Failsafe 73 January - March 2013

The Food Intolerance Network provides information and support for 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 email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Holiday Sweet Shop idea

Asthma linked to fast food AND food additives

Australia's disaster in education: is food the issue?

Research: Children Wanted for Research Study

In brief: PMS 'a myth';  Additive Free Canteen menu available;  When should a 'preservative free' claim be permitted? ; The Additive Detective App

Questions: Can children be sensitive to chewing gum (even if they don't swallow it)? ; What's in a Subway Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap? Every time I eat one, I have severe spasms in my stomach. ; Do you have a position on things like the GAPS diet or biomed treatments? I have seen them discussed as options for 'healing' or 'fixing' intolerances. ; What about claims about fish oil and zinc supplements increasing tolerance for salicylates? ; What is it in swimming pools that might be causing my kids to go crazy?

Now targeting: School canteen success story

Success stories: [1151]-[1192]

Shopping list: new products, warnings

Support community: meet our members, updated factsheets and story collections, support

Cooks Corner: Beetroot moderate salad (Thermomix); Healthy salad wraps with gluten free, dairy free, moderate salicylate options ; Gluten-free bread from the Guardian ; The rainbow birthday cake





Hello everyone

A special welcome to all who have This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. recently. We now have over 9,000 members - and the bigger we are, the more clout we have with the food industry when lobbying.

Our latest newsletter is now available and everyone loves the Holiday Sweet Shop idea from a reader. Another must-read item from our latest collection of reader stories is this thought-provoking report from a mother: "Our daughter – previously behind in school, had trouble keeping friends, would have fits of rage then extreme bouts of depression, wanting to self harm or die - graduated high school last year with one of the highest OPs in her school which guaranteed her entry into a number of top universities"  [1179] showing that food additive avoidance is not just for preschoolers. While experts lament Australia's disaster in education (see our report), failsafers can show them the way.

You can also see school canteen success, new Failsafe shopping list updates including safe bread and toothpaste, 12 reader experiences of withdrawal symptoms [1174] - who says additives aren't addictive? - and the ingenious colour-free answer to "my son's request for a rainbow theme birthday party"

Thanks to all who are helping to get the word out by choosing additive free food or contributing to our website, facebook and other groups. Thanks especially to Teresa for putting together our very popular additive/symptom based story collections.

      Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate


Holiday Sweet Shop idea

Just thought I would share this idea about our Holiday Sweet Shop. My eldest is on the failsafe diet and longs to be able to spend some of her hard earned pocket money on going to a sweet shop on our beach holiday.

Of course regular sweet shops are out but I decided to add some fun to their holiday by opening my own sweet shop. I bought the sweets from the Little Lolly Shop online which has a great variety of failsafe sweets. I also added failsafe jersey caramels, white marshmallows and I made the failsafe sherbet from the book. All up I had about 12-15 different sweets. I priced them and then opened my sweet shop after breakfast each morning.


I can't tell you how excited both girls were, they were literally glowing with excitement. I know a lot of sugar is considered a no no, but for my eldest who reacts to so many different foods this was a holiday treat she could enjoy without a major reaction – Bronnie from facebook group.

Asthma linked to fast food AND food additives


Asthma researchers say that a massive international study has confirmed what we have been saying for years: that increasing rates of asthma are linked to food. But they don't know which components of the Western diet are to blame. In our experience, food additives are the major problem. Our database contains 150 compelling reports from failsafers whose asthma symptoms - from mild to severe - have improved on a low chemical elimination diet. See our asthma story collection and read more about the research.


Australia's disaster in education: is food the issue?

Authorities are concerned about Australian students' poor performances on international reading, science and maths tests. While experts blame teachers, parents, each other or lack of funding, what about food? If you wanted to create a nation of underperforming children, you could hardly do better than to encourage the use of food additives that are associated with learning problems. Read more



Books, DVD, Failsafe magnifying card and sulphite test strips now available through 


Special offer for USA and Canada: Random House has taken over distribution of Sue's books in the USA and Canada, so our current warehouse in update New York has surplus stock which we offer at these special prices until all gone: Go to and search for "Sue Dengate"

55 copies Fed Up Revised and updated at $12.50

28 copies Failsafe Cookbook Updated at $22.00

30 copies Fed Up With Children' Behaviour (NTSC format) - DVD at $15.50

Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook  are now available as an ebook:  for Kindle,  in ePub version suitable for Tablet PCs, PCs, Macs, Laptops,  in ePub for digital and iPhone/iPad. One reader reports that if you go to, and do a 'preview' then 'decline' to buy.. they then offer it cheaper... my e reader (you can download free) copy was going to cost 29.95, then they offered it to me for 12.95!






Children Wanted for Research Study - Researchers at the University of South Australia in Adelaide are conducting a study to investigate the effect of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medications on the brain. Researchers invite parents of children aged between 6 and 18 years to contact the University to discuss their child's eligibility to participate in this non-invasive study.

Participants can be:

  • Medicated or unmedicated children diagnosed with ADHD (*unmedicated children are of particular interest)
  • Children who do not have ADHD

Participants will be compensated for their time ($50 per participant). For more information please contact Miranda Leach on 8302 1248 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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. You can also ask for our Salicylate, Amine or (new) Glutamate Mistakes sheets This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


In brief

PMS 'a myth' - says Professor Ussher at the University of Western Sydney and women who experience it usually have their blokes to blame. She says only a tiny minority of women - between 1.5 and 5 per cent - experience premenstrual mood changes, such as depression, anger or irritability, which can affect relationships. According to Dr Ussher, the fact that premenstrual syndrome appears to be an exclusively Western ailment adds to the picture of it as a cultural construct because women studied in China, India and Hong Kong either don't report negative moods premenstrually or don't attribute them to PMS. Hmm. Dr Ussher appears to have overlooked an alternative explanation - that an exclusively Western ailment could be due to the Western diet, read more

Additive Free Canteen menu available - based on the National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines and which categorises the foods according to their Green and Amber categories, has just been prepared by Melbourne-based Additive Education You can subscribe for regular AddEd Updates and receive a free copy of the Canteen Menu on their website. The Canteen List is not Failsafe, but utilises as many FS options as possible, and mentions natural chemicals and the potential issues in one section.

Additive Education also now have a Facebook page that you can visit.

When should a 'preservative free' claim be permitted? A recent article from lawyer Joe Lederman, Editor of FoodLegal Bulletin, acknowledges that many foods contain undeclared preservatives irrespective of the intent of the current Food Standards Code. "Rather than prohibiting food adulteration, it is possible to say the Food Standards code is actually a licence for adding substances to foods under various legal technicalities without the consumer being aware", he says. (only for subscribers).

The Additive Detective App, which helps people make additive free food choices when shopping, is seeking funding at Enjoy this stirring short video and think about helping. You'll just need to scan the barcode of a product you want to buy with your mobile phone and if the product contains potentially harmful additives, an alert pops up detailing the health risks associated with those additives. The app then generates a list of alternative products which are additive free. Initially it will be focused only on additives.


Your questions

Q. Can children be sensitive to chewing gum (even if they don't swallow it)?

A. Yes, the additives in chewing gum can affect children and adults. You think of what is left when the gum is discarded - all the flavours, colours, preservatives, synthetic antioxidants and artificial sweeteners have gone. Where to? Down your throat! One reader reported months of continuous stomach bloating due to the effect of sugar free chewing gum [386]. And this mother replied: "my 6 year old son seems to be sensitive to colours. After the blue chewing gum he couldn't sit still and was wild".

Q. What's in a Subway Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap? Every time I eat one, I have severe spasms in my stomach, with some nausea and gas. Tonight, it was so severe it felt as though a knife was cutting into me, [556]

A. Counting the wrap, chicken, bacon and dressing, there are 7 or 8 additives (preservatives and some type of MSG such as hydrolysed vegetable protein) that could cause your problem either singly or in combination. As well, guar gum and xanthan gum thickeners in the ranch dressing could be the culprits as these vegetable gums are known to cause 'a laxative effect' including nausea, flatulence and abdominal cramps in some people. Further reading 

Q. Do you have a position on things like the GAPS diet or biomed treatments? I have seen them discussed as options for 'healing' or 'fixing' intolerances. What is your opinion on them?

A. Our website and groups are dedicated to supporting the RPAH elimination diet because we have found it to be the most effective elimination diet in the world. However, for best results, the diet has to be nearly 100% perfect – and that means ignoring other diets and non-failsafe supplements. We do prefer committed failsafers or newbies not to be distracted by frequent discussion of other diets. We have not yet heard from readers about anything that actually 'heals' or 'fixes' intolerances in the long term other than treatment of longstanding infections – in one case a hysterectomy and in another case removal of wisdom teeth. If people want to try GAPS or other diets and treatments, please do it and discuss it elsewhere and get back to us with some feedback after 12 months. In our experience, people are enthusiastic about something new but a year later it is often a different story, e.g. this report from one failsafer: "... was a total waste of time and money. Unbelievable that it is funded by health funds. Wish I could get my money back."

Biomed treatments – based on what readers have told us, these can be expensive, time-consuming and in the long term not effective for curing intolerances, except possibly for trying a range of probiotics especially S boulardii:

Q. What about claims about fish oil and zinc supplements increasing tolerance for salicylates?

A. Zinc supplements are NOT part of the RPAH elimination diet, but a few failsafers say they may help with acne and some dietitians recommend them as long as you can find a zinc supplement that contains ONLY failsafe ingredients, see Be careful because megadoses of zinc to treat acne have been associated with anaemia and neutropenia (low white blood cells).

Fish oils are NOT part of the strict RPAH elimination diet. The RPAH approved omega supplement is flax oil in limited quantities due to small amounts of salicylates and amines. We have not received any reports about fish oil increasing tolerance for salicylates. In the medical literature, there is one small report of 3 people with asthma/hives improving on fish oil supplements (not increasing tolerance – their symptoms returned as soon as they stopped taking the supplements It is also true that some parents report fish oil-related improvements in children with behaviour or learning problems – but in our experience, when they do the diet (which means dropping the supplements), they do even better. People who pass their amine challenge can try fish oils as long as they don't contain non-failsafe ingredients such as lemon flavouring. Regarding any label claims about no salicylates or amines, you may want to read more about fish oils in Dr Ben Goldacre's book "Bad Science" especially about marketing techniques and law suits by fish oil manufacturers. See failsafer reports about adverse reactions to fish oils, and more info about how to eat a good omega ratio through food

Q. What is it in swimming pools that might be causing my kids to go crazy?

A. Chlorinated disinfection agents such as chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and chloramine kill microbes, oxidise taste/odour-forming compounds, and leave a disinfectant residual so water can reach the consumer tap safe from microbial contamination. These disinfectants may react with naturally present organic matter to produce more chloramines and some human carcinogens.

Sweat and urine in swimming pools reacts with chlorine to produce even more and different chloramines and they are suspected to be the cause of increased asthma observed in elite swimmers. They are amines and food intolerant people may react to them with behavioural symptoms as many members of our network have reported. See Thanks to Wiki

Note: Some of the FAQ information, particularly that about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe shopping list for the latest information. Many more questions are answered by knowledgeable failsafers in the Failsafe forum, which you are free to join. See all FAQs at



 Now targeting

School canteens - we are pleased to share this reader's success from [1182] Not a perfect school canteen "but much better" (February 2013)

It only took a year (!) but we have finally managed to convince our lower north shore Sydney primary school to delete the Slades "Quench" drinks from our tuck shop menu! After an unannounced presentation on the true ingredients and their potential for behavioural disruption (backed up by a teacher rolling her eyes in exasperation at the effect the drinks have on kids in the afternoon) AND passing them around for parents and teachers to smell (no one dared drink them) the case was won to remove them.

The front of these drinks reads "Lightly carbonated spring water with 10% fruit juice" in fact when I compared this drink it is about 95% like Fanta with 35mls of juice added to get into the tuck shop guidelines (and fructose added presumably to increase the sweetness while being able to claim say reduced sugar).

Kids taste red, orange, or green cordial/soft drink but as they are consumed at school parents rarely, if ever, see/smell/taste these shockers for themselves and so are unaware of the true nature of these drinks. No ingredient listing is on the ordering system - one needs to hold the product to find out what their kids are getting from the tuck shop. It was clearing out my daughter's bag that I found an almost empty one that reeked of a raspberry lolly.

I really think involving people's sense of smell and taste in these products makes their judgement of the drink - complex ingredients lists and marketing tricks aside - eg everyone can identify a red raspberry lolly smell - even if the bottle says spring water with fruit juice.

I have realised there is a serious disconnect between what our kids are TASTING and what parents THINK their kids are drinking. Savvy companies are knowingly, or maybe unknowingly, taking advantage of this communication gap in schools.

Not perfect in the canteen - but much better - thanks to Clare



 Success stories

You can scroll through the full text of all stories: for every story we report, there are probably another 10 which cover similar issues. And these are just the ones we get to hear about. Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Success story collections: organised by symptom or by additive keywords are proving the most popular downloads from the website. They'll be added to as time permits. See current collections index later in this newsletter

[1192] Encopresis due to salicylates and amines (February 2013)

My nephew was put on the diet for encopresis and I know that it helped him - salicylates and amines to a lesser extent ended up being the culprits, but I know that with him it took AGES (I mean several months) on the baseline /strict diet before they saw improvement. I encourage you that sticking with the strict diet for longer may be what his body needs to heal and recover - Peggy

[1191] Encopresis due to salicylates, dairy and gluten (February 2013)

The failsafe diet definitely improved my son's bowels. Salicylates, dairy and gluten seemed to be the main culprits for him. Ultimately, though, it was strong probiotics and home-made yoghurt that seemed to fix the problem. He was dairy intolerant but we started with tiny amounts and now he's eating 2 bowls of yoghurt a day - Veronica

[1190] Soiling every day (February 2013)

My eldest son has always had epic meltdowns and tantrums, just thought was his personality. Last year he was getting way out of control and then soiling every day, it took me a while to realise this as I just thought he wasn't wiping properly. Doctors visits, movicol in large doses all to no avail. A friend put me on to the fed up site and its been great... read more

[1189] Wetting for 18 months, now up to 9 days dry on diet (February 2013)

My daughter has been suffering wetting for about 18mths now. I had been everywhere and back with doctors, scans. con. clinic. They were pretty much no help as it continued. Than my sister introduced me to FS and ED and said it could help. After my own research, I saw a dietician and now we are on day 5.I made small changes to her diet a couple of months ago & saw improvements. We managed to get 7 days in a row dry. Than, with Xmas/New Yr went backwards. Now, today it is her 9th day dry. I am convince that this really works - Nicole

[1188] Encopresis and leaking with five siblings, fixed by diet (February 2013)

We have had encopresis with our son, whose behaviour was the reason for failsafe but had no idea encopresis was related until it stopped, just thought it was behavioural or through stress. He is 8 and it was causing terrible problems at school, also leaking urine too with complete denial even if we took all his clothes of and showed him the evidence! At our wits end with that and behavioural probs, amongst others. Two weeks into the elim diet and it all more

[1187] One liners (February 2013)

I am so excited! Improvements with my 6 year olds behaviour already today! She ate two serves of protein (almost never happens!), was actually hungry at dinner time, has listened to instructions and fell asleep beautifully! First additive/preservative free day! YAY! – Hayley from facebook group

I just stumbled on your web site. Wow! It's really great to see what you've achieved since those early days. It looks like more and more people, even the 'professionals', are coming on board. I guess hard evidence finally overcomes pride and stubbornness. As one of your early believers, it's great to see you get the success you deserve - Jack, NT

The diet is very effective. I am forever grateful to you both because my four kids were a mess on natural organic food and now they are very sweet and all we have to do is be careful what we eat. They get crazy when we mess up but thankfully I know how to get back to baseline and enjoy the peace again – Naomi, USA

We have proof here at my house that Mentos are made by the devil himself. 4 days of withdrawal and counting. Be wary of this demon drug! – Jo from Facebook group

My son has eye motor tics, since he has been failsafe his tics have vanished - Rachel, UK

[1186] Amines cause cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), ADHD symptoms (February 2013)

My daughter has recently been diagnosed intolerant to amines, we have been low amine for about 2 months. We have had great results, days we have cheated she has been lethargic, thrown up, looked pale etc. The difference on the days we have not cheated are amazing, my happy 12 year old is more

[1185] 'Miracle cure' for food intolerance (February 2013)

I have been on the failsafe diet consistently for the last 8 years, and intermittently for the last 15 years, since I was diagnosed with amine and salicylate intolerance at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. I have tried everything to improve my tolerance of amines and salicylates, including the failsafe diet, long term naturopathy, homeopathy, stress management, exercise, and an expensive and fruitless exercise involving spinal stimulation.

I thought you might be interested to hear that last month I came across what I could only term a 'miracle cure' more

[1184] Diet "instead of living in a war-torn home" (February 2013)

I have found the book to be amazing, a real eye opener. My daughter is 28 months old, and I now know that my daughter has Oppositional defiance. What a relief as I thought I was going to go insane with her. We have made a few changes with avoiding anything with 160b and 282 in bread and the difference already has been more

[1183] Headed for a life of labels (February 2013)

My 4 year old daughter was headed for a life of labels due to her inattention and naughtiness especially at kinder, and I am hoping we have found the answer. She was advanced with everything up until the age of 2 and then has slowed down, especially in the last year, becoming more and more immature, naughty, silly and unable to concentrate, with only selective listening, especially in public and at kinder, but she wasn't like that all the time, so I knew it wasn't the real more

[1181] "The food ... in the tuckshop is just awful" (February 2013)

Thought I would just let you know that the school principal has still not responded to my offer to print your Failsafe newsletter for attachment to our school newsletter! Just shows - it is a small 70 pupil school which has some kids with strong behaviour concerns - how unopen the supposed leaders of the community are to options to help manage their own challenges! The food they serve in the tuckshop is just more

[1180] 621: Lack of sleep and vivid nightmares (February 2013)

I only got to your website after another bad reaction to a meal, this time at a very western pub in Fitzroy, where I had a meat-pie. Of course, it was not long after I was feeling very thirsty and restless. In the middle of the night, I was waking again and again from nightmares and spending long periods of time trying to fall asleep again, while feeling flushes of heat / itch all over my body. I know that again, I will have a second night of bad sleep as it generally takes about 24 - 48 hours to clear up, and not even sleeping pills help me most of the more

[1179] Failsafe high school graduation success: one of the highest OPs in her school (February 2013)

Thank you for all your efforts over the years. I am certainly a champion of the cause after the success we have had with our daughter. Anyone that talks of issues with their children I talk about FAILSAFE, even buy the books for more

[1178] 621: MSG and foggy brain, heart arrhythmia, arthritis (February 2103)

I've been concerned about brain fogging for some time, but never knew whether it was a real effect (or just 'me') or where it came from. After doing the Elimination Diet for about 6 weeks and then the RPAH Glutamates Challenge of 4 tablespoons of soy sauce over rice, I developed quite strong brain fogging within about an more

[1177] Asthma under control due to low salicylate diet (February 2013)

My son is 3 years old and we have his asthma under control due to the low salicylate diet he has been on since 18 more

[1176] Salicylates, benzoates, additives linked to asthma, ADD, headaches (February 2013)

Our paediatrician advised us to try failsafe eating for our 8 year old boy after years of struggles with asthma and ADD. What a change. For the first winter in 8 years he has gone medication free - his usual line up was prednisolone, antibiotics, 2 x preventative puffers and constant more

FIN Comment: Most children's medications contain benzoate preservatives (also called hydroxybenzoates or parabens) - even asthma medications.

[1175] 621: MSG, appetite, cravings and obesity (February 2013)

We are just amazed how much healthier our 8 year old son has been since trying to be failsafe. Have you ever looked into the relationship between additives and obesity? more

FIN comment: Studies in China show that MSG contributes to obesity regardless of activity or caloric intake.

[1174] Withdrawal symptoms occur in the first 2 weeks of the diet – 12 reports from failsafers (February 2013)

* Day 4 now and into withdrawals - my thoughts are scattered, disjointed, I can almost hear my brain "creaking" as it tries to work!! Even put some bicarb into a glass and then left it there on the bench, instead of adding water and drinking!!!! Found it 1/2 an hour later. My other physical symptoms seem to have improved since day 2, but we'll see how it progresses from here, carefully recording everything too. Boy you wqouldn't believe how long it's taken me to write this email!

* We are on Day 6 today and going fantastically! No withdrawal symptoms so far, just a bit teary at night time (she says her body just wants to cry) ...

* Our son's issues decreased within the first week of the diet. He was less hyper, more compliant, and able to sleep better, except for one noticeable withdrawal episode - his first on-the-floor kicking temper tantrum. - from story [908]

* We booked into a failsafe dietician and started the elimination diet. Our baby son improved a little, and then had textbook withdrawal after a week and a half. In week 3 he slept through the night for the first time in 15 months ...- from story 878

* About a month ago my daughter had developed a cold-sore as part of the withdrawals associated with going back onto the very basic elimination diet after we'd let a few too many fruits and veges creep back into our diet - from story [860]

* 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. - from story [806]

* At this stage we think that too many amines make our son nasty and too many salicylates make him hyper. Since we took him off the cows milk as well and got over the withdrawals he no longer needs speech therapy, has a great appetite and is putting on weight, is able to enjoy play dates, is calm, doesn't complain of tummy ache etc and our life is much easier. - from story [716]

* We did the diet for our 9-year-old daughter's behaviour problems (fighting, defiance, stealing etc). Within weeks, apart from a few withdrawals, everyone noticed an improvement and now, nine months later – what a difference! - from [528]

* We are doing the elimination diet for my three children. I have been on the diet too and on the two occasions I had chocolate with my husband, I had a huge headache the next day. I have been a chocoholic all my life!! I also had a headache for the first week due to withdrawals, I presume. - from story [212]

* We are doing the elimination diet to try and help our 8 year old daughter. Her main problem is that she has suffered from regular, unexplained and excessive fatigue for several years. We have also recently realised that she suffers a lot of dizziness and light headedness too. On day 3 and 4 of elimination she "lost it" - picked fights, became over emotional, almost hysterical, restless, teary, irrational, and claimed we were all against her. I was a bit scared as this was not in the least her normal behaviour. She also had some nausea. However thankfully these withdrawals eased off by day 5. The first improvement she noticed was that she didn't feel irritable any more. Then she started to say she had more energy. - from [156]

* I went onto failsafe for symptoms that my doctors were calling irritable bowel. I had gone off antidepressants for about six months before testing for IBS, but the first thing the doctors did when looking into my bowel problems was to put me back on antidepressants. During this time I had still been eating my old diet of chocolate, plus other foods that are high in amines. So for my bowel reasons I went onto failsafe, cutting out everything including wheat and dairy. This was very hard, and the withdrawal symptoms were awful, my husband put up with me yelling at him for no except that he wouldn't go and get me chocolate! - from story [344]

* This is our second week Failsafe and the seriously awful headaches from the withdrawal seem to have stopped and I am feeling energetic again. - from story [1137]

[1173] Mast cell activation disorder (January 2013)

I have found failsafe eating to be extremely helpful in controlling the symptoms of my mast cell activation more

[1172] 621,635: Red blotchy welts all gone (January 2013)

August 2012: My 11yo son has had these allergic welts which start with his hands and feet itching so bad that he is in despair then he gets red blotchy welts on his torso and legs and his legs go purple and he has goosebumps the whole more

[1171] Nosebleeds thread from Facebook group (January 2013)

Post: My 5yo suffers blood noses and we suspect salicylates. Has anyone else experienced this? We did the elim diet for our 2yo and don't think he had any during that the answers

[1170] Nosebleeds due to amines? (January 2013)

Prior to Easter we had been strict failsafe the results have been great and my son has been a pleasure to take out. We have had chocolate over the Easter break - not a lot in comparison to other years, but obviously too much. This morning my son is bouncing of the more

[1169] Nosebleeds due to junky snacks (January 2013)

During my daughter's first week in primary school I caved in to her demands to allow her to take Twisties for a snack 'just like all the other children'. Two packets in one week, and two of the WORST nosebleeds more

[1168] Nosebleeds due to dairy foods (January 2013)

While doing the elimination diet, it has become obvious that for me and my son, the cause of our frequent nosebleeds is too many dairy products - usually combined with getting very hot during exercise or because of the weather. If we avoid A1 dairy products (A2 is okay) we can get hot without getting nosebleeds. - by email

[1167] Crushing depression after food (January 2013)

I can't agree that intolerances are never fatal. My father and I get crushing depression after we eat foods to which we are intolerant (e.g. nutmeg, cinnamon or wines). It doesn't last long (36 hours) but it's really unpleasant. I suspect a proportion of suicides are ultimately caused by the mood effects of undiagnosed food more

[1166] 282: Defiant, hyperactive, impossible to reason with, plain silly, very loud, noisy, annoying to others, demanding, pushy and tantrums (December 2012)

My daughter, who is now 7 years old and who began the failsafe approach at age 3, reacts in the following ways whenever she has 282 in more

[1165] 282: "I felt like a slug" (from 2004)

I'm only doing the elimination diet to keep my overactive son company, so I was very surprised at my own reaction to the bread preservative (282) challenge. After two days, I got so incredibly tired, I thought I was getting sick. All I wanted to do was sleep; I felt like a slug. Now, I have excessive energy normally so this was quite a change. When I stopped the bread I felt better overnight. - reader, USA

[1164] 282: Diagnosis of chronic fatigue really due to bread preservative (from 2002)

I am a busy executive. I love my job but for the last two years I have been feeling tired all the time and struggling to keep up. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue. After I read your book I decided to try preservative free bread and GUESS WHAT? I don't have chronic fatigue after all - it was all due to that stupid preservative. People need to know it doesn't only affect kids. When I eat it, I feel tired and need to sleep a lot. - by email, WA

[1163] 282: Grumpy and Rude, lacking concentration (from 2006)

I have been following the failsafe food guide and have had tremendous success. Today however after having a child for the past 3 weeks back to being Grumpy and Rude, lacking concentration, disruptive whenever possible and just not being more

[1162] 282: And oppositional defiance (from FAILsaf19 June 2000)

I have recently joined the Failsafe Fan Club after watching the Current Affair more

[1161] 160b: Extremely difficult to avoid in USA (December 2012)

Due to the fact that it can be hidden and is unrecognized as a food allergy, it is extremely difficult to avoid in the USA and most people do not even understand why they are getting sick. They are told by the medical industry they have IBS or acid reflux, more

[1160] 160b: Annatto is in everything! (December 2012)

Our 4yo son's behaviour really (apparently) deteriorated while I was pregnant with our second. It is hard to know if it's because you get lazy with the food whilst pregnant and go with more convenience products or a myriad of any other more

[1159] Hoping for something better and I believe I have found it (October 2012)

I have a five year old who has epilepsy as well as well as host of behavioural and learning problems. From reading your book I think he may have a food intolerance problem because he gets sick when he eats pizza or hot more

[1158] Is it really epilepsy – or benign nocturnal myoclonus? (October 2012)

Rhythmic jerking while asleep which stop if gently woken are frequently misdiagnosed as epilepsy in more

[1157] Home cooking has reduced Bear's seizures (October 2012)

Bear stole my husband's heart. At the animal shelter, Dan saw Bear going through his obedience commands and fell in more

[1156] Ketogenic and failsafe 10 years on (October 2012)

I contacted you in 2002 when my daughter was 4, and seizures started out of nowhere and we couldn't get them to stop - she had 4 seizures with fever between age 14 months to 3.5 more

[1155] 282: Bread preservative caused suspected epilepsy (memory lapses) (October 2012)

I thought you might be interested in this story from our group. One of the boys was exhibiting forgetfulness, inattention and memory lapses so noticeable that he was referred for brain investigation of suspected epilepsy. However, he never reached the tests - he stopped eating preserved bread first, and his problems stopped. – by email, Victoria

[1154] 282: Bread preservative and seizures, extreme sleep disturbance, 'out-of-control' behaviour (October 2012)

I have a 2 year old son whose diet I have recently changed due to the behavioural problems that we were experiencing with more

[1153] Colours and flavours in epilepsy medication (October 2012)

When the doctor recommended ADHD medication for our 4 year old daughter, I was reluctant because she was already on high doses of epilepsy more

[1152] Artificial red colour: cause of seizures in a breastfed baby? (October 2012)

I am scared for my friend and her one year old breastfed baby. While she is breastfeeding, there are many times when the baby seems to "clamp down" on the breast and briefly stay more

[1151] 104: Quinoline yellow artificial colour and epilepsy (October 2012)

We have been additive-free for over a year. We were able to drop my daughter's epilepsy medication and she enjoyed more than a year trouble-free until experiencing a seizure after eating Strepsils throat tablets during a more

Don’t forget, you can scroll through all current stories


Shopping list

The Failsafe shopping list is updated on an almost daily basis and is fully searchable. Look there in the first instance. Here are some updates since the last newsletter:

Buffalo mozzarella and yoghurt is also A2 and available in Australia. See "We have about 400 pure breed milking buffalos, we imported 66 milking buffalo from Italy and Bulgaria in the mid 90's and have been producing since 1996, slowly building up numbers and growing our cheese market. All of our products are hand made without any added nasties and we farm without the use of pesticides and herbicides. We are a family business and 100% Australian owned." – Thea

Name change: Natural Selections Sorbolene Sensitive Skin Moisturising Bar Unscented from supermarkets is now Velvet Sorbolene Sensitive Skin Unscented

We bought some of this soap in the old packaging and detected a subtle scent and contacted their quality assurance unit to check if the formulation had been changed. On sending the product back, they agreed that scent could be detected and traced the problem back to a new operator who they then re-trained in the procedure for flushing the line after producing scented soap. They exchanged our product for unscented soap and handled the query professionally and quickly, taking our concerns about the scent seriously – thanks to Amelia


Coles have been very responsive to requests for preservative free bread and have even taken out the vinegar (sals and amines). They advise that "none of the oils used in the bread products in Coles store bakeries contain antioxidants. None of our breads contain additives or preservatives except for topped products such as cheese and bacon rolls."


The toothpaste factsheet has been updated with the launch of two new fluoride-containing products by Oral Hygiene Solutions, by mail order a failsafe whitening toothpaste and a new plain toothpaste for sensitive teeth that contains strontium acetate as the active ingredient, which is failsafe.


Support community

Thanks for your continuing support of each other!

Many people have chosen to switch from the current email support groups to the thriving 2,500 member Sue Dengate facebook group and/or the Failsafe forum - you are welcome there too.

For those who want to continue to use an email support group, we've created a new failsafers group You can join at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by asking Teresa This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to invite you. The front page is

URGENT: The current failsafe, failsafe2, failsafe3 and failsafebasic groups will be closed in one month so please act now if you want to rescue any messages or files from these four groups..


Food Intolerance Network now on Twitter as @failsafers (note the plural). We will mostly be using Twitter to join online Twitter conversations and encourage people to join our existing online communities.

Factsheets are becoming our major way of making information available. Many have been extensively updated recently, including Constipation and psyllium and Dairy foods, wheat and gluten - do I have to avoid?

New factsheets: Most people are unaware that eating disorders such as anorexia could be related to food intolerance. When one young woman with a six year history of eating disorders started to avoid additives in an attempt to get rid of a possible Ribo Rash, she was surprised at her improvements. Two months later she wrote:   "My eating disorder - it was currently Bulimia 1-5 times a day and Binge Eating everyday - has been completely stopped."  see Eating disorders factsheet.

See also Withdrawal symptoms   Christmas and food intolerance    Nosebleed due to food

Fedup Roadshow 2013

Fedup Roadshow 2013 will be on from 26 August to 12 September 2103 to the main east coast cities in Australia.

By the end of February a draft program for the 2013 talks program will be available on the website. If you want to host a talk for 200 people or more, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. urgently. If you have already requested a talk, you will hear from Howard in the next weeks.


Nearly 4.4 million people have now visited, between 3,000 and 4,000 visits per day. Over 9,000 families now receive this quarterly newsletter.

See 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.


For failsafe-friendly dietitians, see For privacy reasons this file is password protected. The PASSWORD is failsafe. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if there are any problems.


NOW AVAILABLE in German, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Nepali and USA. 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 are available. We'll post two free that you can copy, or you can buy bulk copies at cost $A0.35 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.


All Failsafe Newsletters can be searched and printed. There is a wealth of research, issue discussion, recipes, personal reports and recipes now available in one place. But some of the links are out of date and you must always check current products rather than relying on historical information. 

Success story collections

These are the most popular downloads from the website.


aggression eg aggressive, aggression, violent (58 pages, September 2012)
anger issues eg anger, angry, anger management (37 pages, January 2013)
asthma eg asthma, chronic cough, persistent cough, ventolin, puffer (49 pages, January 2013)
autism eg autism, autistic, ASD, spectrum, Aspergers (38 pages, September 2012)
depression eg depression, anxiety, panic attacks (44 pages, August 2012)
encopresis eg encopresis, sneaky poos/poohs, soiling, wetting, incontinent (20 pages, February 2013)
epilepsy eg epilepsy, epileptic, fits, seizures (8 pages, February 2013)
headache and migraine (29 pages, January 2013)
hives and urticaria (26 pages, January 2013)
menstrual issues eg PMT, PMS, period, menstrual, premenstrual, pre-menstrual, menopausal, peri-menopausal (10 pages, January 2013)
reflux (21 pages, January 2013)
sleep issues eg sleep, apnoea, apnea, night terrors, difficulty falling asleep, insomnia, nightmare, bad dreams (87 pages, January 2013)
speech eg speech delay, loud voice, vocal tics, silly noises (57 pages, August 2012)
stutter (5 pages, August 2012)
tinnitus, ringing in the ears (5 pages, August 2012)
tonsillitis (3 pages, August 2012)


160b annatto (common natural yellow colour (29 pages, January 2013)
210-219 benzoates (common soft drink preservative, usually 210 and 211) (5 pages, January 2013)
282 propionates eg bread preservative (20 pages, August 2012)

Useful links

Melissa at has a passion for home environments that minimise environmental pollutants and offers a range of services including a healthy home checklist ebook that helps people identify ways they create their own healthy home (minimise indoor pollutants) - is a new website set up by concerned WA mothers to make it easier to shop for foods without harmful additives and preservatives. Listen to a radio interview about this initiative


Cook’s corner

There's a fantastic online recipe resource being developed by failsafers at


A food intolerance network Melbourne (FinM) moderator has created a great facebook page to highlight recipes and create discussion!/FailsafeEatingSupportGroup

Beetroot moderate salad (Thermomix)


Here served with failsafe Gado Gado

This salad is suitable for the moderate version of the elimination diet but not for the low salicylate diet.

This recipe is a moderate sals version of the Thermomix (TM) classic (Everyday Cooking p 39). If you have a Thermomix, just roughly chop the beetroot and carrot, put everything in the Thermomix bowl and chop for about 2-3 seconds on speed 5, scrape down and another 3-5 seconds at speed 5. Otherwise, follow recipe below.

1 cup raw beetroot, grated (moderate in sals)
1/2 cup raw carrot, grated (moderate in sals)
1 tsp citric acid
1 stick chopped celery
1 shallot chopped fine
chopped chives
few sprigs chopped parsley (for colour not flavour)

Mix all well together. You can add extra low salicylate vegetables such as cold cooked chopped green beans, kidney beans, potatoes and swedes as a way of diluting the moderate salicylates if you prefer to reduce your salicylate intake.

Healthy salad wraps with gluten free, dairy free, moderate salicylate options


Failsafe wrap: (warning If using commercial wraps, check the label for preservatives. Most gluten free breads and wraps are not failsafe.) e.g. Mountain Bread OR home-made buckwheat pancakes OR Old time organic gluten free wraps (mod in sals due to maize flour) - NOT the ordinary GF wraps with preservative 282

Filling suggestions: e.g. hard boiled egg, cold home-cooked chicken pieces, quark or preservative free cream or cottage cheese, chopped celery, iceberg lettuce, red kidney beans or others, mung bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, leftover cold cooked vegetables such as Swedish rotmos (mashed or chopped potatoes and swedes), brussels sprouts, green beans

Moderate salicylate options, optional moderate salicylate vegetables such as peeled cucumber, butternut, sweet potato, beetroot salad (above) or leftover risotto (below)

Sauce suggestions: failsafe chickpea spread, Howard's bean pasta (kidney beans), failsafe mayonnaise (many options in the FS cookbook)

Gluten-free bread from the Guardian


 Getting a gluten-free loaf to look and taste like one made with wheat involves weird ingredients. The latest helper is psyllium husk, a fibre that acts more like gluten than tapioca starch. Not cheap, but it keeps well. Thanks to the Guardian (modified for failsafe)

4 tsp soya flour
50g potato starch
300g cornflour
1 tsp xanthan gum
25g psyllium husk powder
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
15ml canola oil, plus extra for brushing
2 tbsp yoghurt
325ml warm water
30ml milk

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk the liquid separately, then mix the two really well for a minute, until they come together into a soft dough. Leave for an hour, then, using a lightly oiled worktop and hands, shape into rolls or into a baton for a tin loaf. Cover and leave for an hour and a half, until almost doubled.

Gluten-free dough doesn't have spring, so a very hot oven helps – 245'C (220'C fan-assisted)/475'F/gas mark 9. Brush the top of the dough with oil and bake for 25 minutes (rolls) or 50 minutes (large tin loaf). Remove from the oven, and from the tin or tray, and leave to cool on a wire rack, covered with a cloth - this helps keep the bread soft.

The rainbow birthday cake


My 4 year old requested a rainbow theme birthday party which pre-failsafe would have been an absolute riot of colours and preservatives. In an attempt to make his "cake" exciting this is what we came up with: 90 mini cupcakes using the gluten-free recipe on page 242 of the failsafe cookbook with Italian meringue for icing. My family thinks I was a little bit crazy but I think it's worth it for my little boy to have as "normal" a party as possible with his friends. – Kristina from the facebook group

See lots of other ideas at the Failsafe birthday parties factsheet

The FAILSAFE Newsletter: You can have this Newsletter emailed to you for free about every three months, and also see it in colour with graphics on Subscribe: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Frontpage:

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© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to the many members who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter. Further reading: Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate.