Fedup Newsletters


Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network

July – September 2009


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.

To see this FAILSAFE Newsletter in colour on the web: FAILsaf61.htm

The FAILSAFE Newsletter is 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.


Australian supermarkets doing “the right thing”

The great Macca’s experiment


Research: Nitrates and Alzheimer’s

In brief: Politicians recognise colours, Fragrances, Fragrance free workplaces, Court rules aspartame is ‘nasty’, Health problems from new mattresses, Folate in bread, Consumer power

Two new articles, Report adverse reactions to medications in Australia, The Kids First Campaign.

Readers' stories: some here, more in the new factsheets.

Product updates: detailed help and information.

Questions: detailed help and information.

Cooks Corner: Hint: a failsafe sports drink, Lamb Meatballs, Easiest ever pear pie



Hello everyone


Howard and I are about to embark on a four week speaking tour to 16 locations (details at http://fedup.com.au/information/support/fedup-roadshow-talks ) and we look forward to catching up with many of you.


We're all delighted that Australian supermarkets are now working to remove artificial colours and some other additives! However, this may lead to wider use of additives of concern such as natural colour annatto 160b. My apologies for recommending Maccas's soft serve in the last newsletter, it was a mistake, see The Great Macca's Experiment below.


It is common for longterm failsafers to report that their frequent colds, flu and various infections decrease on diet and recur when they break the diet. The answer to "Has any research been done on why we don't get colds or flu when we are failsafe?" is YES, see FAQs. And if you needed any more reasons to feel good about being failsafe, see interesting new research about genotoxicity of artificial colours and a possible Alzheimers/nitrates link.


Also below, for those of us who have ever wondered how we could be sensitive to 'good' foods like fruit and tomatoes, see the Courage Award winning story 'my dad migrated from southern Italy in 1960. According to him, my Nonna only cooked with tomatoes once a week, for a Sunday lunch of pasta'. There are so many reader reports offering insights into a wide range of food-related problems that we have included a few reports below and organized nine new factsheets - such as Women’s Problems – to make reports by symptoms easier to find.


And finally, thank you to everyone who has written with their success stories. I especially liked this comment from Miriam in Victoria: 'The difference this diet has made to my boys is amazing ... it was like taking them back and getting them exchanged for ones that worked 'properly'.


Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate



Australian supermarkets doing “the right thing”


Last month the ALDI supermarket chain announced that artificial colours and some preservatives would be removed from own brand products because it was “the right thing” to do. Woolworths issued a similar statement and Coles products are changing too. Of course we are delighted that manufacturers are prepared to act despite foot dragging by Australian food regulators. It is already obvious that there will be more products available for failsafers.


I can’t help wondering whether the manufacturers’ new-found social conscience could be partly due to a new laboratory test. Designed to measure DNA damage, the test is known as the comet assay because broken DNA strands resemble a comet tail. DNA damage – or genotoxicity - is considered a risk factor for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers. In 2002, Japanese researchers (Sasaki et al, Mut Res) using the comet assay with 39 food additives found that artificial colours were the most genotoxic of all the additives tested. All seven dyes in the study induced DNA damage in the gastrointestinal organs at a low dose. While scientists debate this finding, aren’t you glad you don’t eat artificial colours?


The great Macca’s experiment


In the last newsletter, we told you Macca’s soft serve mix was safe as long as you avoided the cone (with artificial colour 110). A mother wrote: "I just thought I would let you know that we tried the Maccas soft serve again without the cone. The reaction was less severe but still there." (see the full story [850] Reaction to McDonalds soft serve no cone, below) I contacted McDonalds and it turns out that the "soft serve mix" is only available occasionally in remote locations. Most machines use the sundae mix with annatto 160b. My apologies!!! Macca’s have promised to remove the soft serve mix from their ingredients list.


We would like to hear from readers who are prepared to give their children a Macca’s soft serve (without cone) in the interests of science. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Books and DVD now available through www.fedup.com.au


You can buy Sue’s books and DVD individually or as “the set” (Fed Up, the Failsafe Cookbook & the DVD Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour) at very competitive prices.





Nitrates and Alzheimer’s

A new study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital have found a substantial link between increased levels of nitrates - in our food and environment - and increased deaths from diseases, including Alzheimer's, diabetes and Parkinson's. According to Professor Suzanne de la Monte "We have become a 'nitrosamine generation’. In essence, we have moved to a diet that is rich in amines and nitrates, which lead to increased nitrosamine production ...” Nitrosamines are regarded as carcinogens. Nitrates and nitrites (249-252) are used in processed meats such as ham, bacon, frankfurters etc. Overuse of nitrogen based fertilizer can result in nitrates in water supplies. Further reading: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090705215239.htm



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


Politicians recognise colours: the Liberal National Party Conference in Brisbane unanimously voted "That this Convention of the LNP recognises the impact that some food colourings are having on the health of Australians, especially our children, and in line with other countries, calls for the withdrawal of the following food and drink colourings in Australia within 2 years: 102, Tartrazine, 104, Quinoline Yellow, 110 Sunset Yellow, 122 Carmosine, 124 Ponceau Red, 129 Allura Red." – this will now go to State and Federal levels of the party:– thanks to Dr Richard Stuckey and Karen. The national Country Party and the Greens passed similar motions before the last Federal election. If you feel like writing to a Labor politician, this would be a good time.


Fragrances: “Do people without allergies realize how badly they affect people that have allergies? The answer would be NO! For instance, well, I'm allergic to everything. Perfumes, lotions, cigarette smoke, and animals. So, when in class, I have to find just the right seat, where a girl isn't overly perfumed, but then they take out their fragrancey lotion and I have a nice allergy attack in the middle of lecture …” from a prize winning email by StarvingStudent http://www.collegenet.com/elect/app/app?service=external/Forum&sp=2417.


Fragrance free workplaces: In Canada and the USA, a growing number of hospitals and workplaces are adopting a scent-free policy, e.g. Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston Ontario http://www.hoteldieu.com


Court rules aspartame is ‘nasty’: a UK High Court judge has found in favour of the Asda supermarket chain in its court battle with Ajinomoto over 'no nasties' labelling. Giant MSG and aspartame manufacturer Ajinomoto launched a malicious falsehood action against Asda last year over the ‘no hidden nasties’ claim on its ‘Good For You’ food and soft drink products included aspartame. An Asda spokesperson commented: “We’re in the business of listening to our customers and they’ve told us loud and clear that they don’t want unnecessary, artificial additives in their food.” http://www.foodnavigator.com/On-your-radar/Artificial-additives/Asda-claims-victory-in-aspartame-nasty-case.


Health problems from new mattresses: over 150 reports of health problems associated with new beds (including headaches, hives, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, chemical sensitivity, coughs, sinus, fatigue, breathing difficulty and carpal tunnel): http://www.chem-tox.com/beds/frame-beds.htm


Folate in bread: Mandatory fortification of bread-making flour with folic acid starts in Australia (but maybe not NZ) on 13 September this year, despite a new study linking folate supplementation with prostate cancer. Organic breads and flours are exempted from this addition. http://www.foodlegal.com.au/bulletin/article/2009-7/mandatory_folic_acid_fortification/.


Consumer power Major UK supermarket chains Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s now stock only free-range eggs due to consumer action. This is how you can make a difference!


Two new articles: Food and depression, from Australian Certified Organic Magazine (1.1Mb PDF) Autumn 2009 by Sue Dengate, and Food colours 101 from Reader’s Digest magazine Health Smart (3.6Mb PDF) June-July 2009. See other articles too.


Report adverse reactions to medications in Australia Consumer Adverse Medication Events Line: 1300 134 237, http://www.tga.gov.au


The Kids First Campaign would like to see Australian children better protected. More than 15,000 people have signed the online petition at www.additivealert.com.au - spread the word to your friends and email networks!



Readers' stories


The previous reports from Food Intolerance Network members published since February 1999 http://fedup.com.au/success-stories/current-stories


Names have been changed to protect privacy.


You can see all current stories at http://fedup.com.au/success-stories/current-stories - here are just a few of the latest:

[853] Additive-free, but favourite foods were tomatoes (August 2009) COURAGE AWARD

We're 3 weeks in to Failsafe, and I feel as if I've won the lottery!!! 3 kids aged 10, 8 and 5, all extremely active and slightly frenetic. The oldest was diagnosed with Aspergers and ADD at about 6 years of age, but concerns were noted since he was about 4 - very fixated on certain activities, difficulty being aware of his environment, very impulsive etc. He repeated reception as he was really struggling, very highly strung. We cut down on additives with some improvement, but he was still very hooked into his own thoughts and obsessional in thinking and behaviour, talking out in class, struggling academically. He was still incontinent of number ones and twos, as he had such poor awareness of his body, and inability to attend to more than one thing at a time (ie concentrating on schoolwork or a game, and bodily sensations).

He was placed on Concerta (a type of Ritalin) at 8 years of age, which led to a very noticeable improvement in ability to concentrate in school, and less impulsivity. This was the very thing we had not wanted to do with our child, but we couldn’t continue with daily sneaky poos, constantly spacing out at school, and that level of impulsivity was taking its toll on the whole family. While I do believe medication is over-prescribed and should only be a last resort, we had done everything we could, and it did help. I strongly believe parents should not automatically be judged for medicating their children, we are all doing our best, with whatever information we have.

He began to really shut down about 18 months ago, becoming very isolated, spending every school break time alone reading, and not even responding to questions at home, instead preferring to read alone. He was very sullen, on bad days yelling at schoolmates who tried to engage him. He had no friends, and swung between a sullen and angry boy, or a highly impulsive, giggly and inappropriate "in your face" kid.

We had been additive free for some time, and he had a blood test which showed he was intolerant to wheat, strawberries, dairy and cocoa so those were out also. We had done the rounds of psychiatrist, psychologist, social skills training, occupational therapy, etc.

He is now in year 4 and just prior to commencing diet, he dirtied his pants at school and then told a classmate about it! I panicked, I could not pinpoint any additives that would have led to the behaviour, and I felt desperate. I went to the Autism SA resource centre where I found "The Failsafe Cookbook", and I haven’t put it down since!

Our oldest son's favourite foods were tomatoes, and Nonna's pasta and meatballs - he would scoff a whole punnet of cherry tomatoes in one go if he could. Our second child could have best been described as a fruit addict, regularly eating 5 apples after school (I would find the cores littered around the house). He is an academically capable kid, but could be very oppositional, and was diagnosed as having an auditory processing disorder. He was very hyperactive also. Our youngest daughter had an almost normal diet, I think because I was so exhausted from meeting the needs of the older two that I didn’t have the energy to say "No", to be honest!! I did notice that she was much harder to settle to sleep than the other two, especially after eating raisin toast (even with "no preservatives on the pack!), and flavoured snacks, which were given by friends etc.

Since the diet, the improvements have been extraordinary! I had to have a meeting at home with a colleague, and my children played lego together, without arguing mind you, for about 1.5 hours!!! My oldest has dry pants at the end of the day, responds when asked questions, engages in appropriate conversation, and most heartwarming of all, has had several successful playdates with a boy from school. I was able to leave all three with my mother last week while I worked without her having a breakdown. She was shocked at the difference, and my father reported that my oldest pruned a whole row of grapes for him!

The "fruit addict" is the most changed! He is polite, helpful (someone pinch me, please!). Our daughter is sleeping better, still has made an artform of irritating her brothers, but our home is overall much more harmonious, and I am so grateful.

My husband and I are both southern European, and it seems strange that our children could be intolerant to tomatoes and the like. I'm still a bit puzzled, but I chatted about it to my dad, who migrated from southern Italy in 1960. According to him, my nonna only cooked with tomatoes once a week, for a Sunday lunch of pasta, with the rest of the meals being pasta with beans or lentils, or a vegetable soup. Unfortunately most Italian cuisine now involves a tin of peeled tomatoes and regular flavourings of wine and cheese in almost every recipe, so that's a real challenge for us.

It makes me incredibly angry that even basic foods are laced with additives that are harming our children. I see parents at breaking point and children whose self esteem and learning are compromised, and it is incomprehensible. I for one am TIRED of it.

Thank you so much for your care and compassion in the important work that you do. - by email, Adelaide

[852] One-liners (August 2009)

Upon starting school this year my normally bright, happy six year old became depressed, aggressive and hyperactive. A pattern of school canteen usage emerged at which point I requested a list of ingredients for some of the things he was buying. To my horror, the slushy he was ordering contained two artificial colours, benzoate preservatives and sorbate preservatives. -- Leesa, by email

When strictly failsafe, we have a wonderful loving attentive child. Your works have been as no doubt you have heard before life saving for our family. Although considered a little weird at times for his diet, I’d rather him known as weird than that naughty kid, shoved in the too hard basket. - Peta, Vic

Just wanted to inform you of another success story in regards to my 9-year-old. We’ve been on failsafe for 7 weeks now and my son is now calm, settled and an absolute delight thanks to your books. I’ve spread the gospel around my local area with many parents and teachers genuinely interested. His teachers are all very supportive as they’ve seen the metamorphosis right before their very eyes – by email, Melbourne.

My story is similar to many on your website: a 5yo boy and a 2yo girl. We had concerns with our little boy, realising he did not seem happy, energetic, compliant, everything was negative, and a drama. After many bad bad evenings and lots of screaming / crying and being upset that my child was not happy we decided to watch the DVD read as much info as we could and did something about it. Well, we now have a very happy child with a much bigger control on what goes into their mouths and the outcome I can say is also a complete turnaround. So ... thank you - Michelle, NSW.

I was pretty annoyed when I checked the yoghurt ingredients and found 160b in the vanilla. I had been buying the yoghurt for my 4 year old as it is no preservatives, artificial colour, flavour etc. His behaviour can definitely be seen in the side effects outlined in the book! - Cassandra by email

[847] Pictures worth a thousand words (August 2009)

I cannot begin to thank you for all your work!! I am only nearly 3 weeks into our Elimination Diet (sal, amines and glutes) and was suddenly confronted with this!!! The first picture is an example of my 6 year-old daughter's regular colouring, perhaps 2 months ago. The next 2 are in the last couple of days. I don't need to explain this to you, do I! I was not paying much attention while she coloured and I suddenly realised what I was looking at. Complete, solid colour. Thought put into which colour she'd use. I would hardly have believed she did it, but I saw it happen!

To be picky, if you look at Spot's hat and the horse's head, you can see that she gets a little 'fast' there. This was on a day when she was 'out-of-sorts' and she finally told me she'd had a chocolate muffin at school. As she sat down to colour I was disappointed she'd chosen to finish this one because I felt that she'd now wreck it. But I see it serves a good little 'illustration' for me.

Something this tangible was fabulous to have as I think I may have converted my in-laws!!! They felt she just needed more vegies. ha ha. – by email, Melbourne

[835] Alzheimers, asthma and apnoea (July 2009)

I thought I would share with you briefly my experience of treating my wife who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Apart from the Alzheimer's diagnosis, she suffered from asthma, sleep apnoea, was unable to speak more than one word at a time and was going down hill very fast. After a lot of research I decided to put her on to a 90% raw food diet and after one month, she started to speak the odd phrase. This was marvellous and only encouraged me to continue. However the amazing thing was after a few months her asthma symptoms began to disappear and she was able to reduce her dependence on puffers. After six months even the preventer puffer was reduced to almost zero and a year later in consultation with the doctor stopped using puffers altogether. Two and a half years later, she has been symptom free for two winters so confidently predict it has gone forever. Oh by the way her sleep apnoea has gone as well. This experience of curing asthma with raw food is not unique as I have subsequently found out. When visiting your website I realised the raw food diet was eliminating additives. Commercial raw food has other problems i.e. pesticides, growth promoters etc but the experience of using commercial raw food has been worthwhile. Would like to eat organic but currently that's not possible. When visiting, we eat normal food and don't expect others to provide the food we use at home. - by email

[850] Reaction to McDonalds soft serve (no cone) (August 2009)

We avoid McDonalds soft serve since our 5 yo son had a reaction in the evening after eating a soft serve with cone in the afternoon. It had been the only thing he had eaten that day that we could think had caused it. After reading Failsafe Newsletter #60, we tried the Maccas soft serve again without the cone (in a plastic cup - upside down sundae lid). The reaction was less severe but still there. He was affected about 4 hours after eating the ice-cream both times (with and without the cone). This, for him, is typical for colours. Our normally quiet son bounces, jumps, shouts, makes silly loud noises, blows raspberries, uses nonsense words, and generally just can't sit still. The acute reaction generally lasts about an hour. The icecream without cone caused a shorter period of the acute reaction, with less volume and intensity. Probably lasted about 35 minutes and was more bearable but still consistent with the typical reaction he gets from colours. Peters Original and other failsafe varieties (eg Sara Lee and the organic ones) have never caused the same reaction. – Susan, Qld

(Can you help: we would like to hear from any failsafer who has observed a reaction to McDonalds soft serve (no cone) – same day or next day? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

[837] Feedback on the salicylate and amine mistakes info (August 2009)

Thank you, these information sheets are most helpful. I have been doing the diet with my son for almost 4 years and there is always more to learn. He has been having trouble at school of late and I see where I may have been exacerbated things with my slip ups. I did not realise that not all pumpkin was moderate in sals and that chat potatoes were high. There were also a few other tidbits that was a great help. – Dianne, by email (you can request these updated information sheets from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

[806] Story [342] Part 2: Helpless, hopeless depression five years on (June 2009)

I wrote story 342 (Helpless, hopeless depression due to salicylates: I have suffered depression since at least age 15 and am 38 now …) five years ago when I was relatively new to Failsafe, about a year and a half in. It has taken me a long time to figure out all the finer points, and I'm probably still learning. But it's a journey back to myself. I am now not the same person I was even five years ago, discovering new parts to me all the time, as I take back control. The secret for me is to keep looking, recording what I eat, and asking questions.

When I have too much of the chemicals that I react to (I can tolerate a bit more of the three natural chemicals now) the following happens: amines make me angry, like ODD. Salicylates (now) make me vague and panicky, uptight with others, because I can't think straight. Glutamates make me cry, uncontrollably sad. Synthetic antioxidants make me very anxious, but it's a build up effect. I didn't realise this for a long time, as I very rarely have too much of things like take away hot chips, until a recent long holiday. I also suspect soy and dairy as having a build up effect on my mood, and must be totally gluten free. I only took out gluten about 1.5 years ago, as I still had some unexplained joint pain. Didn't realise it was connected with my moods, till I came off it and had severe withdrawals - headaches, depression, diarrhoea. On challenging it, I had severe depression, disconnection with reality, had trouble making my body respond to my brain, like I couldn't make a decision to move, and terrible anxiety. So even though I was doing very well on Failsafe and not gluten free, I'm doing even better off gluten. My body just doesn't want it back now, and I sure don't either! – by email, Vic


In addition, nine factsheets have been extensively updated since the last newsletter and there are many more new reports in these:


Women’s issues such as Premenstrual symptoms (PMS/PMT), Period pain (dysmenorrhea), absence of periods (amenorrhea), painful or heavy periods, Morning sickness, Pregnancy, breastfeeding and young babies, Postnatal depression, Infertility, Symptoms of menopause, Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), Cystitis, Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS), Urinary urgency, incontinence, bedwetting, bladder problems, Thrush, candida, Breast cancer, Combining failsafe eating with a very low fat diet, Women and fragrance.

[785] Morning sickness and intolerance to lactose, salicylates and amines (June 2009)

I have been failsafe now for 4 1/2 years and am very sensitive to salicylates, all of the artificial additives I have challenged, lactose, and especially amines. In my first two pregnancies I had strong cravings for cheese, cheese flavoured snacks, and cola soft drinks, I also had horrendous morning sickness (actually all day sickness for the whole pregnancy), and during the second pregnancy I was hospitalised for dehydration due to non-stop vomiting. By my third pregnancy I had become more aware of my lactose intolerance and did not touch any dairy products or cheese flavoured anything (by luck I stuck to failsafe soymilk), thereby unwittingly eliminating almost all amines from my diet and a lot of the additives I normally consumed. I was so well throughout the pregnancy, compared to the first two. I stumbled across the Fed-Up book when my youngest child was 12 months old and as we worked out our intolerances I slowly realised why I had had such terrible ‘morning’ sickness. Now that I am so much healthier it is almost tempting to conduct a Failsafe experiment and have another baby just to see what a completely Failsafe pregnancy would be like. However three is enough right now. – Jen, NSW

[788] Coeliac diagnosis results in pregnancy (June 2009)

I attended one of your talks 12 months ago where you mentioned a link between coeliac disease and infertility. Since we have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, I had a test for coeliacs and it was positive so I went gluten free and am now the very proud mother of a new baby. I just wanted to say thank you! – by email, Vic

[789] Failsafe plus low fat for peri-menopausal symptoms (June 2009)

I am a woman in my mid 40s and have been failsafe for 5 years or more. I notice I am starting to have a little more insomnia, and irritability, and some other symptoms which I attribute to peri-menopause. Thank you so much for your extra information about low fat diets for menopausal symptoms. It really makes sense. I know when I indulge in a big steak with potatoes, lots of butter and whole milk I get extreme breast tenderness the next day and feel warm all over. I will keep you posted, but I really think this could greatly help some of my symptoms. 6 months later: Thank you for your information regarding menopause, it seems to be working - by email, U.S.

[796] Kids get thrush from salicylates (June 2009)

My kids (3-year-old and 15-month-old) get thrush as a sals reaction … Many thanks for all of your work. I just can’t thank you enough for the difference in my kids – M from NZ


Sleeping issues like insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, frequent night waking, waking up too early, restless legs, ‘weird’ or ‘vivid’ dreams, nightmares, night terrors, sleep talking, sleep walking, sleep apnoea, see http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/sleep-disturbance-and-insomnia and http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/sleep-apnoea

[825] Weird dreams due to green food colouring (July 2009)

After I eat green food colouring, first it gets to my head. It confuses my brain and I can’t get to sleep until 9 or half past 9 (usually I go to bed at 8 o’clock). That night I can’t get to sleep and my mind is set on funny things and I have these weird dreams. In the morning I’m a big tired and miserable. – Six year old talking on our DVD

[822] Lying awake half the night from megavitamins (July 2009)

I am a 68 year-old with no health problems except the beginning of muscular stiffness. I’d like to know if [a certain all natural megavitamin supplement with bioflavonoids and strong fruit extracts] contains any additives not noted on the labels. I honestly cannot note any difference except that my sleep pattern has changed. Previously a 'go to bed and drop off' person I now find myself either lying awake half the night or going to sleep and waking in the small hours of the morning– from Questions in Failsafe Newsletter #59 . (It is common for natural vitamins especially when chewable to contain very strong fruit extracts that can cause this kind of salicylate reaction. In a similar report to the same supplements a mother wrote: ‘all four kids reacted for a week - silly jumping around, wouldn't listen, couldn't concentrate, fighting with each other - the little ones were the worst - I couldn't believe it, just from one tiny little pill’)

Hayfever and rhinitis see http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/hayfever-and-allergic-rhinitis

[832] Rhinitis due to dairy foods (July 2009)

A nine-year-old was taking medication for rhinitis that was so bad that he couldn’t breathe or talk properly. When this boy eliminated milk as the last stage of going failsafe, both his behaviour and rhinitis improved dramatically. His mother explained: ‘Our paediatrician was really surprised. He said he could tell the rhinitis was better, because the hairs in his nose have grown back.’ - from Fed Up

[831] 282: Runny nose due to bread preservative calcium propionate (July 2009)

My fourth baby had the same terrible broken night sleep pattern as the other three. After struggling for eight months, she did start to settle down, waking perhaps once a night. This was great until I started her, at 10 months on bread. She immediately returned to night waking - for no apparent reason- and also had a clear runny nose. I found that the bread had preservative 282 in it so we stopped feeding it to her. Within a couple of nights (I guess it had accumulated in her system) she again settled down to a peaceful nights' sleep! AND her nose cleared up! I can't believe that it could have been that simple!



Headaches and migraines, see http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/headaches-and-migraines 

[836] Headaches just stopped dead after 9 years! (July 2009)

For 20 years I have suffered headaches, daily. Rarely a day goes by when I haven’t had one, often quite severe. There's not a practitioner or therapist that I have not seen or test that hasn't been done. Pain management is what I accepted my life to be. I trusted that all these experts knew that there was no identifiable cause. No one ever suggested it may be diet related!!! I didn’t consider it either as I ate a healthy diet! Even after reading Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook, I wasn't expecting my world to be turned around.

After 3 weeks failsafe: I haven't had a headache since last Thursday. It has been nearly 9 years since I went a whole week without a headache. Given my history, there's no way that this is coincidental especially given that my headaches have been quite severe for a couple of months. They didn't just lessen in severity slowly, they just stopped dead! …Failsafe is no sacrifice. I am not missing out. For the last 20 years I have been missing out and making sacrifices to my quality of life … almost everyone I know now knows my brief experience and I will continue to spread the word! I keep saying to myself if only more people knew

After 16 months failsafe …Without a doubt, food is the cause of my headaches! I am now trying to find the main culprits and find a balance as my tolerance threshold is very hard to determine. I completed the elimination diet as recommended by the RPA Allergy unit. The Failsafe Cookbook and Friendly Food cookbooks were great. For inspiration and a bit of variety, I also modified many cookbook and magazine recipes. It took me ages to do the challenges because I felt so good and didn’t want to upset the apple cart. I was completely Failsafe and felt really good. One day however, I met up with an old friend and I decided “what the heck, I’ll have that piece of chocolate cake and wash it down with an iced chocolate!” The next day I woke up feeling sluggish and I had a headache! I decided to do the challenges so I could determine what the real cause was so I could resume eating anything that didn’t affect me. Firstly, I challenged salicylates with no adverse affects. I was expecting amines to be the culprit after what I had read and because of my chocolate cake experience. The next challenge was amines. I indulged in large amounts of chocolate and other amine rich foods as per the RPA diet recommendations. To my surprise and disappointment, there was no immediate reaction. About a week or two later, the headaches came back with a vengeance and lasted for about a month. (Incidentally, I have always had different and worse headaches with my periods. While Failsafe, the period headaches were minor to insignificant.)

After the amine challenge and returning to failsafe, the headaches eventually disappeared. I reintroduced salicylate foods to my diet. I began becoming less strict with amine rich foods as well, like the occasional use of tomatoes in a pasta sauce with a sprinkle of cheese, eating nuts, drinking cola, beer and champagne. The problem is that I don’t get an immediate reaction after eating something so I don’t know exactly what or how much is too much. I figure that I have a threshold that I can build up to. Once that threshold is reached however, the headache can be weeks long, even though I feel that I have just tipped the scales. The good thing is that I know I can go out and not have to make a special off the menu order. I choose the least risky, but if it’s going to contain amines, I just keep to low amines at home for a while to balance things out. Chocolate, cheese and red wine seem to be definite no-nos, but most other things I can handle in small amounts stretched over time. We recently went on a holiday to Victoria. I wanted to enjoy myself and remain headache free. I also wanted to enjoy eating out without fussing too much, so about a month prior, I went almost strictly amine free. Whilst on holiday, I was fairly headache free with only the occasional minor one, even at the MCG with 85000 roaring people! I knew that the delayed affect might occur, but I was prepared to deal with that when I got home and it wasn’t too bad in the end. It’s just about finding balance, but I know if I want to be completely headache free, I just return to Failsafe.

Now that I have control over my headaches, I have returned to study and recently completed 80 hours of work experience as a Teacher Assistant in a noisy classroom. I feared that the stress and noise would make my head sensitive and more prone to headaches, but I was so surprised to reach the end of the day and think “I didn’t have one today!”. There were only 2 afternoons that I had to resort to pain relief. Before Failsafe, I could not have contemplated study or work outside the home. Now I am considering going beyond being a Teacher Assistant and returning to uni to complete a Dip Ed and teach. – Sharyn, by email.

Sorbates (200-203), see http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/200-203-sorbates

[801] Potassium sorbate makes my son clingy, crying (June 2009)

I have a 6 year old son who I already knew was intolerant to some foods. He has periods of eczema (which we have been able to control with his diet) and we have avoided these things for years. Luckily, because he was basically born with eczema, I had been very careful about introducing foods. I started giving him crumpets for breakfast when he was 2. He would be fine after eating them, however when he woke from his sleep he would be screaming and hitting me, very violent and uncontrollable. I initially thought it was hunger, as I found that when I gave him something to eat he would calm down. Anyway, to cut a long story short. I found out about preservative 282 and cut it out completely. He was normal again!!

On and off over the years I discovered other things that affected him, so I added those to my list of things to avoid. A few months ago we went over to Europe. When we came back he went back to school and started getting very clingy, crying and not being able to read or write properly and was not able to concentrate. I have had trouble with these symptoms on and off over the 1½ years. I mentioned this to my friend, she gave me your book and I started an additive free diet. After about 1 week everything had improved dramatically. I waited about 4 weeks before I introduced additives, one a time … He reacted to 202 (potassium sorbate) in a drink of juice by crying and becoming clingy. He had it at dinner time, then had trouble getting to sleep. The next day he was very sensitive and cried a lot and hid in his room when our visitors arrived and would not come out until they had been there for several hours. He got better after he had his lunch (which he ate by himself in his room). He then came out, but didn’t talk much and sat right next to me. He only had it the once, as I did not want to make the situation worse. He can drink fresh juice with no problem. - Michelle by email

Fructose malabsorption, see http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/fructose-malabsorption

[728] Needed to be failsafe and reduced fructose for full results (June 2009)

I am still struggling a bit here trying to deal with fructose malabsorption and failsafe, plus other malabsorptions (raffinose and sorbitol) that mean I don't tolerate well any fruit, veges or legumes except for potato, celery and lettuce. If I increase my salicylates then I get anxiety and other symptoms. Basically pears, onions of any sort and leeks are on the banned list (as well as other veges and fruit) - which I have been eating a lot of ! This explains why I wasn't getting full results on failsafe eating. Jane, VIC


MSG and other flavour enhancers, see http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/621-msg-msg-boosters-flavour-enhancers-and-natural-glutamates

[827] 635: Tachycardia, arrhythmia and ectopic heart beats (July 2009)

I had been suffering increasing episodes of tachycardia, arrythmia and ectopic heart beats - two to three episodes a day. Despite escalating testing with various cardiac specialists over the past 6 months, nothing was determined apart from the fact I had high blood pressure and was placed on a low dose of appropriate medication for that. No known cause for my cardiac anomalies.

Eight days ago I ate a delicious bowl of my home made potato and leek soup for lunch. I experienced my usual (but scary and increasingly strong) palpitations and (frustrated, a little frightened and upset), I broadly Googled "heart palpitations" on Australian sites. Up came your website that mentioned 'soup' in the first Google lines that came up. Thinking "that's funny, I just ate soup, I'll have a look at that one before I find what I'm really after" I looked at it. Well, that's what saved me. What I found there were countless, comforting, case studies of people just like me, suffering consequences to MSG (635 in particular), just like me, who didn't know what was causing it. Just. Like. Me.

For me, it was a revelation, an epiphany. I was euphoric. My God, what have I been poisoning my family with, for so many years? Weekly, particularly in winter, I lovingly make risotto, casserole, beef in red wine, soup, etc, etc. Thinking I'm making healthy foods for my husband and my children, I've made all these dishes with more than a liberal dash of commercial stock (cube and/or liquid), all of which (no exceptions, I find) are loaded with MSG.

I stepped, willingly, into the world of chemical additives, flavour enhancers, neurotoxins, excitotoxins and ribonucleotides.

I have strenuously avoided any flavour enhancers (particularly 635) and all MSG in its myriad disguises since that last bowl of soup. I did not expect things to settle immediately, but I've gone from having 2-3 cardiac episodes a day and thinking I was going to die like my father, at 46, to NOT ONE EPISODE IN MORE THAN A WEEK.

Gotta be something to this. I'm eternally grateful for the information you have on your website and the comfort and advice it gave me. I think you saved my sanity and my life. Shannon, WA (See more on our Heart problems factsheet)

Product updates


The Failsafe shopping list is available at http://fedup.com.au/information/shopping-list/blog. Here are some key updates from that list:


Failafe Pizza bases: Coles "Pizza Vita Premium Thin & Crispy" (wheat flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, flour treatment agent (920), citric acid - they have twice confirmed that the vegetable oil does not have antioxidants thanks Kathleen & Jo (FinM)


Mrs Mays Pear Fruit Chips are tree ripened, cored and peeled before freeze drying. Recommended by a number of failsafers. Thanks to Leanne and Anne


Cream cheese For those who miss the tubs since Kraft added preservative to them, 250g Home Brand tubs of cream cheese have no preservative.


Home Brand Vanilla Cake mix Safeway/Woolworths - the vegetable shortening contains 307 and the rest of the ingredients are Failsafe too (but Coles Home Brand has different ingredients) – thanks to Miriam.


The new Natural Confectionery Co 'Bear Hugs' sweets appear to be failsafe for those who can tolerate a few amines. The ingredient list is: Wheat glucose syrup, cane sugar, water wheat starch, gelatine, natural cocoa powder (3%), salt, glazing agent (vegetable oil, carnauba wax and/or beeswax). They are quite yummy and taste like chico lollies, and are less of a problem in our house than the milk bottle sweets. ‘Nice to have another choice for when the kiddies have a treat...’ Thanks to Karen


Wizz Fizz – all new natural sherberts, may be suitable for failsafers, depending on flavour. Thanks to Kathleen Daalmeyer. Feedback please.


Butcher in Rockhampton, QLD Fresh meat - Norm Milner Butcher, 190 Campbell Street, Rockhampton QLD 07 4927 6616 - ask Chris for the meat that came in that day – thanks Kylie.


Butcher in Warrnambool, VIC Norfolk butchers, Norfolk Place, Shp10/ Raglan Pde, Warrnambool VIC 3280, phone 5562 4580 do frozen failsafe beef and chicken sausages. They are very very nice and are almost always available (except at Christmas time when they tend to run out). –thanks to Kerryn


Fragrance free spray on deodorant for men or women Ego 'QV Naked Fragrance Free Aluminium Free Deodorant Spray' http://www.egopharm.com/qv-naked-deodorant/.

Available from pharmacies all over Australia (they will order it in for you) or you can get it by mail order.


Soap and skin care Ego QV range from pharmacies are all fragrance and colour free. The range includes liquid and bar soaps, moisturizers and shave for men. See http://www.epharmacy.com.au/category.asp?id=535.


Food thermos I recently brought a food thermos, which is a short squat version of a hot liquids thermos, to pack stuff for my kids school lunches. It's great for winter as I can send chicken pasta, roasts, soups, stews - all of which have heaps of nutrients and they're happy to eat. called "Thermos FUNtainer", and they keep food hot for 5 hours, cold for 7. 290ml so not massive but big enough to fill a kid's tummy plus my kids complain if I pack stuff that takes too long too eat ie too much or too big, because they want to get out and play at lunch time. They're $18.99 from Kmart. Thanks to Cherie


Failsafe furniture polish Linseed oil rubbed onto furniture or 1/4 cup vinegar with a couple of drops of linseed oil – the vinegar pulls out the dirt from the wood and the oil lubricates the wood so it doesn't dry out. The vinegar should be white distilled vinegar as others could stain furniture. The linseed oil should always be food grade as the oil you buy at hardware stores has synthetic chemicals in it that could stain furniture. Thanks to Debbie.


eatingsafe.com no longer has information. See link http://www.eatingsafe.com/ - thanks to Jenny



Your questions


All questions from Food Intolerance Network members that have been published since September 2002 are at http://fedup.com.au/information/frequently-asked-questions. Some of the information, particularly that about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe shopping list on www.fedup.com.au for the latest information.


Q. In the last newsletter you said that McDonalds Soft serve was okay (if you don't eat the cone) but we tried it and saw a reaction. Have I missed something?


A. My answer to this question in the previous newsletter was wrong. There was a colour-free soft serve mix listed on the McDonald’s website (since removed) but it is only available occasionally in remote areas The sundae mix sold in most outlets contains 160b so it is not failsafe. Please let me know if you tried it and saw a reaction (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Q. Yesterday I went to a new dietitian ... I became frustrated yet again as these professionals just don't seem to be passionate about what they do. It is as if I have to justify my son’s behaviour. The first thing she said was do you know what to expect for a 4 year old boy. I am sick of having to justify myself, being on the elimination diet has changed our whole family life for the better. Why is it that even the professionals come across as not being fully aware of how food affects behaviour? I usually end up feeling let down, confused and disappointed.


A. We have received several similar reports lately. There are some excellent, extremely supportive dietitians. If you are not happy with your dietitian, please tell us (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so that we can warn others and ask for our list of dietitians who have been recommended by other failsafers.


Q. Do you think that eating a food a child/adult is intolerant to weakens their immune system, leaving them more prone to colds and the like? I've noticed this pattern in my kids and myself, but when I ask Paediatricians and GPs they dismiss it, saying it could have been coincidental and that there's no evidence to prove this.


A. It is common for failsafers to report that they no longer suffer frequent colds, flu and other recurrent infections once they are established on failsafe eating - and yes, there is scientific evidence. Studies have shown that certain artificial colours and preservatives act as immunosuppressants, that is, they can actually suppress the immune system, making us more likely to suffer from recurrent infections. This has been shown in the laboratory by Greek researchers with artificial colours tartrazine (102) and amaranth (123) using small doses normally considered to be nontoxic, and by Brazilian researchers with propionic acid which is part of the group that includes bread preservative 282. As well, a US study with beagle dogs showed they were more susceptible to fatal viruses when fed indigotine (132). Failsafers who are salicylate-sensitive know that although we are constantly told to eat fruit to build up our immunity, for us, it works the opposite way. We are better off eating failsafe vegetables such as cabbage as described in the Myths of Fruit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jan/23/foodanddrink.healthandwellbeing.

  • Koutsogeorgopoulou L and others Immunological aspects of the common food colorants, amaranth and tartrazine.Vet Hum Toxicol. 1998;40(1):1-4.
  • Wajner M and others Inhibition of mitogen-activated proliferation of human peripheral lymphocytes in vitro by propionic acid.Clin Sci (Lond). 1999;96(1):99-103.
  • Hansen WH and others Chronic toxicity of two food colors, brilliant blue FCF and indigotine, Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1966;8(1):29-36.


Q. My sister-in-law was diagnosed after a long few months with Vasculitis - she now has to avoid things like aspartame and 635 and a few others other wise she breaks out in the rash. Just wondering if you know if there is a link between Vasculitis and Ribo Rash???


A. Vasculitis simply means inflammation of the blood vessels that can be due to a variety of causes. Allergic or hypersensitive vasculitis is caused by hypersensitivity to a drug or foreign agent that leads to inflammation and damage to blood vessels of the skin. Ribo rash has been diagnosed as many conditions including hypersensitive vasculitis, see reader story [273] ‘At death’s door’  If the symptoms go away when you stop eating 621-635 and start again if you eat more 621-635, it seems to me it is ribo rash. Other culprits for itchy rashes include artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, and salicylates. There are some unconfirmed suggestions that Aspartame (951) could have a similar effect to flavour enhancers, or it could be other nasty additives in the same foods and drinks.


Q. My girls were on elimination for 3 weeks. Our eldest - we did it for her - was a new calm tolerant child. We were thrilled. We did the salicylate challenge and after 4 days we had to abort it as she had enormous stomach cramps, diarrhoea and bad behaviour. Since then she has gone downhill and we have not been able to do another challenge yet (3 weeks). Her behaviour and concentration have plummeted and even the netball coach commented this week. The only thing we have done differently is that we have a new hairspray, my husband feels that must be problem and I am getting suspicious too. Even though her diet is true elimination could one small spray of this hairspray each morning be the culprit??? She is miserable and we are back to being exhausted with her. I feel sorry for our eldest as she had been making such progress. If it is hairspray is there one that is ok to use or are they all bad????


A. Hairspray can definitely cause all the symptoms you mentioned (See Failsafe Stories [379] Sleep and behaviour problems due to hairspray, airfreshener). Aerosol products are particularly bad but any fragranced product can be a problem for some people because e.g. citrus, strawberry or flowery fragrances contain salicylates and in some cases amines. I don’t know of any commercial fragrance free hairsprays but you can make your own with half a cup of water and 3 tbsp corn syrup: http://organic-oil.blogspot.com/2009/06/natural-organic-hairspray.html.


Update: Well, our daughter has already settled down after about 2-3 days. She even said this morning gosh I feel better. Made up the hairspray recipe, very sticky so I think you could dilute it by half.


Q. My 2 yo son is highly sensitive to salicylates. We find that he is having a very strong salicylate type reaction whenever he eats bread. He can only have 2 slices a day or he goes ballistic. Would this be due to yeast or vinegar?? The bread is 282 free. He has also reacted to pitta bread.


A. Vinegar is definitely NOT OK for salicylate responders - all white vinegars are VERY HIGH in salicylates and that is what they use in bread (I've checked). I am very surprised he can manage 2 slices per day. That’s why we recommend Brumbys, Bakers Delight and Banjos. Check ingredients in pitta bread - most wraps, flatbreads, tortillas and pizza bases etc contain 282 and/or sorbates (200-203) or vinegar or unlisted antioxidants e.g. BHA 320 or TBHQ 319 in the oil. Mountain Bread is safe and so are the new Coles thin pizza bases (see Product Updates). Another problem can be soy flour in many breads for those who have soy intolerance. Nonna’s bread (available in Sydney) contains only flour, water, salt and yeast.


Q. I'm amazed to discover rosemary extract is very commonly used as an antioxidant in vegetable oils. The amounts are so small as to avoid labelling laws, yet enough to upset a sensitive soul like myself (troubling neurological symptoms). Reading food company reports, I see comments that rosemary extract is 'free of known allergens’. Are you aware of any reports (solid or anecdotal) on rosemary allergy?


A. Reactions to rosemary extract are most likely intolerance (reactions to chemicals) rather than a true allergy (reaction to proteins). The chemical in rosemary most likely to cause problems is salicylates.


Q. Have you found that eliminating problem foods makes you more sensitive when you DO have them?


A. It is true that failsafers sometimes notice a big reaction when they break the diet but you have to remember that previously there was less of a contrast between good and bad. You can choose to go back to the old diet but you will have to put up with the old symptoms again. The best time to break the diet is on holidays when there is less stress. If concerned about reintroduction of foods, see an experienced dietitian (ask for our list of supportive dietitians: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Q. I have a 9-year-old son with autism who has been on a gluten- and casein-free diet for 7 years, which has helped his behaviour and digestive problems immensely. We have noticed/wondered over the years whether certain foods, including eggs, citrus, tomatoes, and others cause him problems. We have not done a systematic removal of any other category of foods from his diet besides gluten and casein, mostly because he was doing fairly well and we couldn't bear to limit his diet any further--he enjoys foods and is not a picky eater. Lately, however, he has had problems with wetting his pants and more difficulty keeping up in school. I would like to try reducing his intake of salicylates to see if this helps him. If we reduce but not completely eliminate these foods, should we see an improvement, or is a complete elimination necessary? How long does it generally take to notice improvements?


A. Regarding reduced salicylates, one mother wrote: 'I cut back my five year old daughter's intake of fruit to about a quarter of what she normally had. Within days we saw dramatic changes. Her behaviour evened out - she was more sensible and obliging, less aggressive and defiant - and altogether much more pleasant to live with.' As a result of seeing such positive changes she then went ahead and did the full elimination diet and was very pleased she did. It is a difficult decision: while socially the diet is awkward, children are then able to be themselves and reach their full potential rather than be held back by something they are eating. For more information, ask for our Salicylate Mistakes information sheet (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Q. I recently asked a big confectionery manufacturer what is in their chocolate frogs because they list 'flavours' on the ingredients list, but do not stipulate which flavours. According to them under legislation they are not required to divulge this information to consumers. I am utterly astounded and it certainly makes me suspicious - what exactly are they using?


A. There are over two thousand flavour additives permitted in our foods. These flavours do not have to be listed on the label because they are considered to be trade secrets. It would be difficult for manufacturers to list flavour additives and hard for consumers to understand because for example a strawberry flavour may contain twenty or thirty chemicals that sound more like a chemistry laboratory than a pantry. However, I have heard that plain chocolates may contain flavour ingredients such vanilla and cinnamon. Obviously cinnamon would not be failsafe. Failsafers are safest avoiding all flavoured products except vanilla flavoured products, and even then the amount is limited. Chemically it doesn’t matter to us whether vanilla/vanillin flavour is natural, artificial or nature identical. What matters is the size of the dose. For more information see http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/flavours-natural-or-artificial


Q. Help! what is the best brand of paracetamol for failsafers? Preservative, colour and flavour free - I tried Herron tablets and they have a vanilla flavoured coating.


A. You can use Herron brand tabsules (white, no flavouring, no preservatives). Another alternative is Herron Capseals – discard the gelatin capules which are artificially coloured and use the contents mixed with magic cordial, milk, or 1 tbsp failsafe icecream. Dose for children is 15mg paracetamol per kg body weight. For children under two, ask for our baby paracetamol recipe.


Q. I’ve been failsafe for two years and have got the stage where I can tolerate some high salicylates but I’ve got thrush for the first time since going failsafe, should I eliminate sugar?


A. From the RPA point of view, thrush is just one more food intolerance symptom - it means that the diet needs fine-tuning. It does NOT mean you need to eliminate sugar and yeast - the so called candida diet is not scientifically proven. When failsafers develop thrush it always turns out they have let the diet slip. Usually it is too many salicylates as in the example above but it can be any of the other culprits, including amines or dairy products. See more in the Women’s Problems Factsheet


Q. The ingredients in my baby’s formula include nucleotides guanosine 5’-monophosphate and inosine 5’-monophosphate. Aren’t they the same as flavour enhancer 635 (ribonucleotides) that causes Ribo Rash?


A. Yes, in the body these ingredients are chemically the same as flavour enhancer 635 (which is a mixture of disodium guanylate and disodium disodium inosinate). Presumably they are added in much smaller doses. I agree it does seem odd that ribonucleotides can be added to infant formula while prohibited as additives in foods for babies and young children. However, as we all know with food intolerance, reactions are related to the size of the dose. Ribonucleotides occur naturally in human breastmilk and are thought to boost immunity, which is why they are added to infant formulas. Ribonucleotides in baby formulas have probably been much better tested than ribonucleotides as flavour enhancers – at least, one hopes so, particularly with regard to later development of allergies. We are concerned that since ribonucleotides are known to boost the immune system, it seems possible that large uncontrolled doses (e.g. eaten by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers or in chicken flavoured chips or soups and sauces often given to babies in family meals) may contribute to the development of allergies which are essentially over-functioning of the immune system. Childhood allergies started increasing about the same time that ribonucleotides became popular as flavour enhancers and experts have no idea why. Ribonucleotides are used to boost the effects of MSG up to 15 times and in our experience they boost the adverse effects too. Some people in our network have started off with a food intolerance reaction to 635 that has developed into an allergic-type reaction; and some babies exposed early to 635 in food have developed allergies. Oh, and one more thing: since ribonucleotides occur naturally in the body, allergists can’t test for IgE mediated allergic reactions to nucleotide flavour enhancers. (Further reading: low-birth-weight babies fed preterm formula with and without ribonucleotides: comparison with human milk http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/62/5/943. Later studies increased the dose.)


Q. Recently I purchased a quality fresh homemade style chicken and leek family pie. On reading the ingredients I was overjoyed that here was a fast food that had failsafe ingredients, listing salt but no stock. Anyway I was hit with severe tiredness, heavy eyes, thirst and unusual (for me) bad mood within one hour of eating it that lasted over 24 hours. My breastfed 10-month old baby had a bit of an unsettled night, bit of a cough and … some red blotchy rash on her torso. I knew for sure that there must be an ingredient unlisted like stock or flavour enhancer. I rang the company (who said) “there is no stock, just a bit of chicken salt”! What is “chicken salt” and is there somewhere I should report the label being incorrect?


A. Chicken salt is usually ordinary table salt with added flavour enhancers, often in quite large quantities. That would account for all your symptoms. Our updated MSG factsheet might be useful. In Australia you must report illegal labeling to the relevant state/territory authority. For instance, in NSW this is the NSW Food Authority, but in Victoria local councils have the responsibility (although not the resources).


Q. My food intolerant teenage daughter has had extreme skin irritations with weeping, red, scaly and flaring spots all over body since purchasing a latex mattress. She is a responder to bananas, strawberries and avocadoes.


A. Sensitivity to those fruits can indicate latex allergy and people with latex allergy can’t use latex mattresses. Update: the skin irritation improved within 2 days of removing the latex mattress. For more information:



Around the groups: getting in touch


New factsheets Factsheets are becoming our major way of making information available, now in printable format as well as online: http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/blog


Women’s issues 

Sleeping issues and sleep apnoea

Hayfever and rhinitis 

Headaches and migraines 

Sorbates (200-203) 

Fructose malabsorption 

MSG and other flavour enhancers 

Psyllium and constipation 


Talking point : Grandmothers raising grandchildren. Here is a typical email “I am a member of GAPS, a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren and there are many grandchildren in this group with behavioural and health problems and quite a few have been labelled as having ADHD. I now believe that many of these children would benefit from having their food intake investigated.”


And we had another grandmother (in tears) telling us that her daughter one day just put a bottle of vodka in her bag, said she was "just so over having kids" and walking out on her two daughters, not to heard of again. What a tragedy for them all.


Sometimes we hear that the emotional issues are blamed for the food intolerance, but we think the facts are the other way around: the kids are so difficult to look after due to food intolerance that the emotions become an overload. Alcohol and drugs are often attempts to self-medicate to overcome the effects of food intolerance too and we have had emails from people who can stop the drugs when they get the diet right. Food cravings are a clear sign of food intolerance.


Can you help?


Still coming: Food intolerance survey Participants Needed! As you may recall, in the last newsletter I advertised an upcoming study examination food sensitivities and psychological health… it is still coming!! We’ve had some software issues which are out of my control. But on the up side - the survey should be up and running in mid August sorry about any inconvenience in the delay! A link to the survey will also be provided on the Food Intolerance Network website as soon as I’m able to make it available. So please sit tight - and thank you in advance for your patience. If you have any queries or questions please feel free to contact me (Dr Karena Burke) via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Two Perth failsafers would like to order a low salicylate toothpaste specially formulated to be free of chemical nasties (eg sodium laurel sulfate, sodium benzoate, colours, flavours and fluoride) and suitable for kids on the elimination diet. If you would be prepared to buy the product at least once please email Cherie: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


A mother writes: “I am finding birthday parties a problem, even though I have explained the effects of food to my son, he still wants the party food and the dreaded lolly bag and says that its not fair, any suggestions?” We would love party ideas, suggestions, hints, recipes, photos for a party factsheet: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The mother of a 12 year old daughter with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis who is doing well on failsafe would like to hear from similar (reply via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).




Nearly 1.7 million people have now visited www.fedup.com.au – about 1,000 per day.


See http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/support-factsheets/failsafe-support for local contacts who can generally answer some questions about failsafe eating - many have brochures and a copy of the DVD to lend out. They can also advise on supportive dietitians locally.


Email support groups: we currently recommend failsafe3 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.




Coming talks by Sue Dengate - full detail at http://fedup.com.au/information/support/fedup-roadshow-talks


August 2009


Bingara NSW Monday 17 August

Warialda NSW Monday 17 August

Inverell NSW Tuesday 18 August

Richmond NSW Thursday 20 August

Killara (Sydney) Monday 24 August

Springwood (Blue Mountains) NSW Tuesday 25 August

Tumbarumba NSW Wednesday 26 August

Albury/Wodonga NSW/VIC Thursday 27 August

Wangaratta VIC Monday 31 August


September 2009


Melbourne (East) VIC Tuesday 1 September

Ballarat VIC Wednesday 2 September

Mildura VIC Thursday 3 September

Bordertown SA Saturday 5 September

Naracoorte SA Monday 7 September

Adelaide SA Wednesday 9 September

Kimba SA Thursday 10 September


Thanks to organisers of talks on Norfolk Island (Kelly, Eve and Cristina) for their marvelous efforts. The island is buzzing.


Coming talks in Melbourne by Kathleen and Jenny of Additive Education http://www.additiveeducation.com.au




NOW AVAILABLE in Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Nepali and USA. http://fedup.com.au/information/support/food-intolerance-brochures. Translators for other languages please email 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 $A0.33 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.




All Failsafe Newsletters from 1998-present are available here: http://fedup.com.au/fedup-newsletters. But some of the links are out of date and you must always check current products rather than relying on historical information.



Cook’s corner


Hint: a failsafe sports drink (for those who can tolerate dairy). Skimmed milk has been shown to be more effective than Gatorade type drinks for post exercise recovery, more details at http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Skimmed-milk-better-than-isotonics-for-post-sport-rehydration


Lamb Meatballs

“This one was enjoyed by the adults and scoffed down by the most picky kids.”


1 large swede (about 500g)

1 leek

¼ cup water

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon citric acid

500g lamb mince

¾ cup gluten-free flour (we used Deb’s from Failsafe Cookbook p233)


Peel and dice swede. Slice leek into semi-circles. In large microwave-safe bowl, microwave swede, leek, water, salt together until soft. Puree with stab blender. Add citric acid and mix in well. Add lamb mince and flour. Mix well. Form into small meatballs or little patties. This mixture is quite moist and a bit tedious to form – it’s a bit easier if left in the fridge for a while after mixing. Cook in 170 degrees C fan-forced oven for 20 minutes in dish with lid on. Served with Pear Ketchup (p192 Failsafe cookbook), although they were nice by themselves - even by adult standards! Cooking with the lid on the dish reduces browning for amine responders. – thanks to Cheryl


Easiest ever pear pie and ice-cream

Not really a pie, you just mix together bits of home-cooked pastry, pears and icecream.


4 pears, cored, peeled and chopped; or chopped, warmed canned pears

50g sugar


125g caster sugar

1 egg

250g flour

50g cornflour

½ teaspoon baking powder

Pinch salt

200g soft butter or Nuttelex

Failsafe icecream


To cook the pears, put them in a pan with a splash of water. Add sugar and cook really gently with lid until soft but still holding shape. Set aside to cool. To make the pastry, cream butter and sugar, then beat in the egg. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix together then drop it onto a baking tray, and roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Put it into fridge to rest for 10 minutes, then into the oven and bake at 180’C for 10-15min. minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool and then break or crumble into small pieces. For gluten free, use gf pastry.

Just before you eat, add cooked pear and pieces of broken pastry to the ice cream and mix together. – adapted from http://www.abc.net.au/tv/cookandchef/txt/s2632106.htm.



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© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to Kathleen, Jenny, Anne, Sheryl, Rosemaree, Leesa, Toni and the many others who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, (Murdoch Books).