Fedup Newsletters


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.


“Thank you for changing my life” - US teen COURAGE AWARD

Amines and another COURAGE AWARD

Californian bill proposes artificial colour warning labels

Now targeting: Reject a new way of hiding MSG in foods - act before June 2017

Research: ADHD “a meaningless label” - or not?; MSG & belly fat; Nothing new under the sun

In brief: Failsafe eating at school; Why we need feedback about dietitians; Online course for new mothers; Bureaucratic response from FSANZ Minister Gillespie; Fruit and vegetable juice as colour additives; Hidden hazards: common consumer products and indoor environments

Your questions: Can you help me understand amines a bit better please?

Success stories: [1424] – [1440]

Failsafe shopping list: new products, warnings

Factsheets: over 100 science-based information sheets on symptoms and additives

Support community: Failsafers talking to each other

Cook's corner: Wow sandwich spread; Black bean patties; Chickpea and cannellini bean patties; Pear crumble mini cakes

Thanks and admin:



We run this Network on food intolerance because we think no-one should have to go through what so many food intolerant people go through, as we did, without sound information and support. The plus side is many inspiring and moving emails, like one from a remarkable US teen who overcame food intolerance by herself, see below. We are pleased to give her a COURAGE AWARD.

A focus on amines emerged during the preparation of this newsletter, resulting in a second COURAGE AWARD to a UK mother wrestling with a grown daughter badly affected by amines, an amusing but informative facebook thread and a request for more information on amines.

The main feedback we get on the Failsafe Newsletter is that people love the personal stories, so there is a remarkable range of those this time including an MSG experience in China (by a dietitian), as well as some lesser-known symptom improvement including stuttering, dandruff and hyperacusis. Plus you can catch up on news such as an exciting  Californian Bill proposing warning labels on artificial colours, new blog posts, research and support. Thanks again to everyone for support so freely shared.

Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate

 “Thank you for changing my life” - US teen COURAGE AWARD

We receive many encouraging emails, but the one from a US teen who overcame food intolerance by herself was truly inspiring. She had ODD, OCD, and depression plus IBS symptoms, feelings of panic/nervousness, irrational fears, inability to focus on thoughts at times, headaches, nauseousness, hyperactivity, reflux, 'weird' behavior (thought to be associated with ADHD), stomach aches and pains, food cravings and more. After cutting out salicylates, amines and additives she saw a "WORLD of a difference." You can see the full story below [1439] and we are pleased to give her a COURAGE AWARD.

Amines and another COURAGE AWARD

It is rare to give a COURAGE AWARD, but there was a second award this time with a frightening report (story [1438]) about amines and the risk of it being mistaken for mental health issues. There were so many other reports of reactions to these natural chemicals called amines, typically breakdown products of protein foods, that you will see below a facebook thread [1437] about taking amine challenges seriously, plus a question answered explaining more about amines. There is also the amines factsheet with scientific references and reader reports if you want to follow up.

Californian bill proposes artificial colour warning labels


A bill introduced into the Californian State Legislature in February 2017 would require all food products with artificial colours to display labels warning that artificial dyes can cause behavioural problems or hyperactivity in children.  The bill was introduced by State Senator Bob Wieckowski, who claims that there is mounting evidence of a link between artificial colours and behavioural disorders.  So far no action has been taken on this issue by the FDA.

While we would like to get Australian states to take a similar approach, it is impossible under current regulations which give all power to the Commonwealth.

As we have asked for years, why is it up to parents to protect their children when the EU has easily introduced this warning (“may have an adverse effect on behaviour and attention in children”) and seen artificial food colours disappear virtually overnight?

See a summary of artificial colour regulations around the world
Artificial colours now hidden in pharmacy items
Additives in Europe - gotta know the enemy


changeorgglutaminase The rash in this photo is a reaction to a dietitian-supervised MSG challenge [1398]

Reject a new way of hiding MSG in foods - act before June 2017

Permission will be sought in June 2017 for protein glutaminase as a "processing aid"

Please sign our new petition urging Government to reject it.

There are two things wrong about this enzyme:

•    It considerably increases the level of free glutamates in your food. This makes your food more flavour enhanced or, to put it another way, increases the MSG which many consumers seek to avoid.
•    It will never be shown on the ingredients label because it will be classified as a “processing aid”, part of an international food industry trend to hide the additives which many seek to avoid.

If this enzyme is approved and hidden, there will be many more used to manufacture currently regulated food preservatives inside your food so that they are not listed on the label. You will have no idea that there are propionate or benzoate preservatives hidden in the food. You will have no idea that the free glutamates have been vastly increased then boosted further with hidden ribonucleotides. And the label may legally say “No MSG” or “No added MSG” or "No preservatives".

Please jump in and sign the petition now.

Why are people signing our petition?

Of those who made comments, the strongest by far with more than 700 responses is that consumers have a right to know what is in our food:

Adding it without our knowledge is just criminal – John
We have a human right to know what is in the food we eat - Monique
If they need to "hide it" we have a problem!!! – Renette



ADHD “a meaningless label” - or not?


Five studies including one from Australia have shown that children are who are younger and less mature than their classmates are being misdiagnosed and prescribed ADHD drugs. A recent Western Australian study with more than 300,000 school children found the child’s birth date predicts whether they would be treated for ADHD.  The youngest children in the class (who were born in June) were twice as likely to have been prescribed ADHD medication than the oldest in the class who were born in the previous July, leading researchers to criticise over-prescribing. READ MORE

MSG & belly fat


A study of over 300 healthy, active rural families in Thailand found that a high intake of MSG is “… significantly associated with being overweight and having the metabolic syndrome”, a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors including abdominal obesity – otherwise known as belly fat.  Insawang T and others, Monosodium glutamate (MSG) intake is associated with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a rural Thai population, Nutr Metab (Lond), 20128;9(1):50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583269/    READ MORE

Nothing new under the sun

Galen had regarded fruits with suspicion because they might give rise to fevers; he stated that his own father lived to a hundred years as the result of never eating them (Galen, who lived from 130-210CE, was the most accomplished of all medical researchers of antiquity).

“a Regimen of Diet, calculated not to supply the Wants of Nature, but to oppress her Faculties, disturb her Operations, and load her with, till now, unheard of Maladies” (Robert Campbell, author of The London Tradesman in 1747 already knew about food intolerance and the modern food industry it seems).

both from The Englishman's Food: Five Centuries of English Diet by Anne Wilbraham, J.C. Drummond                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Failsafe eating at school

Every day we hear from parents who have seen a huge improvement in their children’s behaviour and performance at school, due to failsafe eating. More schools are becoming supportive because they see improvements in handwriting, reading, colouring in, speaking, completing tasks faster and improvement in behaviour. READ MORE including school factsheets


Why we need feedback about dietitians

For best results, we always recommend seeing a dietitian.  The RPAH elimination diet can be complicated. The catch is, you need to find a dietitian who is supportive and experienced. See our list of such dietitians  – and other health professionals (on the Menu under Support/Failsafe dietitians)

If you see one of our recommended dietitians, please let us know if they stick strictly to the RPAH elimination diet or if they veer off into herbal remedies or supplements.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to help other mothers

A mother wrote to us about her 5 year old son:

“FAILSAFE eating has improved my son's attention and fidgeting heaps, he goes to bed easier and seems calmer and more focused…. We are not under a dietician at present

Two weeks later, the mother wrote again with good news and some very positive feedback about the dietitian she found from our list: “…she  is very helpful, clear and understanding and I'm very glad we went to see her.” - Aldine story [1431]


Online course for new mothers

Does your baby have colic, reflux, eczema or allergies?  Join the 35-day programme that’s changing lives (and tummies!) from the inside out. Presenting: RAISING BABIES WITH ALLERGIES. You’ll also see Sue Dengate’s in person interview on natural and artificial food chemicals that could be harming your children.  Don’t miss it! Early bird price closes on the 18th May. Save $60 and only pay $129. To register visit: www.raisingbabieswithallergies.com

Bureaucratic response from FSANZ Minister Gillespie

On behalf of the Food Intolerance Network, we wrote to the Federal Minister for Health, responsible for the food regulation body FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand). In the letter we summarised the issues where FSANZ is signally failing consumers. The response was boilerplate bureaucratese that avoided every issue. READ MORE

Fruit and vegetable juice as colour additives

Currently, only some fruit and vegetables can have their juice used as a colour additive under USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules.  The FDA requires that the juice has been safely consumed as food, irrespective of whether the fruit or vegetable itself can be safely consumed.  Given that such juices may be high in salicylates, in particular, it seems that there will be changes in many processed foods to the detriment of Network members.

Hidden hazards: common consumer products and indoor environments

Contrary to popular belief, most of our exposure to hazardous pollutants occurs in places we consider safe - indoor environments, such as homes, schools, and workplaces. Primary sources of these pollutants are also considered safe—everyday consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and personal care products. However, indoor air environments are generally unregulated, and consumer products are not required to disclose all ingredients. Even so-called ‘green’ products can emit hazardous pollutants, similar to regular products. Network supporter Professor Anne Steinemann, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, gave this year's Dean’s Lecture on this issue and offered offered practical solutions. 7 hints for fragrance sensitivity


Q: Can you help me understand amines a bit better please? – Robert

A: "Amines" is a general term to cover a very wide range of chemicals, all of which have the NH2 amine group. In the food intolerance context, we focus on them because they cause a pharmacological response. We call them ‘biogenic amines’ because they are produced or brought about by living organisms.

Some well-known hormones are amines, like adrenaline and brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, so it is no wonder amines in foods can cause reactions.

Amines are found naturally in some fruits (eg in avocado, berries, citrus, grapes) and vegetables (eg eggplant, olives, mushrooms, spinach) and many more including low-salicylate fruits  bananas and papaya. But most of the ones we react to in food are bacterial fermentation breakdown products of longer proteins. They can be any length from one amino acid to many amino acids. For instance in fish that is starting to be not fresh, you can measure the steady increase of about a dozen amines, the main ones being trimethylamine and dimethylamine. There are many others, including tyramine and tryptamine (eg in cheeses), histamine (eg in cheeses and wine) and phenylethylamine (eg in chocolate).

Very few foods have been tested systematically for amine content because the way they are produced means that the amine content of foods is highly variable and very hard to quantify. One batch of yoghurt might be low in amines, the next high. If you react to amines you need to be careful.

There are no home remedies for an amine reaction – the only way is to learn your limits and avoid or limit foods to which you react. Amines, like other food chemicals, are cumulative. That is, if you eat some yoghurt for breakfast, a banana for lunch and then have some chocolate for dessert, you may develop a nasty headache and blame the chocolate, but it was the total load of amines that tipped you over the edge.

Amines factsheet

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.

All stories are given in full this time because they are so useful and positive!

[1440] One-liners (May 2017)

5 days into salicylate challenge. Nope. Nothing. Clearly no issues with salicylates. Day 6 - sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph. All hell has broken loose this morning and I remember why I'm doing this!!!!!! – Mel from facebook group

My daughter has been suffering from urticaria for 18 months. One source of her outbreaks is natural yellow colour 160b annatto which causes welts and extreme itchiness and distress within about 10 minutes (probably a true allergy) – Leigh

A friend of mine gave me your DVD ‘Fed Up’ yesterday.  Well, I watched it this morning, and suddenly it felt like somebody understood what my daughter is like - she can be quite defiant when asked to do something she does not want to do, blames others for her behaviour (mainly her six year old brother), she is very loud, chatty, sings all the time when she is not chatting -  Sheridan.

We had behavior issues with our son. Failsafe saved our sanity! – Nan USA

Many many thanks for everything you do, even from the other side of the world, I would still be getting nowhere at all without yours and Sue’s experience! – Kathy UK


This hour of independent play is brought to you by the Failsafe diet! I am eternally grateful. - Kristen

[1439] “Thank you for changing my life” - US teen (May 2017) COURAGE AWARD

Wow! I cannot believe I'm finally taking the time to write this email that I have been thinking about writing for nearly a year and a half (I am 15 now). I cannot even express to you in words how you have changed my life...

Before doing this diet, throughout childhood I have experienced a range of symptoms of food intolerance (ODD, OCD, depression and anxiety) but these were not bad enough to be classified as disorders. I had no idea that they could have a link to food.

I have also had IBS symptoms, feelings of panic/nervousness, irrational fears, inability to focus on thoughts at times, headaches, nauseousness, hyperactivity, reflux, 'weird' behavior (thought to be associated with ADHD), stomach aches and pains, food cravings and more. After doing the Diet and cutting out salicylates, amines and additives I already began to notice a WORLD of a difference. It was AMAZING!! When I started the diet in full (also cutting out dairy foods, wheat, grains and soy) the results were UNBELIEVABLE!!! My symptoms greatly reduced and (some even disappeared completely)!!!

Further, I was diagnosed with ADHD as well.  Although some of it is really ADHD (and I am medicated for it) I have found a large part of it (and behaviors associated with it) to be greatly influenced through diet!

When I first found the diet, I decided to do it, but take a break for the summer. I planned to begin it after I came back from sleep away camp that summer. I went to camp and ate EVERYTHING; I told myself nothing was off limits. I ate tons of high salicylate fruits and LOTS of artificial junk (candy, cake, lots of artificial preservatives, etc.) as well as lots of amines, dairy, some wheat and soy (all of which I now know I am sensitive to). Because of this, I developed an eating disorder, extreme anxiety, depression and worsened ADHD and stomach problems. I was under-weight and recommended to an Eating Disorder Clinic later on. I was so miserable; yet I remembered this diet... I decided to start it up again. So that fall, I started eating less and less of the high chemical foods I had been eating and more Failsafe foods. As I slowly cut out the foods I was sensitive, my body was starting to heal! The eating disorder, depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts and awful stomach aches and pains went away!!! It was amazing!!!!

Now I have been sticking to mainly Failsafe foods (low salicylate, but a less strict approach to amines). I still avoid additives and glutamates though; as well as dairy foods, wheat, soy and grains.

Also, read your ebook "Fed Up With Food Intolerance: A Personal Story". It was moving and I like it very much. I liked it so much that I did "Character Summaries" and a "Character Chart" for some of the characters. I also recently finished creating a "Timeline" of events in the story and I did it just because.

What's more, you have INSPIRED me. Food intolerance is a HUGE passion of mine that I now know about (because of your site) and I want to help others and impact their lives the way you have. This information has touched me in a deep way  – Teenager (15, USA)

(Click for larger version)

[1438] Amines: “chocolate is literally a safety issue in our family” (May 2017) COURAGE AWARD

I'm here to offload I'm afraid, after a super stressy and dramatic morning. My daughter is 23, mildly Aspergers, and with a long history of extreme highs, lows and over reactions. This morning she lost the plot more than probably ever before, literally turning her room upside down, screaming, hitting herself repeatedly in the face with both hands, while attacking me verbally and even threatening to kill herself.

Deep down, I do not believe that she is mentally ill in any way, in fact I would bet everything that she has eaten chocolate in the last 48 hours, and possibly a fair bit of it.

My sister and I, both in our 40's, gave up chocolate at least 15 years ago, and literally never touch it, because it makes us angry, and my daughter knows this. I've warned her about it many times, and the last time she lost her temper in an alarming way (at a security guard in the jobcentre of all places) it turned out that she'd eaten choc the 2 preceding days and she then swore off it herself.

I wish she was a little kid that I could dunk in an Epsom bath, and feed a strict elim diet.

As for the why, I would put the blame fair and square on phenylethylamine. It's the only amine found in chocolate, and so far, the only amine that makes me, my sis and daughter lose the plot in this kind of way. And the amine quantity is also much higher in choc than in other things. I am mid-way through my amine trial at present, but it's a strictly tuna/meat/bananas type of trial - chocolate is literally a safety issue in our family - specially as my daughter is now car driving age.

Because my sis and I have such a definite reaction to chocolate, I would actually be very scared of my girl approaching standard mental health services, and ending up either wrongly diagnosed with something terrible, which would make her feel even more 'like a freak' (being 'the autistic girl' has already made her feel that way to some extent through childhood) or being put on mind altering medication which could potentially cause massive, longer term damage to her mind and emotional coping capabilities. I'm hoping within a couple of days that we'll be able to discuss this properly.

Chocolate has a very dark side for some of us. I honestly think that there are thousands of violent crimes carried out every day in the world, purely due to people eating the wrong stuff for them.


She came home last night full of apologies and tears, and willing to admit that she's had chocolate over the weekend. I'm hoping she can see now that losing all control over your emotions and risking physical injury and worse, is not a fair swap for having a flavour in your mouth for a few minutes  – Kathy from UK.

[1437] Amines: take challenges seriously – facebook thread (May 2017)

Mission Abort!
Mission Abort!
Amines challenge status: EPIC Fail!
Who knew a banana, some cheese and chocolate could have such an extreme reaction!! Aggressive behaviour, terrible language, not listening to instructions, excessive bed wetting. Basically a little devil moved into my son and went nuts – Natalie

We lasted 3 days until I called it off, OMG, huge meltdowns, aggression and behaviour. My son is 7 and there was already talk of being expelled from school because his behaviour was so extreme. He is a different child on FS. His response to amines was huge. – Zoe

You have my utter sympathy. Chocolate amines in particular are literally dangerous to personal safety in our house! – Kathy

It's been about 13 years since we did the amine challenge and it still haunts me! Good luck - at least you know now – Linda

Amine challenges were horrific for us as well. Lasted 3 days and took a week to get out of his system. I have near panic attacks when I see him near anything amine now in fear of the unrest ? – Ash

My mother-in-law thought I was overreacting about food intolerances until she babysat my daughter on the day the amine challenge took its effect. My daughter did the head banging but also managed in one hour to majorly wet her pants 3 times and then do explosive diarrhea, thankfully that was on my mother-in-law's watch not mine. My daughter was 2.5 years old at the time and four years later she is still afraid of chocolate! – Ruth

My 3yr old was aggressive, started heading banging and literally throwing his whole body into the wall. Trashed his room. Hit and kicked us to the point we had to physically overpower and restrain him. He was a devil child. Scary stuff!! – Ashley

Our 6yr son was like that before diet. Every single day. Was really exhausting – Natalie again.

As a middle aged adult I aborted my amines challenge on day two .. I felt like I had drunk 20 cups of coffee .. brain was racing .. like too much adrenaline, anxiety, hyper , want to lots and quickly, hyper energised, but low level of tolerance.. not fun !!! If I wasn't an adult and knew to be nice to people regardless how I felt, I would have been horrible ?. So it made me realise how much this one little food chemical could affect kids’ emotions adversely. I really feel for affected kids, so often they would just be branded as having behavioural problems – Heather

For us amines are slow to take hold and very slow to eliminate - Paula

My son took about 3 or 4 days to show signs and 6 days for a melt down. Yesterday was horrific. Today he is wonderful again after only 24 hrs on FS – Natalie again

That's amines for yah, and tomorrow you might wake up in a really bad mood as well – Julie

When my husband did the amine challenge he couldn't fall asleep and when he finally did he woke up a couple of hours later and couldn't get back to sleep. He was also really constipated. For the two years prior to this he had been taking a herbal sleep supplement just to fall asleep every night. He hasn't taken it since and as long as he is careful about amines hasn't had any more sleep issues – Ruth

Amines factsheet and more reader stories

[1436] 621: Reaction while on tour in China (April 2017)

My mum reported a reaction to MSG while on a China tour in 2011:

“We'd been in Shanghai for three days, eating three Chinese meals a day. I started to feel sick and developed a headache on the fourth morning. Had a coffee and cake thinking it might help. Then we had lunch, another Chinese meal. After lunch we were catching a bus to a market and then on to an overnight train trip to Sian. While waiting for the bus I started to feel faint. I sat on a step. I must have said at this stage that I thought it was a reaction to MSG, because I'd had headaches and nausea from it before. My sister encouraged me to get up when the bus came but I got as far as the gutter and collapsed into anaphylaxis. I was barely conscious, couldn't move. Our tour leader called an ambulance and one came fairly promptly, I think. In the ambulance a herb-y tablet was put under my tongue. Apparently my blood pressure was very low. My sister was with me, very concerned.

At the hospital I was taken to a private room and put on, first, a vitamin C drip then a ginkgo biloba one, over several hours. I revived enough to ask what they were giving me. Meanwhile, our tour leader was phoning ahead to ask for no MSG in any of our meals. Several of the group had been feeling off. While no-one in China would talk openly about MSG, the absence of it from the rest of our meals certainly made a lot of people feel better. My doctor, when we returned, agreed that MSG was most likely the cause of my collapse.” - Australian dietitian

[1435] 160b: allergy to natural food colour annatto (April 2017)

I have experienced a food allergy for approximately two years and have only just discovered that the allergen is annatto.  I experienced turning sunburn red, itching, stinging, burning from my scalp to my toes.  The reaction was always the same, lasted  one and one-half hours each occurrence, was painful, and occurred after eating varying foods: mustard, seasoned sausage, desserts, crackers, salads from my favorite deli.  After eating a Sargento’s cheddar cheese stick and having this painful reaction, I read the label of this cheese product and annatto was listed.  I researched the additive and have since avoided it and have not had another reaction.  It is dose related for me.  If I ingest a small portion of this additive, I do not react - Christi USA

(Note that annatto can even cause life-threatening anaphylactic reactions in some people http://www.fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/160b-annatto)

[1434] 160b: "angry obsessive thoughts" (April 2017)

I am a 42 year old male that has bad reactions to annatto as well as other colors. I have suffered depression/anxiety, obsessive thoughts, tennis elbow, and have been very unhappy since my mid to late teens. Around 3 years ago I gave up Mountain Dew* just to be healthier. My body and mind responded by feeling better. After researching more I gave up other colors. My annatto find for me was waking one morning to angry obsessive thoughts "they came back". I dug through the trash can to find garlic bread with annatto color. By not eating or drinking foods with color I am happier and can find joy. I only wish I had known this 30 years ago - David USA

*Mountain Dew contains sugar (replaced by high fructose corn syrup HFCS in much of the United States), concentrated orange juice (salicylates), citric acid, natural flavors, preservative sodium benzoate 211, caffeine, sodium citrate, erythorbic acid, gum arabic, calcium disodium EDTA (label claims "to protect flavor" however its purpose more accurately stated is to prevent benzene formation by chelating the metal ions present in water that can act as catalysts in the reaction between sodium benzoate and erythorbic acid. producing the carcinogen benzene), brominated vegetable oil and artificial color Yellow 5 (tartrazine 102).

[1433] 325: panic reaction to 325 sodium lactate (February 2017)

I discovered the connection between sodium lactate and anxiety when remarkably calm days in my daughter were abruptly interrupted shortly after eating "natural" bacon with sodium lactate as the only unrecognizable ingredient of an otherwise simple meal.  Interestingly, when my daughter had calmed down from what I would describe as one of her typical rageful, irritable, oppositional tantrums (pre-failsafe), she in her own words had felt "jittery", a term I'd never heard her use before. Wikipedia says that this naturally derived preservative  can cause panic attacks in patients with existing panic disorder https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_lactate - thanks to Diane USA

(Howard comment: presumably the other food additive lactates (326, 327, 328, 329) would produce the same response in those susceptible].

[1432] One-liners (February 2017)

I am very excited to say I have had my sensible, chatty, clever little boy back for five whole days!! three weeks into strict failsafe – Elena

Loved Sue’s books for the stories, they're so uplifting and make you feel like "I can actually do this!" – Elizabeth

Thank you for making the information so accessible to us parents learning about chemicals in food..  It has been a huge help – Janelle

We are testament to this diet. Amazingly bright focused kids - Emma

[1431] Dietitian is very helpful, clear and understanding and I’m glad we went to see her (February 2017)

FAILSAFE eating has improved my son's attention and fidgeting heaps, he goes to bed easier and seems calmer and more focused.

We have not excluded dairy as we had no reason to believe this to be a cause of any of his behaviours but since starting FAILSAFE, I have noticed he has become more defiant (he has always been quite stubborn and headstrong, but I feel this has worsened).  We are not under a dietician at present, but are seriously considering this …

UPDATE (2 weeks later)

I just want to start by saying thanks! You guys (facebook page, website and emails) are just so supportive and I am so grateful for it.

Just a bit of feedback on the dietician: we took our 5 year old son to see one of your recommended dietitians. She uses the RPAH handbook as pretty much like a bible. She had it out and referred to it heaps. She's definitely someone to keep on the list of dieticians who support FAILSAFE and who encourage their patients in the same direction as what you do. She is very helpful, clear and understanding and I'm very glad we went to see her.

With her guidance, we have decided to start the challenges after being on the strict elimination diet for 3 weeks. She thinks we are ready.  

We have switched to A2 milk and there is definite improvement in the defiance mentioned in my previous email. So thanks for that.

I have your books Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook, read pretty much everything on your website and am on the facebook group. Thank you for all these resources, we couldn't do it without them! – Aldine

[1430] Hyperacusis: “freaking out over loud noises” and stuttering (February 2017)

I was very surprised that my son has completely stopped freaking out over loud noises. The lawn mower would have him in a fit of panic, using my Thermomix was like torture to him, electric toothbrush, hair clippers, even the loud noise of the air coming out of the vents in my car with the air con on (we would get in the car and he would scream please turn it off mummy!!).. he just miraculously became oblivious to these noises that affected him so severely once failsafe. He's even started letting the plug out of the bath now, which he never did because the noise of the water slurping down the drain was too uncomfortable for him. We had our first tear free haircut last weekend! I never would have guessed that to be food intolerance related. He's also not stuttering anymore - he would get stuck on the first word or two of a sentence if he was overwhelmed and repeat it over and over unable to finish the sentence. It hasn't happened once since we started. My son used to scream at me NO DON'T SING MUMMY if I tried to sing along with him to a song. Ok with his own sound but not that of others – Ash

See hyperacusis factsheet
See stuttering factsheet

[1429] Positives (some unexpected) from failsafe (February 2017)

Often on this page people talk about their struggles and challenges. I thought I'd put up some (unexpected in some cases) positives from being on the diet noting that everyone experiences different changes. So here we go.....

Stronger hair and nails
Skin has cleared    
No flaky skin on arms and legs
No more itchy and scratchy
No more 'dandruff'
No more nosebleeds
Reduce period (duration and flow)
Gut pain gone
No urgency for the toilet
No more unexplained anaphylaxis
Overall inner feeling of being happier and healthier!

It has been a struggle and I miss many of the foods I liked to eat but the rewards and benefits far out way this. Good luck on your food journeys! – Wendy

Reduced anxiety (my symptom, in the spirit of this post) - Paula

No more migraine. (Amines and 160b) – Judy

+ msg, This one I can relate to soo much, plus less anger/light switch moods – Maureen

Did not know nosebleeds were associated with it but must say mine have decreased since taking out preservatives – Lyn (see http://www.fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/nosebleed-nose-bleed-due-to-food)

I felt the same - I was well albeit very restricted but I didn't care...Teresa

I didn't make the link but yes you're right. My nails, skin and hair are much better and I haven't had a nosebleed for years. The best though is no PMS or cramps! – Jennifer

No more passing out. No more asthma. Less angry. Calmer and happier. No more Rosacea   ? – Diana

Hadn’t linked rosacea with it but mine has definitely improved – Lyn (see http://www.fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/acne-and-rosacea)

I recall telling my dietician one day that I felt happy for no reason. It was so foreign to me! – Renae

When I first started failsafe elimination diet 18months ago my husband laughed saying "you are probably the only person who goes on an elimination diet and finds more food to eat". I was so reactive that I could barely eat and was underweight having lost 10+ kg – Elaine

No more brain fog, tinnitus or black bags under my eyes – Lynda

My tinnitus are still a problem, but the pin pricks all over my body are gone. Itching, and panic attacks are gone as well. I got lazy in December and now struggle to be good. Maybe that is the cause of tinnitus – Anne

So much more energy! Felt fantastic. Best I felt in years! Bouncy even ? – Liz

[1428] Salicylates: a failsafe family story (February 2017)

This is my little boy standing on grass. 4 weeks ago this was causing him pain. So grateful for the research that has gone into this diet and the number of ways it has helped my family.


We were introduced to failsafe in 2009 and read Sue's book FedUp with ADHD (now an ebook called Fed Up with Food Intolerance: the personal story http://www.fedup.com.au/order-books/fed-up-with-food-intolerance-ebook).

We chose to attempt the diet as my eldest had been diagnosed with ADD (ie inattentive but not hyperactive). We spoke to a dietician but it was clear from one visit that I was more familiar with the diet than she was and that she was half-hearted in her support so we did not go back but did the diet on our own.

We went through 6 weeks of strict elimination diet during which I can say that I did not notice the benefits. I say this because I think it is easier to see the negatives rather than the positives in most situations. For example, everyone notices the naughty child in the class but how many stop to commend the child sitting quietly in the corner getting on with their work?

We then proceeded with the Salicylate Challenge.

Within 2 days we noticed the negative impact of salicylates.

Child 1 (C born 2001, aged 8 at the time, diagnosed with ADD)

- Cloudiness or fogginess returned to his mind.

- Major impact on his co-ordination. I mean - on his scooter aiming for the door and hitting the wall. During the six weeks we were on strict FAILSAFE he had no issues with this.

- A few behavioral  changes

- During the six week elimination period we had attended a weekend and he had sat still for 2 days straight, paying attention, not even interested in the snacks and other items I had brought along to help get them through - unheard of. We attend the same convention every year and this is the first year he has EVER sat through more than an hour without fidgeting.

Child 2 (D born 2006, aged 3 at the time, no diagnosed issues)

- Sensitivity to textures

- Had issues identifying the difference between hot and cold - I mean, he wears warm clothes in summer and virtually nothing in winter. Under the shower he would say, the water is too hot but meant it was too cold. This was the same child who knew he left from this right but couldn't tell hot from cold.

- Wetting his pants. During the elimination period he was completely toilet trained. On the salicylate challenge he would stand next to me and say "I need to go to the ...." and not even get the phrase out before he wet his pants. It was like the salicylates were blocking the message.

Adult 1 (N born 1977, aged 32 at the time, diagnosed with depression and had an allergy to cats and dogs since 14yo)

- I am no longer allergic to cats and dogs and removing salicylates from our diet is THE ONLY thing I can put it down to. Allergy has not returned.

Adult 2 (P born sometime last century, about 62 at the time, dealing with side-effects of childhood polio)

Pat had polio when she was two and has been a very active and determined lady her whole life but with her illnesses has had many side effects. She had moved from calipers into a wheelchair and had been in the wheelchair for about 5 years. She has ALWAYS suffered with incontinence as far back as she can remember and irregular bowel motions.

During the elimination period Pat was relieved from her incontinence (no pun intended) and passed her first normal bowel motion IN YEARS!!

We carried on and went back on the elimination diet and then a few weeks later tested amines. The boys seemed to be mildly affected, particularly with leg cramps.

So, for a number of years we were a FAILSAFE family. Over the years, as the boys have grown up, amines have been better tolerated and salicylates have slowly crept back into our diet. When we have overloaded on a particular meal I would use the "bi-carb antidote" to settle the kids back down and it would have an impact within half an hour.

9 years later

Then in 2016 I noticed some of the symptoms returning. In particular with Daniel (now aged 10 and the little boy in the photograph). He would walk around on this tip toes regardless of the surface - tiles, grass, pavement, beach sand - that's if he was FORCED to go bare foot. Even wearing thongs he would still tip-toe.

The particular day I realised how bad it was for him was when we went to the beach with friends. He complained that the grass was actually HURTING his feet. This grass was that really soft grass, no prickles or stones or anything. It was as painful to him as walking on gravel.

Then when we got the beach sand he wanted to put his sneakers back on. Well, I insisted he go bare foot because I thought "you don't wear sneakers down on the beach". Well, he refused to leave his deck chair. Later in the day I agreed for him to put his shoes on because, well, he had been on the chair most of the day and OFF HE RAN to go play and make sandcastles.

So, I decided that we should go on strict elimination again because it seemed that the levels were now producing visible symptoms that were impacting on his quality of life.

After 4 weeks on the elimination diet (but eating amines such as bananas and oranges) [oops, oranges and all citrus are also very high in salicylates - Sue] we were able to take the photograph above. This is the same type of grass that had given him pain a few weeks earlier.

So, since salicylates were the only thing we had removed from the diet I conclude it had to be salicylate related.

We are so grateful for the research that has produced this diet. Sue's cookbook is our favourite. It seems the recipes are all trialled and tested. My one issue is the amount of sugar in many of the recipes – Natalie

(Howard comment: the sugar is there to make this way of eating initially interesting to kids, rather than a punishment. Then you can reduce it bit by bit and they will still like it. The same goes for the high fat content of some recipes.)

[1427] Asthma gone after 25 years! (February 2017)

I had asthma for over 30 yrs. haven't had it in the last 5.  ?

I thought my asthma was for life. I had allergies as a teen. Asthma at 21. I thought I had food issues. Was told it was all in my head. Tried everything. Tried this diet because I adopted a son who had food issues. He ate and reacted. That got me to failsafe and the rest is history. Breathing was the first relief, then the weight fell off – Gayle

See asthma and food factsheet

[1426] ‘the school will work with the parents to look at factors like diet’ (February 2017)

Just want to say so happy! At my DD prep info night her teacher said if they seem to be having behavior issues the school will work with the parents to look at factors like diet. .. and there is an amazing lady Called Sue Dengate. He went on to add it is amazing the natural things kids react to and both of his kids did fail safe and know their triggers.

The teacher told me today to bring in some stuff that my kid is allowed when the others are having things she doesn't (one of the other mums was taking about bringing in iceblocks for her kids birthday) – Jennifer

We leave a treat bag of failsafe goodies with the teacher and re stock it each term. Also have a wonderful lady on the canteen who stores our magic cordial ice blocks and cupcakes for when classmates have birthdays – Nicole

Great news! Our small catholic primary is also failsafe friendly. Canteen has pear juice slushies, gf options and lots of food is made from scratch on site without additives. Happy to order in special foods for you or you can bring things from home for them to heat on canteen day. Also store treats for when birthdays are celebrated too. They also have strict rules about not sharing food. I find teachers are well versed in food intolerances and happy to support your plan.  ? – Liz

[1425] Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS, edited discussion from facebook (January 2017)

Do any CFS sufferers experience withdrawal symptoms while doing the strict elimination diet? My partner is a week into the strict elimination diet and his CFS is getting much worse and he is experiencing new symptom (emotionally he feels like his whole body is crying). How can you distinguish between CFS symptoms and strict elimination diet symptoms? What does baseline mean in the elimination diet? Thank you - Max

The RPAH book and my allergist tells you to expect withdrawal. I was so ill and so medicated and all over the place I have no idea if I did. I have now recovered. You need to continue until you can tell there is enough of a difference that you will be able to tell if the symptoms start again when you test the foods. Max 8 weeks. Stick with it! - Jennifer

I had unbelievable amounts of pain during my withdrawal phase. I am failsafe for CFS and whilst it hasn't been the whole answer for me, I have made measurable improvements on this diet. Keep pushing through this phase. If he feels much worse it's generally a sign that there probably are food intolerances involved - Sally

With CFS the stress on the body can seriously aggravate your ME/CFS symptoms and cause relapse that can last a long time. From personal experience and a lot of reading, I suggest taking the diet slower than most people have to and make smaller changes to start with – Shannon

I've had EBV, CMV, CFS, SLE, pernicious anemia, multiple allergies, amines sensitivity, endometrosis and fertility issues. I was on endone and endep daily. I started the elimination diet as part of treatment for my breast fed baby with significant allergies. Initially we both crashed terribly, it took over a month to plateau then start to rebuild. We currently have just over 10 safe foods. We have been on low - mod diet for over 3 months and I have been medication free for 6 weeks and have the least pain I can ever remember. I do take probiotic Osteo D Vit c zinc and magnesium supplements plus Vit b injections. I'm still tired but have been able to go back to working 4 days a week. It's the best thing I've ever done but was absolutely terrible for the first 4-6 weeks. Hope that helps – Rel

Amines seem so far to be one of my biggest problems. Once they start to build in my system they cause great problems to my muscles, which cease to function properly; they don't turn on properly, which leads to pain from postural issues; I get restless and jittery; and everything starts to get overwhelming, which makes me snappy, teary, and unable to deal with everyday stress – Sally again.

Factsheet on chronic fatigue

[1424] Severe stutter that disappeared within three days (January 2017)

My son had a severe stutter that disappeared within 3 days just by making the initial changes recommended on www.fedup.com.au - switching to A2 milk, failsafe icecream, eliminate milk chocolate only milkybar white choc, failsafe bread etc. Eventually I eliminated dairy in stages.

Finding out about failsafe was a lifesaver. He had that stutter on/off for 2 years. Speech therapy didn't work because of his behaviour - he wouldn't engage consistently in order to do the Lidcombe program for 6 months. We were referred to RCH Melbourne unit for the more difficult cases of stuttering. It's been 10 months now and never returned - Marion

Factsheet on stuttering

Don’t forget, you can search for stories/symptoms or scroll through all current stories


Failsafe sausage list updated. Thanks to everyone who responded, the failsafe sausages list has been expanded and updated. Many of the speciality butcher shops now understand failsafe, a credit to all in our Network. READ MORE

“My son has been in heaven since he got failsafe sausages and I think he’s starting to look like a sausage” – thanks Gwenda


**WARNING** Mini Tortillas ‘boats’ are popular, filled with anything failsafe. Old El Paso Stand 'n Stuff  BUT they contain corn (maize) flour which is high in salicylates and glutamates so not for elimination phase or if you react to these natural chemicals. See difference between cornflour and corn flour


Excited to find preservative-free flat breads at Coles Bakery today. They made them fresh in front of me at Alderley Coles (Brisbane). We struggle to find suitable wraps. Not in all Coles stores yet, so buy them if you see them to encourage their bakers! – thanks Maryanne. These are not in all stores, but ask to encourage them.


Allergy Train, a store and community run by  dietitian Jenny Trezise in Melbourne, caters specifically for people with food intolerance at www.allergytrain.com.au. Allergy Train can now ship internationally to many different countries based on the weight of the parcel. Covers USA, Canada, New Zealand and the UK so far, enquire for others. 


Factsheets provide science-based access to information on added and natural chemicals, on symptoms and support. See full list of over 100 factsheets and remember that you can use the search function to search all factsheets (Information>Factsheets>Search all factsheets)


Thanks for your continuing support of each other!

A video-graphic introduction to food intolerance from one of our Network members (2 mins): Food intolerances, what are they? Thanks to Steph Aromataris www.stepharomataris.com


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 (13,000 members, open forum meaning the public can see your posts) 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.. All other Yahoo groups have been closed because facebook is the support choice of members.

Closed failsafe group https://www.facebook.com/groups/352777968116759/ 
USA facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/284241571702972/
UK facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/380347182034474/
NZ facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1011400158967643/
twitter-bird-blue-on-whitetweet as @failsafers (note the plural).

Food Intolerance Network will hit 10 million visitors in June 2017. 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 the regularly updated
http://fedup.com.au/information/support/dietitians 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 www.fedup.com.au)

brochureflags flagFinland

: 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. Brochure in Chinese. Latest brochure in Finnish.

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


Wow sandwich spread

I've made a new sandwich spread my son likes. I put a can of lentils in the blender with a couple of tablespoons of Nuttelex (he eats that straight out the pot if he can, lol) some garlic, salt, a bit of sugar and water. I blended and just kept adding more salt, water etc as needed. It looks like peanut butter and he loves it – thanks to Mel

Black bean patties

I would probably double next time, as this only makes 5 large patties – thanks Rebecca


1 400g can black beans, rinsed and fairly dry
1/2 carrot, grated
4 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (e.g., Casalare white rice crumbs; check the label as not all breadcrumbs are failsafe – watch out for 282 bread preservative!)
1 egg
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 190˚C. Mash beans with fork or potato masher until most beans are mashed. Add in carrot, shallots and garlic. Beat egg and add to mix, then add breadcrumbs. Form into patties and place on greased baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes each side. Best with a sauce, salad and mashed potatoes.

Chickpea and cannellini bean patties

failsafed and tested by Rosemaree - thanks

1 slice of bread (can be gf), soaked in water
400 g can of cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
400 g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
half of a leek, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 tsp failsafe baking powder
1 egg or vegan egg replacer (e.g. Orgran No Egg) or use the following mixture to replace one egg:  1½ tbsp water + 1½ tbsp oil + 1 tsp baking powder
salt to taste
chives and/or parsley as garnish

Preheat oven to 160˚C. Squeeze out excess liquid from bread. Put it in a food processor with beans, leek, garlic. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to medium bowl and add egg and baking powder. Add rice crumbs if too moist. Shape into 12 patties and put on glad bake lined tray. Spray lightly with oil. Bake in oven until brown.

Pear crumble mini cakes

Beautiful hot or cold! Great for lunch boxes! – thanks to Elizabeth


Crumble topping

1/2 cup selfraising flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup white sugar (brown would be good too!)
200g soft room temp butter or Nuttelex

Cake mixture

125g soft room temp butter or Nuttelex
1cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups self raising  flour
1 cup milk
6 tinned pear halves roughly chopped (use more or less depending on your liking)

Preheat oven to 180˚C. For crumble topping, pinch butter together with oats flour and sugar to make crumb mixture. Pour onto a tray and bake at 180˚C for 5-10 minutes until slightly crunchy but not too brown as it will cook more once on cakes. Remove from oven to cool.

Mix cake ingredients except pears until evenly combined then add pear and mix through with a spoon. Put cake mixture to muffins pans (I used 2 x 12 hole pans) Then sprinkle crumble mixture on top. Bake at 180˚C for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and crumble golden.

Many many more recipes

At http://www.fedup.com.au/recipes/blog and you really can't do better than to get the regular newsletter from At the Failsafe Table



There's a recipe index of ANY Failsafe recipes on ANY blog. So far there are more than 974 recipes with great photos and ideas all categorised to make it easy to search  http://pinterest.com/failsafetable/ 

Failsafe Thermomix group with recipes and a place to ask questions etc https://www.facebook.com/groups/139914166142279/

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 https://mealsplans.wordpress.com/


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. or use the unsubscribe button if your newsletter comes from MailChimp.

Sue Dengate’s books and DVD and the failsafe magnifying card and sulphite test strips are available through www.fedup.com.au

Special offer for USA and Canada: Random House has taken over distribution of Sue's books in the USA and Canada, but our current warehouse in upstate New York continues to offer special prices until all gone: Go to http://www.bookch.com and search for "Sue Dengate"

27 copies Fed Up Revised and updated at $12.50
11 copies Failsafe Cookbook Updated at $22.00
16 copies Fed Up With Children' Behaviour (NTSC format) - DVD at $15.50

Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook are now available as an ebook: www.amazon.com for Kindle, www.dymocks.com.au in ePub version suitable for Tablet PCs, PCs, Macs, Laptops, www.ebooks.com 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 

"Of all your books, your ebook Fed Up with Food Intolerance is my favourite ­ I just couldn’t put it down" - from Fed Up Roadshow 2015

Look inside


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

Buy direct at http://fedup.com.au/order-books/sue-dengate-books-dvd-magnifying-cards-test-strips/fed-up-with-food-intolerance-ebook.
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 2017 (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.