitches. I phoned his day care as he spoke about eating glue. I found out it was a thing the school calls 'gloop' to tailor fine motor skills. It is made with flour, water and (yesterday) green food colouring.

I am another recent convert - my almost 5 year old was always difficult in terms of behaviour and the term oppositional defiance describes her well - when we cut out preservatives after seeing you on TV last year she improved heaps (no more threats of violence). Since then I have borrowed one of your books and now we don't touch flavours, colours or preservatives, WOW what a difference - I will most likely do the elimination diet in the near future to pinpoint other possible issues like salicylates etc.

Positive symptoms I've noticed since we started our elimination diet include that we all seem to eat less ... and less frequently. The children seem to be more or less satisfied with 3 meals and the odd snack. We’ve also gone from three wet beds a night to none most days so I figure the extra time I spend in preparing food is time I don't any longer spend in the laundry - a very fair trade!

Thanks for your time, Sue. I really appreciate the hours you have put into this to make it so much easier for people like me. I've seen such a huge improvement in my (I suspect ADHD) son. It's lovely to see him a happy, coping little boy. You and yours have been a great blessing to our family.

I noticed a dog food advertisement on TV recently stating "no added flavours or colours" for the health of your dog - if they do it for DOGS why not people??

[451] Severe eczema and cradlecap in a fully breastfed baby (August 2006)

My two and a half year old daughter has had severe eczema and cradle cap since she was a few months old, I never made the connection between the eczema and food allergy because she wasn’t even on solids when we first noticed the eczema. She was fully breastfed and I am embarrassed to admit that it didn’t occur to me that what I ate may be causing the rash! I had her to the doctor plenty of times over her first two years and came away with all sorts of creams and lotions, but nothing that worked. (Mind you the doctor never once suggested food allergy either!)

Anyway six months ago she had an allergic reaction to peanut butter, we took her to an allergist who performed skin prick tests and not only is she anaphylactic to peanuts but also allergic to egg and tomato. We eliminated all nuts and egg and tomato from her diet and whilst she improved and her cradle cap went, her skin still didn’t clear up. She still scratched a lot (mostly at night), got allergic shiners under her eyes, and always seemed to have a slight cough and a clear runny nose.

I recently got hold of Fed Up with the idea of doing the elimination diet then slowly introducing things back in to see what else may be causing her eczema. I am pleased to tell you that the eczema is now completely cleared up along with all the other symptoms simply due to avoiding all preservatives.

Before going fully failsafe we eliminated all those nasties from our diets and what a difference it has made! I just want to say thank you for what you do and for making it so much easier for parents like me, who 18 months ago had no idea what 160b or 282 were and thought I was giving my children healthy food with their yoghurt and cheese spread etc. I almost look at my daughter’s anaphylactic allergy to peanuts a blessing in disguise, because if not for that I never would have investigated food allergies and would still be obliviously feeding my family all sorts of nasty things.

[450] Mostly failsafe at boarding school (August 2006)

Our eldest started boarding school this year and it has been both awful and wonderful. Tina is affected behaviourally by foods. Have you read the 'Animorphs' series of books for kids? Well there is a little creature called a 'yerk' that takes over people’s brains and that is how Tina describes it when she is not failsafe. It is scary for her.

Boarding school has been hell and she has been miserable, but by term 3 the staff started to take us seriously that the behaviour, social and academic problems would virtually go away if we could remove problem foods from her diet. The school counsellor is very supportive and suggested I cook cakes and biscuits to be kept in the freezer in the kitchen for her to pack her own morning teas and snacks. They are buying additive free bread for her and keeping vanilla yoghurt. When they have a roast they freeze slices of meat (not pork) for her lunches. One day they ran out and boiled eggs up just for her. She just leaves the main queue and goes to a different door and they help her. They have also purchased pats of pure butter instead of margarine. Her diet is not pure failsafe but it's heaps better and now she is so much happier. If boarding school doesn’t work out this year, she can do Distance Education next year. – by email, Qld [contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the name of the boarding school].

[449] 635: Severe rash due to 635, we didn’t realize until we saw it on TV (August 2006)

My seven year old son recently developed a severe rash that covered all parts of his body after he had tried salt and vinegar chips for the first time. However we did not realise this until we saw you on Today Tonight and realised he had never had these chips before. When the rash had almost gone (it was completely covering his back, stomach and groin) he went to his nannas and had Arnotts chicken crimpy and crispy bacon biscuits (which we now know contain 635). He came home covered in a severe rash this time on his legs. He was scratching it so badly that he made his legs bleed.

I was going crazy trying to figure out what was causing it until I saw your segment. I am very grateful to you for solving this problem for me as the medication was getting expensive and I was getting nowhere with the doctors. On the first visit for the initial rash I was told he had hives and given two types of medication that didn’t work so we went back. Then we were told he had eczema and we were given a different medication. This one was working until he had the chicken crimpys and the rash came back in a different area.

[448] 282: Identical twins react differently to bread preservative 282 (August 2006)

Since food intolerance runs in families, I would expect identical twins to be affected by the same food chemicals, so when this mother wrote about the reaction of a twin to the bread preservative, I asked whether the other twin was affected. You can see her answer below. This is an excellent illustration of how parents are more likely to identify behavioural reactions to food chemicals and to miss other types of reactions. Yet usually if one member of the family is affected, others will be affected in different ways.

I am the mother of identical twin girls aged three and a half. I have discovered that one of my twin girls reacts violently to the preservative 282 in bread and since my girls were 18mths old have been purchasing bread through Baker Delight with great success. Recently for the first time in two years she was eating preservative bread on holiday and went off her head. Screaming, tantrums, the whole nine yards so to speak … later … When you asked does my other girl react differently, I really had to sit down and think about this one. Yes I suppose she does. It seems to me that her ability to hold her bladder disappears while being affected by 282, that is, she says she needs to go pee, then her pants are wet. Off 282 for a few weeks, mentions she needs to pee in the middle of grocery shopping, I have time to quickly finish off shop then get trolley through the checkout and then get to toilet. A big difference. At home now she will need to go, but can keep playing for about 2 – 5 minutes whereas if she is eating 282 and needs to pee, she will pee on floor on the way to bathroom. – by email.

[447] ‘Fear of the dark’ really a food reaction (August 2006)

We started the diet nearly a year ago for my son, a sweet 5 year old who would become an aggressive, extremely hyperactive and an emotional monster nearly every day. I saw you on A Current Affair and after taking muesli bars and sultanas (which I had thought were healthy) out of his diet I noticed most of his aggressive behaviour disappear.

After that we started the full diet and not only did our son become an angel, we noticed that our daughter was a very strong amine reactor, becoming uncontrollably emotional, depressed and ‘full on’, as well as having frequent nightmares and bedwetting. Unfortunately since we have moved 2 months ago our son has gone backwards fast, I now think as a result of amines in meat from new butchers. It is so upsetting to see all the progress disappear, and he has had HUGE problems at school this term. I have traveled back to our old butchers to stock up on meat and am started to see some improvement after one week.

The biggest shock for me however, was when I recently discovered I was a food reactor!! I was a junk food addict and would eat about 5kg of chocolate a week. I can’t believe now I had so many symptoms, and I never even put them together as symptoms, let alone found the source of the problem! I was getting migraines, I constantly had a headache behind my eyes, I felt very faint and disoriented, had stomach pains that felt like needles - usually after eating lollies, and I was always bloated - something which really upset me.

The weirdest thing to attribute to food however was my extreme ‘fear of the dark’ as I called it. I would be terribly scared of the dark, I would think that my mind thought it could see little people and things out of the corner of my eye, even though I knew they weren’t there, I would open my eyes every 10 seconds while trying to get to sleep, just to check if there were monsters or robbers there, and every time I closed my eyes all I could picture in my head was horrible things that would scare me. I was a bit worried I was starting to go crazy, then I stopped eating chocolate and didn’t even notice all these symptoms disappeared.

It wasn’t until I splurged on a whole chocolate cake over two nights that I discovered what had caused these problems. After eating the cake I was completely on edge. I couldn’t sit down for ten seconds without turning around to make sure there were no monsters or robbers behind me. Eventually I had to sit with my back to the wall so I wouldn’t think there were things behind me. That was the last time I ate chocolate, and the thought of ever eating it again scares me! – by email.

[446] The 12 days of salicylates (August 2006)

This is the diary of a salicylate food challenge with a five year old boy who suffered from two different kinds of effects, behaviour and rash. Note that effects can be delayed, build up slowly and fluctuate. Behavioural reactions are likely to occur and resolve more quickly than rash. Behavioural symptoms can depend on what is happening around the child. Food chemicals can cause irritability resulting in tantrums when children don’t get their own way and good behaviour when they do.

Day 1 – No reaction

Day 2 - Tantrum, kicking, punching (wanted more peppermints)

Day 3 - Punched a peer’s arm at kindy

Day 4 - Itchy rash appeared on inside of elbow

Day 5 - Well behaved

Day 6 - Red blotches and pimples all over lower half of face, tantrum, screaming and hitting me (didn't want photo taken)

Day 7 - More blotchy and spotty, face sore and raw. (End of challenge foods)

Day 8 - Wet bed

Day 9 - Wet bed, sore tummy, sore red anus, constipated

Day10 -Wet bed, kindy complained of very small attention span, loss of concentration.

Day11 - Face clearing, no wet bed, generally seems to be getting better

Day12 - wet bed again.

[445] I wanted to hurt my son because he was driving me nuts (August 2006)

I have started my two year old boy on an additive free diet and I can’t believe the change in him. I had come to a point where I wanted to hurt my son because he was driving me nuts. I hadn’t a clue what from till a friend said try this diet and I’m so thankful to that friend for showing me the light in raising a great son who I now enjoy. It’s still hard at times as we still need training in what he can and can’t have but now I know what sends him so silly and don't blame him for being a pain.

I have always watched what he was eating and thought he was eating all the right foods. How wrong I was. When I starting looking at what was in food I was shocked to see that all the foods he loved were really bad for him.

I have taken him off additives, we now do lots of baking and making foods from scratch and I watch the amount of fruit he has and what sort. He is great and loves bananas and when we go to the shop instead of asking for junk he will say mum can I have a banana. All I can say is thanks for making my son normal. – by email.

[444] 635: 'Knotting' in the oesophagus due to 635 (August 2006)

Another disturbing symptom due to 635 that has only accompanied the rash twice is a very strong sensation of 'knotting' in my oesophagus. It's similar to the feeling of eating a lot of food too quickly and having to wait for it to travel down. It comes in waves, like contractions, and I wonder whether it is the peristalsis of my oesophagus firing unnecessarily. It has woken me from sleep on both occasions and I find that it responds to taking an antihistamine. - by email.

[443] 635: Spasms of the oesophagus due to 635 (August 2006)

On occasions my tongue would swell and my eyelids would swell up and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I’d been to doctors and a naturopath and I was still getting it, and then I read an article in the Sunday Sun, and it was all my symptoms on 635 and that the reactions would take 48 hours or so to come out. I thought “that sounds like me”, so I eliminated them from my diet, and then I ate them again, and within two or three days the reaction came out, so I stopped it again, and to be sure, I ate it again, just to see what would happen, and it came out again, but I also get what I was told was spasms of the oesophagus. I started off thinking I was getting indigestion, and it would just pull really tight across my chest. It would last for hours, and I thought I was dying. - verbal report after presentation.

[442] Thoughts from a 12 year old failsafer (August 2006)

I have been on the diet for nearly 4 years. It has helped me a lot because when I was eight I was really naughty such as screaming all the time and hitting people and hitting my head on the wall. It felt so bad but now I am on the diet I feel so much better - I don't get headaches or pains in my side and feel sick in the stomach all the time. When I first found out about the diet and Learning Connections explained why I was acting and feeling the way I did I was so happy - happy that it wasn't me that was naughty or bad inside - it was the food I was eating. I can't eat takeaways now but I don't mind because my mum cooks nuggets and chips. I used to be sad that I couldn't eat my favourite fruit but I am used to it now. I haven’t been able to eat lollies that other people can eat but mum cooks me lollies ... [mum does the smashi lollies ... see www.smashi.com] – from Qld

MORE READERS' STORIES on the website

Product updates


Plain toothpaste has been an issue over the past few months. Both brands now available contains a benzoate preservative, otherwise they get a "serious furry mould" within 6 months. The amount is very small (about 0.15%) so if it is not swallowed then you should not get more than you will be getting by eating, say, some raw celery. We recommend Soul Pattinsons Plain toothpaste (at their pharmacies in Australia) and Oral Hygiene Solutions Plain toothpaste www.plaintoothpaste.com. Cost is $3.50 tube plus postage. I believe local pharmacies can order supplies in. Thanks to Jenni Mackay and others. Both contain fluoride at 0.76%.


New vintage persimmon wine has been very popular. Plastic reusable stoppers mean that no sulphites come with the corks. Our testing shows no detectable sulphites at all (<10ppm). We can’t guarantee it’s low in salicylates and amines, but it’s much better tolerated than grape wine. Failsafers say: ‘it’s not like grape wine, but it’s nice to have a bottle of wine on the table – whisky’s not the same’; ‘it doesn’t make me feel awful the next morning, like wine normally does’; ‘great to make a stirfry more tasty’; ‘I like it diluted with soda water’. From the Waterfall Way Winery, 51-53 Hickory Street DORRIGO NSW 2453, ph/fax (02) 6657 1373 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (you have to pay for postage).


Woolworths Bakery Croissant Mini 10pk (bought at Mirrabooka Square Shopping Centre WA) are failsafe: Wheat Flour, Water, Butter (milk fat, water, milk solids, colour (160A), Yeast Wheat, Gluten, Sugar, Soy Flour, Emulsifiers (472E, 481), Mineral Salt (170), Food Acid (270,260,300), Firming Agent (616), Enzyme, Vitamin (Thiamine) “I’m so used to baked goods not being failsafe that I thought it was amazing to see this one” – thanks to Larissa


White Rabbit lollies from Chinese supermarkets, imported by Vihenthi Co P/L of 19 Boag Pl, Morley WA 6062. Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Liquid Glucose, Butter, Milk. Recommended by a failsafer (asthmatics be aware that glucose syrup may contain sulphite residues). Thanks to Melinda


Dried fruit from Woolworths: Lion of Sahara Crispy Fruit is freeze dried mango (contains salicylates) and banana (contains amines) free from sulphites and other preservatives in the dried fruit section of Woolworths, BUT make sure that you get the freeze-dried product, as their ordinary product contains sulphites! The dried bananas are good for amine challenge or people who have passed their amine challenge. If you would like to see this company doing dried pears with no added flavour, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Great Lakes canned pears. Great Lakes say they were delisted by Woolworths despite their best efforts to keep their products ranged and explained the difficulty of maintaining permanent ranging with competitors who are global multinationals, like Coca Cola who own the SPC & Goulburn Valley brands. You can express your disappointment by writing to Woolworths (as FIN has done on your behalf, see Writing for change) - Greg Benstead, Business Manager, 1 Woolworths Way Bella Vista NSW 2153 or fill in the customer enquiry form on their website (www.woolworths.com.au). Thanks to Amanda, and Kathleen Daalmeyer (Kathleen runs failsafe shopping tours in Melbourne).


Pears in syrup Coles have just introduced their own brand of pears in syrup. Thanks to Jennifer Berthold


Organic icecream in Coles: Pure Chill is the least of all the evils as far as icecreams are concerned, just the simple ingredients you would use if making it at home and all organic. Available from Coles (discontinued) (contains dairy and egg) – thanks to Diane


***Warning*** Vanilla fruche now contains annatto 160b so is no longer failsafe, thanks to Lesley.


***Warning*** Gran’s fudge now includes antioxidant (320) and preservative 202 in the margarine, not failsafe. Thanks to Cathy


***Warning*** IGA homebrand canola oil now has 319 and 320, not failsafe. – thanks to Jenny Ravlic


***Warning*** Ritz Original biscuits and Ritz Sticks now contain 319 as the antioxidant due to a change of manufacturing plant. You can contact the manufacturers to complain http://www.kraft.com.au thanks to Jenny Ravlic (Jenny runs failsafe shopping tours with Kathleen Daalmeyer in Melbourne, ph 03 9544 2804).


Vitamin and mineral supplements. Some dietitians are now recommending Elevit pregnancy supplements (half dose for children) as these are free from additives and herbs and easy to divide, see http://www.homepharmacy.com.au/products/products_list.cfm?keywords=Elevit. Thanks to Anne Hurman


Vitasoy BHA-free ricemilks. Vitasoy regular ricemilk is BHA free if the best by date is 24/03/07 or later; for the protein enriched ricemilk and all other Vitasoy products the best by date is 21/01/07, but note that Vitasoy ricemilks are failsafe but soymilks are not because they contains raw sugar. Thanks to Nicola Avery and Rebecca.


Soy icecream. Fruccio soy icecream (without annatto 160b) has been deleted and will no longer be sold in Australia. “That leaves So Good vanilla (with annatto 160b). Can you help us (failsafe chat groups) put some pressure on So Good to remove the 160b?” asks a failsafer. Please write to Sanitarium Australia, Locked Bag 7, Central Coast Mail Centre, NSW 2252, email through the website www.sanitarium.com.au or ring 1800 673 392 - thanks to Tanya Smith


Butcher in Hornsby NSW: Tender Value Meats,12 Florence St Hornsby N.S.W Ph 9987 4028 sells organic chicken whole or in pieces and has a few failsafe customers so will make up sausages for you using whatever ingredients you can have. “My son’s favourite is the chicken, pear and golden syrup. It has been fantastic to have someone so supportive and willing to go out of their way to help and my son doesn’t feel as though he is missing out on everything”. – thanks to Mia Park


Butcher in Grafton NSW: Dean and Jackie at Red Bull Butchery, Casino Road, Junction Hill (about 7kms north-west of Grafton, towards Casino), phone 02 6644 7274, will make failsafe sausages and has three failsafe families as customers already. Thanks to Penny


Butcher at Blacktown NSW: Westpoint Peter’s Meats at will make sausages with mince and sausage casing, charging only the price of the mince they use, you just need to ring ahead to let them know what you want, thanks to Jennifer Berthold


Butcher in Townsville: makes beef and chicken gluten free/ preservative free sausages using the ingredients in your failsafe sausages: A Mays Inn Meats, High Range Rd, Kirwan QLD (Townsville), 4723 8444, open 7 days a week thanks to Sherri


Beef direct from the producer at a fair price. Honestbeef will ship, initially to the eastern seaboard of Australia, 10 and 20kg packs of freshly killed frozen cuts of beef with direct payment to the producer. The meat is hung for 4 days, as is all beef, but will not be cryovacced. All meat sausages may also be available in time. a great concept, not just from the failsafe point of view but also from the point of view of getting a fair price for producers. http://www.honestbeef.com.au/


Organic meats including nitrate free bacon and ham in SE Qld. The Meat-ting Place is the only Certified Organic retailer and processor of meats in QLD and offers a home delivery service of their organic meats. For people who have passed their amine challenge, there is nitrate free organic ham and bacon containing only sea salt and organic beetroot for colouring. http://www.themeat-tingplace.com.au/, Stewart Burns 07 3378 9895


Bakery in Strathalbyn, SA: Pestkas use the Laucke flour mix, so the plain breads are failsafe. Thanks to Helen Sweet


Rice Bran Oil appears to suit a lot of failsafers but people who know they are intolerant to brans and wholemeal products should be cautious due to the following reader feedback: “I have tried the Rice Bran Oil by Alpha and I thought it was Ok at first. I had been using it for about two weeks when I noticed that my two kids and myself were unusually more irritable and angry - it was at my husband's suggestion (not fully failsafe but very supportive) that it might be the Rice Bran Oil causing this. He knew we all reacted badly to a switch over to Baker's Delight Wholemeal Bread (instead of White) and said that the "Bran" might be causing the same reaction. At his darling suggestion I stopped using the Rice Bran Oil and within a couple of days we were right as rain again.” – thanks to Lisa


**Caution**SO GOOD Soymilk with ‘fresh new taste’ now contains added ‘natural flavour’ so we asked for reader feedback: “I was able to isolate my reaction to this product as I still had some of the earlier formulation and when I used that the symptoms eased or disappeared”. We now recommend Pure Harvest. Thanks to Merryn


Personal care products: Earthsentials base products www.earthsentials.com are free from fragrances • Beauty & the Bees products www.beebeauty.com unscented lip balm and shampoo bar also available at Biome or the Soap Kitchen, see next • Biome Living www.biome.com.au Shop 4 / 2 Latrobe Tce Paddington Qld, 07 3368 3009 for a range of fragrance free and environmentally-friendly products including Logona henna Hair Colours • Soap Kitchen www.soapkitchen.com.au 15 / 572 King Street Newtown NSW, 02 9516 0018 for a range of fragrance free and environmentally-friendly products including unflavoured Weleda Salt Toothpaste, Logona Henna Hair Colours, Redgums soaps, Miessence Aroma Free deodorant • Golden Glow www.goldenglow.com.au or 1300 36 36 56 Ecover washing & cleaning range and cheapest Miessence Aroma Free deodorant – thanks to Kyria


Feminine hygiene: alternatives to disposable pads include the Diva Cup which is made of silicone and reusable www.divacup.com and cloth pads from WAHMs www.bestforbaby.com.au.Thanks to Cas


Laundry detergent: new Dynamo free is unscented, thanks to Gail


Check out the Failsafe shopping list on the website for latest information.


Your questions:

Q: I see there have been food recalls and publicity in UK about the carcinogen Sudan 1 in artificial colour Sunset Yellow 110 and in some foods. What's happening in Australia?

A: If a change is made in international specifications for an additive, which usually takes years through a committee known as JECFA, then the new specification will be picked up when the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code is amended and updated.. For instance, the permitted level of lead in sunset yellow (110) has just been reduced from 10 to 2 mg/kg. Not that any of us are eating such stuff.

Q: I have found a commercial bread, at a good price, made of unbleached flour but it contains 282. The ones I can find without 282 contain bleached flour. What is your opinion - which is worse ?

A: 282 is worse. The Bread Research Institute in Sydney confirmed that there is no bleached flour produced or sold in Australia, nor is there permission for it. The only exception is in commercial sponge flour, which you can't buy as a flour at the retail level. If you buy a cooked sponge cake there is a small chance that the flour will have been bleached to stabilise the protein so the sponge doesn't collapse. A lot of the claims on websites for bleaching of flour relate to US flours, which are made from red wheats which may be bleached to give a whiter appearance.

Q. For at least 2 years now I have constantly suffered from reflux and could never work out what was the common ingredient. After seeing the 635 TV segment I found that 635 was a common element in the foods in our cupboard. As an experiment I stopped eating foods that contained it and after two days the reflux disappeared. About three weeks later I suffered another bout of bad reflux and looked at what had changed. That night I had eaten some BBQ chips that contained, you guessed it, 635. Are there other people for whom 635 has had this effect?

A. Yes! People react differently to food chemicals so any food chemical can cause any reaction. While 635 is often associated with itchy rashes, it can also be associated with any other food intolerance symptoms including reflux and children’s behaviour. On our DVD, one woman talks about itchy rashes, swelling of the lips and tongue and extremely painful spasms of the oesophagus due to 635. “I thought I was going to die,“ she says. Although food regulators claim consumers are protected by food additive labelling, in our experience both consumers and their health care providers are usually unaware of the effects of food additives, resulting in years of unnecessary pain and medication.

Q. Is it possible that a fish oil supplement could have caused an increase in my Aspergers son’s behaviour problems? It may purely coincidence but it appears that his behaviour seriously deteriorated when we started giving him the fish oil and it improved (or rather went back to what it was before the fish oil) a couple of days after we stopped giving it to him.

A. Fish oil is thought to benefit about 30 per cent of children with learning or behaviour problems. Others can be badly affected due to the presence of natural salicylates (in ingredients such as thyme oil, evening primrose oil and lemon or lime flavouring) and natural amines in fish oils. Failsafers have reported adverse reactions including behaviour problems, depression and migraines to a range of fish oil products. See below for reader reports regarding children's reactions. Some families do a fish oil challenge for a week or more while keeping a careful food and symptom dairy - at the end of the time, parents can review the diary and decide whether their child is better or worse. For more details and reader reports regarding fish oil’s claims to be salicylate and amine free, and some children's reactions, see the new factsheet: Fish oils, Vitamins and Vegetables.

Q. With depression etc at record highs, I’m just wondering if anyone has done a study on tartrazine (colour 102) and its effects on emotions, more specifically, depression. I have been challenging things from my seven year old daughter’s diet. Yesterday we had some fruit mentos and afterwards she was teary, her eyes were purple and red and blotchy. As for me I felt suddenly stressed and angry. This lasted about 1/2 hour for me and about 1 hour for her.

A. The link between food chemicals and depression is generally not recognized by the medical profession, and there is only a little research about it, see the Depression factsheet on our website and also the Sleep Disturbance factsheet. Most of the studies on food colours have concerned hyperactivity but food chemicals including artificial colours and salicylates can affect people in different ways. Some children may become hyperactive, loud or aggressive after exposure to artificial colours or salicylates while others may become quiet, inattentive, tearful or anxious. Effects of food chemicals can change with age, so that children who react with hyperactivity in primary school may react with depression in high school. If they are eating food chemicals that affect them all the time, the condition will appear to be chronic as reported in the Parker and Watkins 2003 paper described in the depression factsheet. This issue is so overlooked that medications for depression are coloured with artificial colours!

Q. My sister says I should take my kids to Advanced Allergy Elimination (AAE) to get them desensitized. Can you tell me if that works?

A. There is no scientific basis for AAE and it can be very expensive. Some people say it has helped them. Others say it hasn’t.

Q. Is home brand OK for soy drink, wheat bix, rice bubbles and 2 minute noodles (the ingredients say wheat flour, vegetable oil (palm) water and salt?

A. Read the labels carefully. Some home brand products are OK but if you buy a product that contains any vegetable oil (that includes 2 minute noodles or soy drink), it probably contains unlisted antioxidants like BHA (320) in the vegetable oil. It is impossible for us to get accurate information about legally unlisted antioxidants in vegetable oils in homebrand products so we don’t recommend them.

Q. We have been through the RPA elimination diet but my three year old did not fit the mould. She has major reactions to anything orange or yellow such as corn, pumpkin, apricots, citrus fruits, pineapple, egg, etc Her reactions occur almost instantly at the slightest amount of any of the above – there is no build up. It is enough to use the same spoon to serve peas as carrots to give her a reaction.

A. I can’t find anything in the medical literature about allergy or intolerance to beta-carotene but you are not the first to report this problem. I would like to hear from anyone else who thinks they may have a sensitivity to this food chemical. (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Q. My son had a severe outbreak of hives while taking Robitussin ME for a cough. The doctor was surprised with the reaction to the Robitussin, but as soon as we discontinued using the product the hives went away.

A. This is the second report of severe reactions to Robitussin ME we have received, so it is worth reporting it - the Adverse Events Medications Hotline ceased to exist from June 2006, due to lack of funding but the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee can be contacted with reports of reactions. Although this is technically not their role, they are apparently very concerned about the situation and will take note of any reports. ADRAC phone 1800 044 114.

Q. I saw a dietician but she seemed quite vague about it and I got a lot more information from your site than she gave me anyway. I really need to see a good dietician so any recommendations would be appreciated.

A. We receive a lot of feedback like this. Our list of supportive dietitians is available on request from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are prepared to travel, ask for one of our miracle workers, a small group of dietitians who are very experienced and talented. If you see someone who is less than helpful, please give us the name so we can warn others. Dietitians in hospitals and community health centres are free, some are helpful, some are not. There are some good free dietitians on our list. To find a private dietitian, you can go to the dietitians’ website www.daa.asn.au, click on Find an APD, choose Allergy and Food Sensitivity (under Area of Practice), and your suburb or state as your search terms, then look for anyone near you - and let us know what you think of them! The best way to judge a dietitian is to ask them how many years experience they have in supervising the RPA elimination diet.

Around the groups: getting in touch


Talking point – punishment for effects of food chemicals?

Should children be punished in some way for behaving badly after inadvertently eating food chemicals known to affect them including artificial colours, salicylates, amines etc? Send your opinions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Factsheets and support material

New on the website: New Factsheets on Amines, Salicylates, Diet and ADHD, Diet, sleep disturbance and insomnia, Eczema, Fish oils, vitamins and vegetables, and MSG, plus updated stories from readers, particularly on 635 ribonucleotide flavour enhancers. Plus three new Nasty Food Awards from the dozens submitted. Network Submission to NICNAS (National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme) towards their review “Promoting Safer Chemical Use: Towards better regulation of chemicals in Australia”.


There are now 88 support contacts in over 50 locations in Australia, and in New Zealand and 9 overseas countries - see website.

There are now over 2,500 people in our many support groups. We now recommend failsafebasic for beginners. It is the smallest of the big general groups, You can join by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with subscribe in the subject line.

New local group for failsafers residing in or near Sydney, NSW Australia, to discuss where to buy suitable food, provide local information such as dietitians who supervise the diet and doctors who are sympathetic to our problems, as well as sharing our stories and successes. You can join by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “subscribe” in the subject line.



Sue will be giving two local talks in September:

Bellingen NSW Tuesday 12 September 7.00-9.00pm: ‘Fed Up With Children’s Behaviour’ by Sue Dengate. Bellingen High School. $10 per person, all welcome. Sue’s new DVD will be available for sale $25 cash or cheque, plus limited copies of “Fed Up with Asthma” $20. Contact Jenny or Judy 02 6655 2323 Bellingen Family Day Care.

Lismore NSW Thursday 14 September 6.30-9.30pm: ‘Fed Up With Children’s Behaviour’ by Sue Dengate. Goonellabah RSL Sports Club, 202 Oliver Ave, Goonellabah. $10 single/couple, all welcome. Sue’s new DVD will be available for sale $25 cash or cheque. Contact Natasha at Lismore Family Daycare 02 6621 6437. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

123 Magic and failsafe in Sydney - Sonia Judd is a failsafe mother of two and registered psychologist. For details of failsafe 123 Magic courses, contact Sonia on phone 02 9402 1458, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Supermarket tours

Kathleen and Jenny in Melbourne and Belinda in mid-north coast NSW will run supermarket tours for failsafers. Details under Talks on website.


Mickaela’s study looking for young children

Enrolments for the RMIT/Royal Children’s Hospital diet and behaviour study in Melbourne will be closing soon but vacancies still exist for a few children on the younger end of the scale (4-8), for more information, phone: Mickaela Schelleman on 0410 788 844, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dr. Amanda Richdale on (03) 99257366, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Printable trifold brochures on food intolerance and oppositional defiance are available. We'll post two free that you can copy, or you can buy bulk copies at cost $A0.22 each plus postage. 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 failsafeing 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."


Cook’s corner



Natural oven cleaner, or what to do with that old bottle of tomato sauce you can no longer eat: workers at a school canteen were surprised to find that Rosella tomato sauce accidently poured on a dirty oven tray cleaned baked-on grease better than any commercial oven cleaner. Thanks to Faye McCarthy, Tas.

Preservative free “breadcrumbs” For our schnitzel we use crushed up SAO biscuits as our crumbing. It is crunchier than normal bread crumbs, so we now call it SAO Chicken. – thanks to Dagmar

How to eat kidney beans Take a whole tin of cooked kidney beans, blend with a wand blender and add to soups, stews or failsafe mince (thanks to Anne Hurman). Or add whole beans to the above. Or add them to the frittata below. Use in tossed salads. Or make Howard’s bean paste (see recipe section on website) as a sandwich spread, dip or pizza topping.


Failsafe lemonade

I dissolve a cup of sugar in with a cup of boiling water and then add about 1/2 tsp of citric acid. I then put the 'sugar syrup' in a salad dressing bottle and store in the fridge. To make lemonade all you need to do is drizzle a small amount of the sugar syrup into a glass and top with plain soda water or mineral water. Tastes just like bubbly lemonade and my son loves it. All amounts may be varied depending on your taste. Thanks to Dianne Hunt


Chicken frittata

This recipe is another variation on hiding the vegetables, Debbie says: “My 6 year old son loved this recipe but I didn't tell him there were brussel sprouts as he tried one the other night and didn't like it”.

raw vegetables chopped small (e.g. potato, swede, brussel sprouts)

fresh chives, chopped

small garlic clove or to taste

sea salt to taste

4 eggs

¼ cup cream, milk, soymilk or ricemilk

fresh home-cooked chopped chicken (e.g. leftover roast)

failsafe oil for frypan

Place vegetables, garlic, chives and sea salt in the food processor, add eggs and milk and blend all together. The mixture will be fine and fluffy so there is no need to cook the vegetables first. Add chicken and pour the mixture into a lightly oiled, preheated small round frypan (about the size of a large pancake) and cook on low with the lid on. There is no need to flip the frittata as with the lid on the top will cook, but keep heat low or the bottom will burn. The frittata should come out of the frypan easily enough to keep whole. This recipe is good hot or cold, and a great lunch alternative for school. - Debbie Newton


Bread and butter pudding

This flexible and easy recipe contains wheat, dairy and eggs. You can make a dairy free option by using full fat soymilk instead of cream and milk.


10-12 slices Bakers Delight bread, spread with Nuttelex

3-4 tbspn golden syrup (to taste)

1 800g can of pears in syrup, drained and diced

2 eggs

2 tbsp sugar

½ cup cream

½ cup milk

Preheat oven to moderate. Remove crusts from bread and slice diagonally. Use bread to line the base of an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with golden syrup and arrange a layer of diced pears. Whisk together eggs, sugar, cream and milk. Drizzle egg mixture over bread and bake in moderate oven for 15 minutes or until mixture is firm. – Dianne Hunt

See more recipes in the Failsafe Booklet under the Recipes button.

The FAILSAFE Newsletter: You can join 4,000 others who have this Newsletter emailed to them for free about every three 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 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Thanks to Jenny Ravlic, Kathleen Daalmeyer, Brenda Hunting, Robin Fisher, Belinda Eighan, Anne Hurman and the many others who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up, Fed Up with Asthma, Fed Up with ADHD and the Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate Random House (most out of stock due to demand, try your local library), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate, and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, Murdoch Books.