Failsafe 81 September - December 2015


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.

Download as a pdf.


Let's all get the food regulator FSANZ to do better!

Final report on the Fedup Roadshow 2015

Now targetting: Petition to remove annatto 160b from Unilever Australia's Streets products nearing success!

Research: Artificial sweeteners can cause diabetes and obesity? Wait, I thought they were supposed to prevent ….; World Health Organisation (WHO) - processed meats cause cancer in humans

In brief: Recent media: “Cooking with vegetable oil releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer”; 129 ways to add MSG and fool consumers; Caution: “cultured dextrose”

Your questions: How do salicylates work at the biochemical level? My friend has been telling me that nightshade vegetables such as potato can lead to leaky gut which might result in this true?

Success stories: [1305] – [1363]

Failsafe shopping list: new products, warnings

Factsheets: Benzoate preservatives AVOID 210-219; new story collection Sorbate preservatives AVOID 200-203

Support community: Failsafers talking to each other

Cook's corner: focus on Christmas, plus Maple yoghurt pound cake and GF DF Kidney bean chocolate cake

Thanks and admin:


SueDengate2012small                                      81xmas2

We wish you a Happy Christmas season, failsafe of course.

Good news: nearly 5,000 people have signed our annatto petition. See what we think of Streets very corporate response below. Please sign if you haven’t.


The focus of this Newsletter is on improving the performance of our food regulator FSANZ and you can help. There are so many compelling stories, the just-posted Fedup Roadshow report (challenging, funny, supportive and above all informative) and much more. Catch up on changes in our food supply and the latest information on food intolerance. Plus a whole heap of Christmas ideas including two new failsafe cakes.

Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate


Let's all get the food regulator FSANZ to do better!

The Australia and New Zealand food regulator, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), is failing to ensure that the food we eat is safe and properly labelled so that we can make informed choices.

The Food Intolerance Network has joined with eight other organisations to change how FSANZ does business.


FSANZ consistently puts the interests of big business before public health. The agency has allowed the rapid introduction of new ingredients with minimal or no testing - including genetically modified and nano-ingredients. It allows food ingredients that are banned or restricted in other countries for safety reasons – including food additives and trans fats. It has failed to regulate pesticide residues and food irradiation in a precautionary and pro-active way. FSANZ has also failed to ensure that labelling laws provide us with the information we need.

We want to change the way FSANZ does business and we need your help! Please email the Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, and ask her to ensure that FSANZ makes food safety and our right to know its top priorities.

 Take Action!

 We’ve got a Facebook post that you’ll be able to share: 

Or print this A5 poster and post it around   FOE2015

Thanks for your help and watch out for updates over the coming months in Sue's Blog.

Final report on the Fedup Roadshow 2015

See the challenging, funny, supportive and above all informative report just posted, with lots of stories, questions answered and your concerns expressed. We challenge you to read it without learning heaps!



4,780 people have signed the petition to date and Streets responded 17 November.  Their Consumer Relations Department:

We take the health and safety of our consumers very seriously and all of our products meet stringent safety requirements as defined by Australian and New Zealand laws and regulations. Annatto is a natural food colouring ingredient that is used in very small amounts in a range of our ice cream products. The ingredient has been approved for use under the Food Standards Code and is a commonly used ingredient in food and beverage products in Australia and around the world.

They are clearly not listening. Here is our response:

Your corporate response is very disappointing. Manifestly you are not taking ‘very seriously’ the complaints of your customers if you ignore 5,000 of them who bother to tell you there is a real problem. The government safety assessment of annatto 160b ignores all the symptoms that people are reporting yet still approved the additive. To me this suggests a fault with the assessment process, not that consumers are wrong. Unilever Australasia and Streets are missing a commercial opportunity here by avoiding this issue, so the petition will continue to run until you actually do listen. After all, a safe alternative natural colour exists, it just costs a little more. Dr Howard Dengate for the Food Intolerance Network

Please sign if you haven't done so yet.

Thanks for all who have shared their stories of nasty effects from this natural colour that is as bad as any artificial colour.


Artificial sweeteners can cause diabetes and obesity? Wait, I thought they were supposed to prevent ….:

Well, researchers at the prestigious Weizman Institute of Science in Israel, publishing in the world’s top journal Nature, have shown that the opposite is true in both mice and humans. for full details and advice on sugar-free sweeteners.

Suez J et al, Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nature13793

See factsheet on sugar free sweeteners

World Health Organisation (WHO) - processed meats cause cancer in humans:

In October WHO released its evaluation of the carcinogenic effects of red meat and processed meat, classifying processed meat as "carcinogenic to humans" and as causing colorectal cancer. The consumption of red meat was classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans", mainly for colorectal cancer, but also for pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.

Each 50g portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky, as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces.

Processed meats typically contain nitrate preservatives, which failsafers avoid, so that is good news for us.

The National Health and Medical Research Council's current dietary guidelines recommend consuming no more than 65 to 100 grams of cooked red meat, three to four times a week. A recent survey found that Australian men ate 700g of red meat on average each week, and women 520g – both well above guidelines.

Details at


Recent media: “Cooking with vegetable oil releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer”.

Heating up vegetable oils led to high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia according to UK scientists. In contrast, heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil produced the lowest levels of the harmful chemicals. It is important to note that these were chemical tests on oils, not trials involving humans.

What should failsafers do? Well, don’t panic - half of all nutritional advice is likely to be seen as nonsense within 10 years and canola oil, which is recommended for failsafers, still looks much better than the corn and sunflower oils implicated in the report. Coconut oil, by the way, is high in salicylates and amines, so obviously not failsafe.

See more details and references at

129 ways to add MSG and fool consumers:

Food intolerance Network members fanned out in the supermarket aisles and found 129 ways that the food industry can now legally hide the flavour enhancer MSG 621 using different names. Food lawyers even run seminars on how to get a “clean” (deceptive) label past the regulators. The aisles to watch out for are the savoury biscuits, the chips and snacks, the noodle soups, and the savoury items in the health food section. If it is savoury, check it out is a good rule. Here are our rules to avoid MSG:

Rule 1: if the packaging says anywhere ‘no added MSG’ then it is very likely that there IS added MSG in another form.

Rule 2: if the ingredients label includes any of the following, there is CERTAINLY added MSG in one form or another:  627, 631, 635, ribonucleotides, nucleotides, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, disodium 5'-ribonucleotides.

Full list of 129 names and help in avoiding MSG

Caution: “cultured dextrose”:

Chances are, you’ve never heard of cultured dextrose. Or if you’ve noticed it in your bread, you think it sounds vaguely like yoghurt and therefore safe.  Particularly if your bread is organic or says “no artificial preservatives”. BUT cultured dextrose is a particularly nasty additive that can cause all kinds of problems, like fatigue, moods, stressed out, anxious, itchy rash, underachieving, urinary incontinence and asthma in seniors, and even triggering migraines.

What you can do and more information 

Factsheet with scientific references on the bread preservatives



Q: How do salicylates work at the biochemical level?

A: We are often asked this question. This reference talks about it, including why fatigue and hypoglycemia are typical symptoms. The paper is about overdose and emergencies, but also shows why taking an alkali like soda bicarb works. Intriguing for those interested:

See more references in the Salicylates factsheet

Q: My friend has been telling me that nightshade vegetables such as potato can lead to leaky gut which might result in this true?

A: Of the Nightshade (Solanaceae) family, only white potatoes well peeled are regarded as failsafe. All the other members (eg tomatoes, eggplant, Goji berries, tobacco and peppers of various kinds (bell peppers, chili peppers, paprika, tamales, tomatillos, pimentos, cayenne)) are not failsafe because they are high in salicylates or other food chemicals - note that salicylates are used as markers for a range of chemicals to which people react.

Everyone is different. Generalisations like "nightshades cause eczema" are not useful. There really is no substitute for doing a thorough and systematic Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Elimination Diet and challenges, preferably with an experienced and supportive (both!) dietitian.

Do it once and do it properly and then you will know for sure what affects you is my motto and then you can eat failsafe or explore other avenues from then on with confidence.


You can scroll through the full text of all stories: for every story we report, there are probably another 10 that 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.

There are really just too many stories since last time to send them all out in a Newsletter. The price of a science-based approach that works! Here are the titles of all reports you haven’t seen you and some of the stories in full.

[1363] An update to let you know FedUp has changed our lives! (November 2015)

The Fedup book and approach has definitely changed my life! My daughter is almost four now and, when we manage her food, she is a wonderful angel! When we let it slide, well, we regret it but we get through it!

I remember reading about other parents who found the changes in their own health amazing—I am definitely one of those. I have struggled with IBS, have had fructose and lactose absorption tests and been advised to limit both substances. After years and years of struggling with food, through the elimination diet, I finally worked out that sulphites are the number one problem for me! When I avoid sulphites, I am perfectly fine (which can be tricky as they are sometimes unlabelled)!

I have also worked out how different additives affect my mind and my mental outlook. Antioxidants 319 and 320 definitely make me fatigued, and the day after I have ingested them, I could literally stay on the couch all day (which is highly unusual for me). These are such tricky ones because they’re often unlabelled also! Chocolate makes me feel terrible about myself for the next two days. So our lives are definitely much-improved thanks to your advice.

Through the elimination diet, I have found that my daughter is definitely highly sensitive! The things that make her crazy include vanilla, apples, bananas, sulphites, honey, MSG—the list goes on! I have been reading more about gut health lately and thinking about that too. My daughter was born four weeks early and then at three weeks old, was on IV antibiotics for 5 days, followed by another week of antibiotics every 6 hours. I think this may have something to do with her sensitivities—so we’ve been having lots of yoghurt to try and build up the good gut bacteria—haven’t worked up to giving her actual probiotics yet!

Thank you for advising me to see a dietitian. I have met with one of your recommended dietitians over this whole year and she was absolutely fantastic. I cannot speak highly enough of her. I would (and have) definitely recommended her to other people (as well as your website of course!) - Erin

[1362] Ringing in ears due to salicylates in chia seeds (November 2015)

[1361] 160b: A nightmare state from annatto in cheese (November 2015)

Last night I ate Long Clawson Aged Leicestershire Red Cheese (from the UK) and by early AM had sneezing, feeling strange, and developing a horrid headache. I started to get swelling in my eyelids and my teeth & neck muscles started to ache. This is what happens when I eat food with various stuff like histamine, oxalates, nitrates, etc. I did feel slight concern when eating it because it is orange cheese but I thought it was from the Long Clawson dairy & would be all natural. It does have annatto & I've found your site. $#*& (Swear word) I haven't had reactions to food in a few weeks and this means my day (at least) will be more or less ruined.

LATER: I forgot to add that I was extremely emotionally distressed and feeling just very strange unpleasant emotional feelings. I felt that my thinking wasn't functioning normally, not just that I had a headache, but that I was in a kind of nightmare state. I know that sounds extreme but I really did. I felt terrified and that I would not feel like me again. Panic, hopelessness, etc. That night, well early the next morning I had the most horrific nightmare and I actually screamed out loud repeatedly until a family member came to see what was wrong.

In the nightmare I was laying exactly where I was in reality but there was some kind of evil being in the next room planning to do me harm and in the dream, and in a way in reality I was temporarily paralyzed. It was absolutely horrid. I have never ever had something like that in my life. It took hours for me to feel just safe, though I realized it was a nightmare rationally, physically and emotionally I still felt I couldn't shake it off for ages. All the next day I was like a zombie, felt not totally alert and very shaken from this nightmare.

I would say it took me at least 3 days to really start feeling better and have all the reactions subside.

I feel really certain it was related to the annatto. When I started getting the reaction I looked at all the things I had eaten. The cheese was something new to me, and so I read the ingredients. I threw it in the bin and good riddance - Lori, USA


[1360] 160b: Who would expect annatto in apricot nectar? (November 2015)


I, like many others, avoid annatto like the plague. I drank some in Berri Apricot nectar a couple of years ago. The next couple of days were an emotional roller coaster with me crying hysterically and irrationally, not being able to order my thoughts, not being able to cope with my then young son and generally being so depressed and emotional.

My daughter also has inadvertently eaten annatto in a Coles brand scone. She turned psycho - trying to scratch my eyes out and screaming at me. My friend said: Man! What did you feed her??! And that's when I explained about the annatto. Thanks to your efforts to remove this nasty chemical from the many foods where it appears - Karen


[1359] 202: Migraines due to preservative potassium sorbate (November 2015)

[1358] Our time with Failsafe brief but awesome!!!! (November 2015)

Just a quick progress update... 12 weeks ago we started the Failsafe diet strictly together as a family and originally to sort out my 7yr old DS's behaviour. Along the way we failed a few times. At one point he had an infection and required Keflex syrup - the disgusting bubblegum flavored and brightly colored pink one. That week was the worst week we've had with him probably ever!! After 10 doses and talking him down from the roof and visiting the school a few times for dangerous classroom behaviour it finally clicked to me (I know... Duh! How silly am I) that it could be the medicine and I took it off him and things went back to 'normal' - generally well behaved, not as easily angered to melting point and not too oppositional. I'm happy to report that having gone through this process we've discovered that he can't handle preservatives, not many colors and dairy. His asthma and hayfever are virtually nonexistent where usually we'd be dosing him morning and evening with anti-histamines. I'm a happy mum with a more manageable crew at home. Even my husband's and my own hayfever, which are usually wicked at this time of year from Aug- Dec, have not been apparent and we have not taken any oral antihistamines. Only some eye drops after being in the paddock.

For those of you struggling to make a decision when to begin the diet or have just begun - I applaud and encourage you! You're doing wonderful things for yourself and your children!! Just get your food, pack your old pantry food away and get started.

My tips:

Do it together as a family - it will be accepted more readily by the kids that way.
Find a good butcher first!!
Don't expect miracles!! Look for subtle health and behaviour changes in your whole family.
Remember this is two fold - not only are you going through elimination but you're also detoxing yourselves and moving towards healing your guts that may have been under attack for some time by processed foods.

There is no better feeling than feeding your kids the best foods that you have available to you.

I've been feeling bad about the social pressure aspect and missing out on things... But the kids haven't noticed and I've found out since that others are actually inspired by what they've seen us do within our family.

To finish up we now eat preservative, color free without processed foods. My DD 5 year old now claims to like lettuce!! Am I overwhelmed with the behavioral changes it brought about in my son?? No, not really! But he's a helluva lot easier to live with now than before! He helps out more and is generally happier! Has the diet eliminated his tendency to be defiant and oppositional? No, but now I can talk to him calmly without it resulting in attempted roof jumps!!

So, all the best with the diet! We're so glad we've done it together! It's worth doing for all the small and large health and behavioral reasons!!! Go you!!! - Sarah

[1357] Paediatrician “very surprised that a change of diet could produce such results” (September 2015)

[1356] Salicylates: “I feel good now. I'm not a horrid little bitch” (September 2015)

[1355] One-liners (September 2015)

[1354] 160b and salicylates, now “an intelligent boy with great leadership skills” (September 2015)

I'd like to share my wonderful news. My son is 7 years old and is in Year 1 at school. This afternoon I had his first Parent/Teacher Interview EVER where it wasn't taken up with discussions about his behaviour. Instead I got to hear how he is an intelligent boy with great leadership skills. Since following this group and tweaking his diet for certain salicylates that I didn't know about and 160b, finally his teachers are seeing the little boy that I've always known was in there. We've been to Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, etc...and it's all come down to his diet. Thank you to everyone in this group for your questions and feedback. Am one very proud Mum - Tracy

[1353] Teachers supporting diet for behaviour issues - facebook thread (September 2015)

[1352] 160b annatto: feedback from petition 1 (September 2015)

            PLEASE sign the petition


[1351] Salicylate intolerance and acne rosacea: unable to take hot showers, have a hot drink, eat hot food, sit in a hot car or room or exercise without a painful, burning, deep red facial flush (August 2015)

[1350] 120 cochineal/carmine: "For 17 years I didn't know what caused my allergy" (August 2015)

[1349] "Sensitive to everything" (stimulation, noise, smells, tags on clothes, touch ...) (August 2015)

[1348] Celebrating success - two short reports from facebook group (August 2015)

[1347] ADHD improves on diet (August 2015)

[1346] Salicylates in coconut oil and aloe vera caused my dermatitis (July 2015)

[1345] Mandarins “not recommended while breastfeeding” (July 2015)

[1344] I passionately believe he never had ADHD just salicylate intolerance (July 2015)

[1343] His behaviour has gotten a lot better already (July 2015)

[1342] Massive behavioural reaction to Hydralyte Ready to Use Lemonade Flavoured Colour Free Electrolyte Solution (July 2015)

[1341] Ursula’s story: “I will write to every health professional … to get food intolerance recognised as a diagnosis” (July 2015)

[1340] One-liners (July 2015)

DAY 5: OMG! Well I might be jinxing it, but Master 5 has woken up more calm and more polite than I've seen in about 2 years. He stayed in bed for almost AN HOUR reading while I made breakfast, he got dressed at my first request in less than a minute and his manners have been flawless so far!
      LATER: Um....what is going on? Day 5 and he's vacuuming and cleaning his room? - Evelyn

I recall miss 3 yo waking from day sleep, put her hand to her head and said " I don't have a head ache" that was 7 years ago . She has not looked back, now the brightest happiest most confident 10 year old in her class. Massive salicylate intolerance. Hang in there it is worth it. - Barbara

Never before has my 7yo sat through a movie, I don't think! Today we had a blissful Sunday afternoon movie session with NO ISSUES and now he has polished off a full plate of dinner. Ah the small things that are massive - Sarah

[1339] Depression: facebook thread (June 2015)

[1338] Amines: “Failsafe eating has been a huge help in managing my anxiety and depression” (July 2015)

[1337] Depression: “salicylates caused many symptoms I hadn’t realised I had”

[1336] Salicylates: 4 years of eczema hell cured in 2 weeks with diet (July 2015)

[1335] NORMAL! (July 2015)

Tonight when my husband got home from work and the kids were asleep - I didn't fall in a heap and cry to him 'What is wrong with our daughter? Why can't she just be normal??!!!!!' I've done that every night for as long as I can remember? Maybe even since she was a fractious baby... but tonight I didn't do that. I said to him as I was cleaning up the kitchen, 'She is so lovely! She is just so, so, (trying to find the word...) NORMAL!' Finally!! Thank you RPAH and Failsafe for changing our lives!! Tonight my mind (and body) are not shattered from dealing with meltdown after meltdown - because there are no longer any meltdowns!! - Beth

[1334] 123 amaranth: “butcher’s ink stamp on leg of lamb” (June 2015)

Food additives and associated behaviour symptoms from 4 years old onwards. The same boy, now aged 6, is now settled on the correct diet.

160b annatto, high salicylates, glutamates and MSG - observed behaviour: defiance, prolonged tantrums, aggressive (out of character), poor concentration, irritable, difficulty settling at night for up to one week.

123 amaranth red food dye on butcher’s ink on leg of lamb - observed behaviour: unusual behaviour, difficult to settle, loud noises in this child and his 8 yo brother for a few days, tantrums, teary for 2 weeks.

320 BHA synthetic antioxidant - observed behaviour: defiance, difficulty settling at night for up to 2 weeks.

The above observations were made over two years by a General Practitioner without using a dietitian - Helen GP by email.

(We’d be interested to hear of other reactions to the red dye used on meat in Australia. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will be added to this report)

[1333] 160b: Six year follow up on Annatto 160b story - possible serious mental health issues in a 16 yo (May 2015)

[1332] ADHD and diet: “greatly improved in all areas academically” (May 2015)

I took my son for his first ADHD paediatric c psychiatrist visit since being on failsafe. Although the psychiatrist had approved taking him off medication he didn't have it in his notes so we decided to not tell them until after testing that he wasn't medicated. Well, the results were the best he's had in over 7 years. He had greatly improved in all areas academically and his brain function test showed he was much less distracted. These results are better than any he ever had when being medicated so we are very proud of our young man. So glad we decided to take the giant step into the failsafe world. As daunting as it was, the results speak for themselves and it's like second nature these days.

He's very proud of himself too. The absolute biggest thing for us is that he has friends now. No one use to want to play with the naughty kid and I think it's like a domino effect. Each positive thing creates another positive thing - Larissa

(More than 200 people liked this on the facebook group!)

[1331] Since beginning the diet “how 'easy' she's been” (May 2015)

I'm going to bed tonight so happy with my heart full of hope. My husband and I have been talking all evening about how different our 3 year old is since beginning the diet. How 'easy' she's been. (Sigh) 'This' is what parenting should be like. I'm so thrilled my husband can see it too. He works long hours during the week and so he hasn't really seen her enough to be able to notice the dramatic change in her. But this afternoon he said to me 'I agree with you. She's different... But now we've just go to figure out what it is that sets her off.'........

[1330] “basking in the lack of oppositional defiance” (May 2015)

This evening I came home to find my husband reading bedtime stories to my 5yr old son and 2yr old daughter, they were both snuggled in quietly absorbed in the story. It has taken my son five and a half weeks to recover from a dairy challenge that he failed on day 3. Three days of milk = 5.5 weeks of angry, oppositional defiant child. My daughter made it to day 6 of the challenge before becoming completely incontinent and we ended up putting her back in pull-ups 6months post-toilet training, I haven't ventured to take these away just yet, I am too busy basking in the lack of oppositional defiance......

[1329] Nasal polyps (March 2015)

[1328] A sensation of incomplete bladder emptying in a young man due to amines (March 2015)

[1327] Salicylates and the changing face (March 2015)


I could not resist sharing these photos of my little girl about 2.5yo pre-diet. On the left is the face we saw most days, all day. On the right is her now, the new girl. She has just started school and her teachers have said how great her behaviour is in class. So, for those just starting this journey of discovery, keep up the good work, be patient and good results will come.

The Pre-diet girl showed signs and symptoms very similar to severe ODD, ADHD, with anger, over emotional, anxiety, inability to concentrate on a task, several tantrums a day with each lasting anywhere up to 45 mins, self harm , irritability, aggression, frustration, laughing when inappropriate, waking screaming and going to bed screaming, very frequent wees (incontinence), aching limbs at night, blocked nose/sinus, itchy skin (no rash) sleep disturbance, lacking energy, sensitivity to touch, sounds, smells (Sensory Processing Disorder). We changed her diet just prior to her 3rd birthday and within two weeks we saw a completely different child. Even her little face changed. She became a calm, normal, loving, happy, intelligent, creative child. Her behaviour changed to what we would call normal 3 yr old. The odd tantrum, but not lasting long. The other issues she was also dealing with, just about disappeared or were greatly reduced ie sensitivity to sound/touch, aching limbs at night, incontinence, making toilet training possible. If they returned, we knew that we had gone over the salicylates threshold. We stick to a diet with her of low/mod sals. Knowing her diet, we can sneak in the odd strawberry or other higher sals foods here and there. No preservatives, additives, msg, artificial colours for her where at all possible. She is my third child, first child from second marriage. My other two children have no issues like this. Oldest has lactose intolerance. Youngest from second marriage has lactose intolerance too. Having ulcerative colitis now at 44, I realise that I had my own food sensitivities as a child and continue as an adult. I admit though, that we have not done strict challenges - Jan on facebook

[1326] One-liners (March 2015)

[1325] 160b: Annatto and frightening headbutting (March 2015)

[1324] 160b: Annatto made him “punch himself repeatedly in the head with a closed fist and also bang his head against the wall” (March 2015)

[1323] Salicylates and sleepwalking (March 2015)

[1322] 160b: “on the failsafe diet now for 2.5 weeks...MAJOR change” (March 2015)

I have had my 5 year old, diagnosed with ADHD a couple of months ago, on the failsafe diet now for 2.5 weeks and have found that his tantrums that had been occurring between 12.30 and 13.30 at school (not all days but a lot) which had involved kicking the teacher and often spitting and having to be carried to the office have stopped.....

[1321] 160b: “I had to lie on him to get him to lie still to fall asleep” (March 2015)

[1320] My young son has learnt his "happy" and "cranky" foods, but perfumes are the worst (March 2015)

[1319] Printzmetal's Angina due to unlisted artificial colour in 'safe' medication (March 2015)

[1318] 202: Anaphylactic reaction to paracetamol with added sorbate preservative E202 (March 2015)

[1317] Sensitivity to solanine caused urinary and reproductive symptoms (March 2015)


My Solanine story goes for 2 years and involves visits to a urologist and even a quick look up the old fella with a surgery of course, not a handy cam!!

Other than digestive issues  I found that I experienced very irritable and highly sensitive (not of the pleasant type) symptoms in my penis and testicles and surrounding areas. At times it was painful and made me feel like I did not have full bladder control. Urinating was uncomfortable, not unlike when you have a bladder infection. It had a negative effect on the bedroom activities too. Not pleasant.

My research taught me thatback in Shakespeare's day they used solanine if they wanted to bump someone off. The levels of solanine are dependent upon whether the plant had late blight, the level of green coloured flesh, how roughly it was treated from harvesting to cooking. Even dropping and bumping down a conveyor belt sets off a reaction in the potato causing an increase in solanine. Deep frying is supposed to reduce the levels of solanine. I cannot confirm this as we do not eat fried food. Rubbing the shoots of a potato is not good. Once they get to this stage the solanine is increasing.

I remember as a kid and even a teenager having these same issues. Mum grew her own potatoes and would frequently rub off the shoots, so this was bad news for me.

Happily, simply not eating potatoes did the trick. If I have a few crunchy chips, I can notice the sensitive symptoms coming back within hours. - by email, Tasmania

Sue's comment: Never eat potatoes that are green beneath the skin or taste bitter and unpleasant. Never eat the sprouts of potatoes.Some people are obviously more sensitive to solanine than others. There may be another possible explanation: to be failsafe (low in salicylates), potatoes must be large, old, white-fleshed and brown or pale skinned -  not red or other colours - and thickly peeled. Even potatoes with cream-coloured rather than white flesh are moderate in salicylates and if eaten regularly or in large amounts can contribute to an overdose of salicylates in sensitive failsafers. More information: and

[1316] From headbanging to sensory-seeking (March 2015)

[1315] 160b: ”she no longer hits herself on the head or scratches her face when she has a major meltdown” (March 2015)

[1314] 160b: "pins and needles in his head and they wouldn't go away" (March 2015)

[1313] 160b: Headbanging caused by ‘natural’ yellow colour in baby biscuits and soy yoghurt (March 2015)

[1312] 160b annatto: One-liners (March 2015)

[1311] Food intolerance and reduced immune system - facebook thread (March 2015)

Interested to hear of anyone out there has had issues with food intolerance and a really bad immune system? Dd has got tonsillitis and laryngitis once again, she's sick so much, driving me crazy - Katherine on facebook....

[1310] Failsafe eating improves writing, listening and hearing (February 2015)


This is just a post to encourage those parents who are persevering with Failsafe eating for their children to try and help them.. here are pictures of my 7yo son’s homework.. one week apart.. one week he was Failsafe, the next week.. Not so much. I don't think I need to point out which is which..This is just one reason why we choose Failsafe. Anything that helps him is well worth the effort - Susan

[1309] Award for good behaviour , listening and concentration (February 2015)

[1308] Amines: Severe and crippling arthritis due to amines (February 2015)

[1307] Arthritis due to Chikungunya from Vanuatu holiday (February 2015)

[1306] Juvenile arthritis: “Since I make all my own now, no pain” (February 2015)

[1305] Rheumatoid arthritis related to gluten and processed foods (February 2015)

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



**WARNING** Logan Farm Guilt Free fries are no longer failsafe as they’ve added 160b annatto. Thanks to dietitian Viv who confirmed this with Logan Farm and to members who have told Logan Farm that they’ve stopped buying both crinkle and straight cut. Tell them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Failsafe toothpastes: Oral Hygiene Solutions website is now

Soy Life Yoghurt labels that show annatto 160b are wrong according to the manufacturer, who say there is no 160b. Thanks to Liz who rang them.

Joy Handmade soaps are failsafe and several failsafers have praised them. Thanks to Kylie. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

**WARNING** Yoghurt can be very variable in amines depending on how old it is and how it was made, from low to moderate. If you see a problem, be careful.

For fantastic organic cotton and wool products, try Blessed Earth - their woollen mattresses are totally smell-free and very comfortable. Use the coupon code FIN10 for 10% off all products.

For a special gift or treat, has a world-class failsafe potato vodka and also a failsafe rhubarb liqueur.



Benzoate preservatives: we don't yet have a factsheet on benzoates AVOID 210-219. The huge Southampton study (ref below) concluded that "Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population". What is this doing in our schools?!!

Here are some reports:

[703] 210: Croup, asthma, behaviour related to benzoates or sulphites (November 2008)
[610] 210: Severe reaction to a chromium supplement with unlisted benzoate (February 2008)
[404] 210: Cough and asthma from benzoates in cough medication (March 2006)
[403] 210: Benzoates are his worst enemy (March 2006)
[394] 210: Benzoates in medication and stutter (March 2006)
[370] 210: Asthma and benzoates in medication (July 2005)

More scientific references
And of course the huge Southhampton study

New story collection about Sorbates 200-203, which are being increasingly used in your food.


Thanks for your continuing support of each other!

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 and Glutamate mistakes sheets This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Online support:
Sue Dengate facebook group (over 10,4000 members) and/or the Failsafe forum (more private). If you want to use an email support group, join at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There are special interest email support groups too.

There’s a new UK facebook page and of course the active USA facebook page
twitter-bird-blue-on-whitetweet as @failsafers (note the plural).

Food Intolerance Network hit 7 million visitors in July 2015. Interest in food intolerance and in eating food without additives continues to grow.

Local contacts: 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.

Dietitians: for failsafe-friendly dietitians, see There is no longer any need to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for this list.


DVD "Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” has
subtitles in six languages. (In PAL format only, not available with subtitles in NTSC format. But NTSC format DVDs are at a reduced price of only $15.50 through


: are available in many languages
in a printer-friendly format (thanks to Failsafe members for translating!). Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can help with other languages. Latest brochure in Chinese.

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,
organised by symptom and by additive.

The Food Intolerance Network strongly supports the peer-reviewed publication of evidence regarding the effects of salicylates on health, behaviour and learning and acknowledges that more research needs to be published, particularly using dietary salicylates. However the very foundation of science is observation and these observations over many years show an astonishing and convincing range of real symptoms. We hope that they may assist in stimulating further research publication.

Reintroduction guidelines: for people who are extra sensitive, the new RPAH reintroduction guidelines recommend much smaller servings of salicylate and amine containing foods than previously, see reader comment below. Available on request from
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you so much for the new RPAH reintroduction recommendations. I now understand why when I tried to ascertain my tolerance levels and did as my dietician recommended (try 1/2 a cup of salicylates) that my symptoms returned very quickly. ½ a cup is 100 times ¼ of a teaspoon, and given my scent problems I’m probably highly sensitive. Now I can try again. - failsafer, NZ



 You really can't do better than to scroll through At the Failsafe Table and choose your ideas for everyday and for Xmas - thanks to failsafer Frillypants for her great contribution.


There's a recipe index of ANY Failsafe recipes on ANY blog. So far there are more than 850 recipes and ideas all categorised to make it easy to search

Check out the Christmas tag for festive season ideas


Failsafe Christmas factsheet

Failsafe Thermomix group with recipes and a place to ask questions etc

I bought a Thermomix a couple of months ago, and absolutely love it. These machines are totally awesome, so pure and clean, and I truly believe that if we’d had a Thermomix years ago when our son was at his worst, it would have saved us a lot of heartache, as well as time and money - Susan.

And the very useful weekly meal plan website

Maple yoghurt pound cake


This replaces the pounds of butter and sugar in favour of oil and maple syrup, creating a springy texture and glistening, shellacked exterior. Thanks to Rosemary (adapted from

1/2 cup genuine maple syrup
3/4 cup yoghurt, preferably not nonfat
1/4 cup sugar
 3 eggs
 2-3 drops of vanilla essence if tolerated
1.5 cups plain flour
 2 teaspoons failsafe baking powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/2 cup failsafe oil eg canola

Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Generously butter loaf pan. Combine syrup, yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir or whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir to incorporate. Add oil, and fold gradually until oil absorbs into the batter. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake until tester inserted into centre comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 5 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto rack. Turn cake upright on rack and cool completely. Slices can be toasted too.

Kidney bean chocolate cake


This unusual recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free, very moist and hard to believe it’s full of beans but you do need a food processor. Thanks to Rebecca (adapted from

400g canned red kidney beans, drained
2 tsp decaff coffee powder
2-3 drops of vanilla essence if tolerated
70g cocoa powder unsweetened CONTAINS AMINES (could substitute carob powder)
1 tsp failsafe baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
125g butter
5 eggs
180g sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter a 22 cm greased round or ring pan. In a food processor, puree the beans, coffee, 1 egg and vanilla until smooth. Set aside. Combine butter and sugar in a food processor or using an electric beater, until pale and fluffy. Add the remaining eggs one at a time, processing or beating well after each addition. Add bean mixture and process or beat until combined. Add sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix well. Pour batter into pan and bake for approximately 35 minutes. The cake will spring back when touched and skewer will come out clean when cooked. It does rise quite a bit, but seems to deflate once it's out of the oven. Your choice of icing.


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.. Unsubscribe by sending a blank message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sue Dengate’s books and DVD and the failsafe magnifying card and sulphite test strips are 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 upstate New York has surplus stock which we offer at these special prices until all gone: Go to and search for "Sue Dengate"

30 copies Fed Up Revised and updated at $12.50
10 copies Failsafe Cookbook Updated at $22.00
20 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.

Sue Dengate’s personal story as an ebook only $3.99: Fed Up with Food Intolerance - a personal story


This is the story that helped thousands of parents and adults understand this baffling disorder.

Buy direct at
Download a sample for Kindle (.mobi) or for other ereaders (.epub).
Also available through Amazon for Kindle

Disclaimer: the information given is not intended as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor for possible underlying illness. Before beginning dietary investigation, consult a dietician with an interest in food intolerance. Information is drawn from the scientific literature, web research, group members and personal enquiry; while all care is taken, information is not warranted as accurate and the Food Intolerance Network and Sue Dengate cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions.

© 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 and particularly to Teresa and Tracy for their help with facebook and story collections. Further reading and viewing: Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate.