Failsafe 88 January - April 2018


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.


What teachers say about diet

SIDS, crib death, A1 milk and cows-milk-induced infant apnoea

Colitis: “Are there any reports of food causing colitis?” asked a facebook member. Actually, yes.

New Year is a good time to do the elimination diet

Now targeting: Update on petition - Reject a new way of hiding MSG in foods now has 11,581 signatures and FSANZ wants to talk!

Research: Ultra-processed food - where is it?

In brief: FSANZ apologises to nanotechnology experts for misrepresenting views about nanoparticles in baby formula; Intolerant of or allergic to inulin?; New feedback on Wein Air supply from Sue Dengate

Your questions: What information do you have about yeast protocols along with Failsafe? My doctor has recommended a low to moderate salicylate diet and also a yeast protocol (where I would take many supplements); Do breastfeeding mothers use the strict elimination diet with success?; Any help with travel in USA?; I did give them Nandos last night and today they were both feral but it was a late night out so not sure if the food or tired or both?; Does pyroluria exist?; Are animal fats okay to use for cooking? Tallow, lard, schmaltz, suet?

Success stories: [1466] – [1480]

Failsafe shopping list: **WARNING** Peters vanilla ice cream is no longer failsafe; Current sunscreen recommendations UPDATED FEBRUARY 2018; **CAUTION** There have been reports of reactions to Dermaveen products; Artisanal failsafe vodka and gin; Allergy Train new shop opening in Victoria; Carob eggs from Carobana

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

Support community: Failsafers talking to each other

Cook's corner: 10 most popular Main Meals from the Failsafe Recipes at - each recipe has been downloaded more than 10,000 times. At the Failsafe Table February edition with focus on failsafe lunchbox ideas

Thanks and admin:



A special welcome to new failsafers who are looking at food for the first time. In our experience, this is good time of year to begin your elimination diet (see article below). 

Thanks to a failsafer who wrote about our our recent blog post on teachers and diet (see article below):

"This is a great article. Love seeing the real life testimonies. The brochure attached is such a great resource. I came across it years ago and have never looked back. I now educate many on the harmful additives this brochure lists. Many lives are being change by this information. Thank you!"

There are some encouraging reader stories, such as Roxanne’s:

“With a diagnosis of ADHD, our paediatrician recommended Ritalin (as a first step). I refused and taught her a bloody good lesson on the results that can be achieved with just removing food …” - from story [1472]

There are some interesting new recommendations following our popular blog post about recommended sunscreens (updated in February again).

A new study shows that more than half the food bought by households in the UK is “ultra-processed” products, see more details under Research.

Interest in vegetarian foods is increasing. For failsafers, this is partly because people who are sensitive to amines can be affected by so-called “fresh” supermarket meats that have been cryovacced, see Ruth’s experience in story [1479] below. Some of the top ten favourite recipes from our website featured this month are vegetarian.

As always, thanks to everyone for support and sharing so freely given in the Food Intolerance Network, which currently has 13,900 members, including some very welcome RPAH-trained dietitians.

 - Sue Dengate

What teachers say about diet


When I was in year 11, my family moved from a small country town where we ate home-cooked food to a big city. That was when I started eating - every day - a Kraft cheese product coloured with annatto 160b.

Like the boy in the first story below, I struggled with my attention span, my school marks plummeted and teachers regarded me as difficult. But I didn’t discover the reason until doing the diet with my own children many years later. I wonder how many children - and adults - battle all their lives with problems due to additives in our foods? 

One failsafer, whose son went from being an average maths student one year to bottom of the class in a remedial group at the beginning of the next school year, with “horrendous” hour-long tantrums at home - due to eating antioxidant 320 BHA in bread - commented in story [1038]

“Wouldn't it be awful having that sort of behaviour and not knowing why?”

So I’ve put together 10 quotes from 160 success stories on our website that include the word “teacher”, showing how teachers can see the benefits of diet, including the final say from a school Principal.

… teachers could tell when we slipped up

My son was in 4th grade when we succeeded in cutting out Annatto (160b).  When I cut out the Kraft cheese he was more cooperative and had a longer attention span … His behaviour steadily improved.  When we slipped up and he was accidentally exposed, the teachers could tell, and so could he.  He was now able to contribute effectively in class, and make friends … Six years later ... he is a different person without Annatto, now getting academic prizes, citizenship and service awards, and a school Gold medal.  Before, various teachers had written him off as difficult, ADHD, and even autism spectrum – Anne from story [1333]

… great behaviour in class

These are photos of my little girl. Pre-diet on the left is the face we saw most days, all day, aged about 2.5yo … 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 – from story [1327]


… finishes her work on time

In the first week of year 1 this year, our daughter's teacher asked us how to get her to complete tasks faster. After that first week of reducing sals, colours & preservatives, the teacher put a note in the diary saying Miss 5 was finishing all her work on time! Amazing what influence food has – Suzie from story [1310]

… diet is amazing

That book you sent me has done wonders. His teacher and counsellor just said WOW that diet really is amazing – Kate from story [1287]

… more focused in class

My son has been on ADHD medication for 5 years (he's now almost 12) … in the last 12 months he'd been aggressive, had a racing heartbeat and severe verbal and physical tics. Two weeks off his medication and three weeks on failsafe and all his symptoms have stopped and his teacher says he's more focused in class – Larissa from story [1286]

… could not believe the difference

We went Full elimination for my HF Autistic 12 year old son 12 months ago and had amazing results. Teachers could not believe the difference. I only wish we had known about Failsafe when he was younger – Michelle, from story [1231]

… asked what had changed

This week our son turns 21 and starts his 4th year of a BE(Hons) Bachelor of Engineering Degree. We have come so far from when he was 8 years old. I was reading the Fed Up Book and thinking this is us ... The teachers had mentioned ADHD and Learning Issues ... A month after starting the diet without mentioning it to the school, they asked what had changed. He was bright, happy and friendly and we never looked back.– Linda from story [1196]

… first ever parent/teacher interview NOT about his behaviour

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 (annatto natural colour), 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 from story [1354]

… a school principal who recommends this diet ALL the time

I am one of the 'legions' of principals that actually recommend this diet ALL the time.

I truly believe it makes such a difference for kids’ ability to focus, to persevere without too much frustration and emotional outbursts.

It is frustrating that parents see medication as a first option or deny that food has an impact on the child at school. I often get "nah, I have seen no difference in my child’s behaviour". Food has such an impact on kids, I am amazed that so many parents won't do it, it seems too hard or that they simply don't believe it – Jen from story [1353]


SIDS, crib death, A1 milk and cows-milk-induced infant apnoea


As I have recently discovered, the risk of sudden infant death is very frightening for new parents - and grandparents. In my day, we were told to put our babies to sleep on their fronts, but now that is strictly forbidden along with co-sleeping, blankets and a whole lot of stuff that seems designed to make life harder for new mums. But what about milk? There is so much research and so little information passed on to parents.

The science

  • Breastfed babies have about half the risk of SIDS compared to formula-fed babies.
  • There is a naturally occurring component called BCM7 in ordinary (A1) cows milk that doesn't occur in A2 milk and A2 infant formula.
  • High levels of BCM7 have been found in SIDS near-misses - babies who stopped breathing and were saved.
  • High levels of BCM7 have been found to cause sleep apnoea and irregular breathing in rabbits and rats.
  • Some babies may be more at risk than others: the near-miss babies had lower levels of an enzyme called DPP4 that can break down BCM7 in the body.

The easiest way to avoid the risk:  avoid cows milk with BCM7

  • When breastfeeding, the mother has to reduce her intake of A1 milk because BCM7 - and a similar component called BCM5 - can pass into her breastmilk
  •          Buy A2 infant formula if using formula

Recent research concluded that "such a situation occurs rarely ... however  ...

"it is accompanied by a real threat to the infant’s life that can be avoided when applying a simple and not costly dietetic intervention…[avoiding A1 milk]”

Australian doctors say there isn't enough evidence to worry about it, but Professor Keith Woodford doesn't agree (see links below). Nor do people in the rest of the world. China is a huge market for A2 milk. In Mexico and Romania, scientists are testing their dairy herds to make sure they can produce A2 infant formula.

The good news is that it is easy to buy A2 products in Australia. These must be 100% A2, not  a combination of A1 and A2 - see our  blog post When is A2 not really A2?

See detailed blog post with references

Factsheet on A2 milk

Colitis: “Are there any reports of food causing colitis?” asked a facebook member. Actually, yes.


Two failsafers have completed a full dietitian-supervised RPAH elimination diet with challenges to show exactly which foods exacerbate their colitis. In addition, one woman working with a dietitian reported a four year full remission of her diagnosed “moderate UC” due to diet.

Some scientists now agree that commonly used food additives and other components of the Western diet appear to be associated with the increase of colitis in developing countries.

Our first report:

“I had ulcerative colitis with associated liver problems and spontaneous bruising, I was a mess. The doctors were talking about a possible liver transplant in ten years... [883]

British scientists from the MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre in Cambridge suspect that high levels of sulphur in the Western diet from the most commonly used group of preservatives, sulphites (220-227, in fast foods, dried fruit, drinks, sausages, fast food, salads and many others) may be somehow implicated in ulcerative colitis.

Our second report:

“I am a 43 mother and have done the RPA elim diet at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. I have colitis that was triggered by a single episode of food poisoning ten years ago... It took a long time to get a diagnosis of microscopic colitis. For a long time I was told that it was irritable bowel. Finally a colonoscopy and biopsy showed it - a very under-diagnosed condition. My big 3 "no-no's" are: annatto 160b, synthetic antioxidants such as BHA 320, and sorbates. All of those cause cramping and diarrhoea. “– Kate [800]

American scientists led by Professor Andrew Gewirtz at the Centre for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection at Georgia State University suspect that components of the Western diet - including use of antibiotics and increasing consumption of food additives - can change the microbiome and thus may be contributing factors to the increased incidence of colitis, obesity and associated diseases.

A third woman reports a full remission of diagnosed ulcerative colitis, confirmed after four years:

I’m 58 with a severe salicylate intolerance and thankfully, my avoidance of sals over the last 7 months has "cured", or put me in remission, for ulcerative colitis. My ulcerative colitis developed from my Paleo diet (to lose weight – juicing tons of spinach and eating almond breads, I thought it would cure my years of issues) and a natural practitioner who gave me high doses of Chinese herbs, thinking she was helping...Kathy in 2018 [1473]

Conclusion: There is some evidence of sulphites, annatto and salicylates exacerbating symptoms of ulcerative colitis, and of salicylates interacting with sulphites to produce this effect. A trial of the RPAH elimination diet and challenges, preferably with an experienced and supportive dietitian, is worth considering. Avoidance of emulsifier food additives carboxymethylcellulose (E466) and polysorbate-80 (E433) during the trial might be useful.

See detailed blog post with references

New Year is a good time to do the elimination diet


Every year at this time we hear from people who have had a hard time with health or children’s behaviour over Christmas due to the foods they’ve eaten – from additives in junk food to naturally high salicylates in summer fruits like grapes, cherries and plums.

Reaction to “party foods” at playgroup Christmas party

My daughter is 3.5 years old. Last year when she was 2 years old she had two nights where she only slept for 2 hours, and was a flailing, intolerable child. I literally had to walk out of the house, I was very close to losing it. I realised that this reaction was likely caused by the 'party foods' she had eaten for the first time at a playgroup Christmas party...from story [216]

Failsafers say that New Year is a good time to start the RPAH elimination diet as a way of finding out exactly which foods are causing their or their children’s problems.

Bad behaviour at Christmas leads to elimination diet – and big improvement

Three days after Christmas (five years ago), my 8 year old daughter went off to such a degree that all I could do was hold on to her while she bit, kicked and screamed until she was physically exhausted. That was when I knew there was something seriously wrong so I went to see a child psychologist who fortunately for me recommended your book Fed Up... from story [461]

From Worst Christmas Day to a peaceful school holidays

On Christmas morning, Nathan (12) was already in a bad mood. The day before, he had pigged out on grapes and plums - but I didn't really think at that time that that could have been the issue - I mean they were healthy!!!...from story [358]

We also hear from failsafers who have had a better Christmas than previously, due to dietary changes.

See detailed blog post with references 


Update on our petition: 11,581 people have signed the Network petition about a new "processing aid" enzyme that increases MSG and glutamates inside your food without showing anything on the label. While several other enzymes have sailed through the FSANZ approval process and disappeared from labels as "processing aids", the MSG enzyme approval has been delayed and delayed. Our official submission was made to FSANZ in September

STOP PRESS: FSANZ are seeking a teleconference next week with the Food Intolerance Network about this issue!

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 - permission is being sought for protein glutaminase as a "processing aid"

Please jump in and sign the petition now.


Ultra-processed food - where is it?

A new study shows that more than half the food bought by households in the UK is “ultra-processed” products such as salty snacks, sugary cereals, industrially-made bread and desserts, ready meals, processed meats and sweetened soft drinks. This is the highest of 19 countries in Europe with Portugal, at 10%, the lowest. Previous studies had already suggested that the food supplies of high-income countries with “less strong culinary traditions”, such as the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia, have become dominated by packaged, ready-to-consume  products. Monteiro C et all (2018). Household availability of ultra-processed foods and obesity in nineteen European countries. Public Health Nutrition, 21(1), 18-26. doi:10.1017/S1368980017001379                                                                                                                                                                                 


FSANZ apologises to nanotechnology experts for misrepresenting views about nanoparticles in baby formula


Australia's food regulator FSANZ has had to apologise to its own advisory group of nanotechnology experts after it "misrepresented" the group's views in its public rebuttal of a study that found needle-like nanoparticles in baby formula.
It took a Friends of the Earth freedom of information request for internal emails to discover this misrepresentation. Originally FSANZ said these particles were illegal in baby formula, then once they were found FSANZ said they were safe. FSANZ as usual have not been willing to comment on the newspaper article reporting the apology, nor have they apologised to the public whose safety they supposedly ensure.

See detailed blog post with references

Intolerant of or allergic to inulin?

Members report that this fructo-oligosaccaride is sneaking into a lot of foods as “vegetable fibre”. It is failsafe but some react with IBS symptoms, asthma and even anaphylaxis. If you are still reacting, check all soft spreads, like Western Star soft butter who claim that those little sachets of butter at restaurants hospitals etc are ok.  Check yoghurts, anything labelled smooth and creamy may have it. Check your icecream, Bounty chocolates. Anything with ‘chicory’ on the label contains inulin, the root of a daisy family plant, eg Ecco coffee substitute.

“I am suspicious about a couple of prepackaged things that have got sorbitol, xylitol and fructose on the label but not inulin that I have reacted to. It is also in some brands of naturopath prescribed supplements made by big companies (ie ultra muscle ease)” – thanks Margo

New feedback on Wein Air supply from Sue Dengate

UPDATE AFTER 6 MONTHS: I bought my Wein Air Supply about six months ago when I was recovering from extreme perfume and chemical sensitivity that had been triggered by an overdose of perfumey body lotion from the passenger in front of me on a small plane. I love my Wein Air Supply and never leave home without it - it is always in my bag, with my wallet. Looking back, I think I made a mistake the first time I used it by not turning it on until I got into the room with a smell. It takes about a full minute to build up a bubble of purified air so now I usually turn it on before I need it. I would now recommend to others to turn your Wein AS on and get used to it at home for half an hour before your first trial in the real world. I now use mine regularly for Tai Chi classes and in the gym - especially when running on the treadmill, where I used to hate having to stop when someone perfumey hopped on the treadmill next to me. During weightlifting classes I have it on the lanyard around my neck but also tuck it in my croptop during bending exercises. My sensitivity to perfumes seems to have improved and I no longer always need to use it during visits to a shopping mall or supermarket although I always have it handy just in case. I wouldn't go to the cinema without it. I also use it sometimes when visiting restrooms and in some motel rooms while travelling. Most recently I was extremely grateful for it while helping our daughter to move house - when we walked into the house for the first time, we found someone had thoughtfully (!) left it closed up for several days with fragrance diffusers and air freshener, so I wore my Wein non-stop for the first few days. More feedback and information.


Q: What information do you have about yeast protocols along with Failsafe? My doctor has recommended a low to moderate salicylate diet and also a yeast protocol (where I would take many supplements).

A: The diet we support is the RPAH Elimination Diet from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit in Sydney (we call it failsafe for short).  Yeast - other than the naturally occurring free glutamates (MSG) in brewers’ yeast, nutritional yeast and yeast extracts - is not considered to be a problem by people on the RPAH diet, see the following reader success stories:

Three years ago, my son had such terrible candida you could smell the yeast on his breath and his skin. We learned to avoid yeast, almost as a reflex. It's a habit that's hard to unlearn. But unlearn it we must, because yeast free breads are dangerous if you react to amines, and my son reacts to amines ... My son is happy to be back on wheat and dairy again, as you might imagine. There's even a commercial pizza he can have, Hungry Howies (may not be available in Australia), original crust, cheese, ground beef. The cheese is pure 100% mozzarella, and he can have that once in a while. And now, probably because he is failsafe, yeast doesn't bother my son at all. No sign of candida. So we are back on yeast. - Karl from story [154]

After ten years of trying different diets - candida, vegetarian, allergy testing, you name it - I tried your diet after buying your book and the results were amazing. Convinced I was a chronic fatigue sufferer, I used to take more and more vitamins and health foods, only to find I was sicker and sicker. But now, for the first time in 31 years, I feel normal. I have energy and have lost my coated tongue, mouth ulcers, acne and negative attitude. I am actually a nice person! I can't believe how even tempered and smiley I am when I stick to this diet ...  from story [148]

See more in factsheet on candida, yeast, sugar and hypoglycemia

Q: Do breastfeeding mothers use the strict elimination diet with success?

Yes, for example the following reader story:

I first had contact with Sue way back in 2001, when her article called ‘Restless Babies’ in Nursing Mothers magazine saved my life!! I went failsafe as I was breastfeeding our unsettled/ ratty 6 mth old baby. We were amazed after she became a new baby after 3 days of diet!! That baby is now 9, and very conscious of the additives that affect her, and knows that by avoiding them, she feels better - from story [960]

RPAH recommends that breastfeeding mothers do the diet under the supervision of a dietitian who specialises in food intolerance.

More about breastfeeding and diet

Q: Any help with travel in USA?

A: There's a USA shopping list here (a bit out of date and some people are working to update it )

There's this from 2014: 
And this is particularly useful: Additives in the USA where different names and numbers are used

Q: I did give them Nandos last night and today they were both feral but it was a late night out so not sure if the food or tired or both?

A: Nando’s got back to us with info. The chips: “use both Simplot and McCain’s for our chips, who both manufacture in Australia.  These are made from Potato, Vegetable Oils, Dextrose. Our chips, our chip salt (both normal and sweet potato) and deep fryer are all made without gluten, we fry in a (gluten free) cottonseed oil.” Commercial chips from these suppliers often contain synthetic antioxidants 319-320 which are not in the retail versions. The ‘salt’: salt, celery, pepper, turmeric, chicken flavour, onion powder, hydrolysed milk powder (called Flavex), yeast extract and maltodextrin. So two sources of free glutamates or MSG. Not failsafe!

Q: Does pyroluria exist?

A: There is no medical evidence for pyroluria, also called pyrole, pyrrole, kryptopyrole, kryptopyroluria, mauve factor and hemepyrole. There are a huge number of alternative health sites, particularly in Australia, that happen to sell expensive testing kits and offer a range of supplements as a cure. The available evidence does not support the hypothesis that pyrroles are responsible for all the symptoms and conditions ascribed to it. For a detailed thougthful look at the evidence see 

Q: Are animal fats okay to use for cooking? Tallow, lard, schmaltz, suet?

A: Tallow, lard, suet and schmalz (rendered chicken/duck/goose fat) are often moderate to high in amines, which is why they are used for flavour.  While RPAH say that tallow is low chemical it can be variable in the extent to which it is rendered (ie clarified, vacuum-filtered etc) so be cautious. Suet can also be rendered to a variable extent. Interesting that, before switching to pure vegetable oil in 1990, the McDonald's corporation cooked its French fries in a mixture of 93% beef tallow and 7% cottonseed oil. Unless you are certain you do not react to amines, best avoided while in the elimination phase, then can be used as challenges.


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 now given in full in newsletters because people tell us that they are so useful and positive!

[1480] Our favourite short testimonials (February 2018)


“Keep up the absolutely fantastic work, you will be vindicated and become a mythical hero in the future (she-who-fought-the-beast-before-we-even-knew-it-was-there) ;-)” – Roman (2008)

“Sue, I'm sure you have felt many times over the years that you are a quiet voice speaking against a loud majority, but I think we are slowly getting louder too!” – Veronica (2009)

“We started failsafe eating several years ago after going to the pharmacist with a script for Ritalin for my son. The pharmacist refused to fill it. He said 'for oppositional defiance, you need to read this book and look at food'.  It changed our lives" – Shane (2012)

“I can only say that without your help, I had no idea where to turn.  The professional field let me down big time “ – Sharon (2012)

“The incredibly positive feedback I am getting from parents is what keeps me handing out your brochures” ­ - speech pathologist (2012)

“Your friendship, information, help and most of all, support, have been invaluable in keeping my beautiful daughter alive. Thank you both so very, very much” – Sharyn (2013)

“Our paediatrician said 'keep on following Sue Dengate, what a marvellous thing she has been doing and helping children'” - facebook group (2013)

"Ten years ago the teachers and doctors wanted to medicate our daughter for ADHD ... Last year she graduated high school with one of the highest scores which guaranteed her entry into top universities. Everyone comments on how polite and engaging she is as a teenager. My advice to those starting the failsafe journey ... hang in there ... the rewards are well worth the effort." – D (2013)

“Our kids don't have food intolerances, they just don't tolerate all the crap” – Suzanne (2014)

“I continue to enjoy my amazing health turnaround since discovering salicylates” - Dave (2015)

“This has been the most life changing thing we have ever done” - Janette (2015)

“It’s difficult but also the best thing you’ll ever do” – Sally (2017)

[1479] Four brief reports on joint pain and arthritis (February 2018)

I have arthritis and I find amines increase my joint pain and give me a full constant headache that I can’t shift. I have found following a mostly vegetarian diet (2/7 meat or chicken) plus low amines really helps – Ruth

I used to get joint pain and swelling (amongst other symptoms) - I was tested for arthritis a few times, but in the long run it all came back as amine intolerance – Kristy

I have fibromyalgia and msg/glutamates cause horrific pain through my whole body, but I'm ok with amines – Claire

My joint pain and puffy red hands have decreased significantly since going Failsafe 3 months ago. The biggest help though is movement. I use a mini trampoline and just bounce and go through mobility moves. Also Feldenkrais (awareness through movement) is super helpful – Irene

See Arthritis and joint pain factsheet and associated story collection

[1478] Changed sense of smell with failsafe (February 2018)

Has anyone noticed a change in their sense of smell? Deodorizers that used to smell fine now smell awful. I’ve also noticed that whereas I could smell sewer gas in the pipes before going FA, it now smells like bad perfume - Michal

I can smell things a lot more now. I thought I was pregnant for awhile there lol - Skye

I think my sense of smell is even more acute than it was before (and it was good). I'm now also super sensitive to fragrances so use Azep nasal spray which has made a massive difference (no reactions, even walking thru the fragrance dept of Myer/DJs)  - Jane

I can smell heaps more than I used to, the gel that people use at work annoys me, hubby is banned from using smelly anything – Meaghan

Tip: if you have something you want to remove the smell from, put it in a sealed container with a container of bicarb and let it sit for a week or so. The bicarb will absorb the smell. The bicarb doesn't have to touch the smelly item, it just needs to be in the same sealed container – Jane

[1477] Tinnitus responses from Facebook page (February 2018)

Absolutely, sals = tinnitus for me. I have been able to eat the odd moderate salicylate containing food without nausea, and I've been doing this daily. It is very loud in my ears! But I'm able to not be too troubled by it so I still indulge. As soon as I get nausea though, I pull back. – Sally

Yes just being low chemical I find I don’t hear the ringing anymore. If I overload on higher (mod-high salicylates) I get ear ringing when I lay my head down to go to sleep – Serena

Salicylates can exacerbate this condition we have found at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit – RPA Dietitian

I'm an audiologist. There are a number of causes for tinnitus, it is a symptom not a disease. Even at uni we learn about aspirin potentially being a cause. Anything that puts the body under stress can cause or make it worse. Illness, food intolerance, stress. In my own experience yes food intolerance was a major cause. I remember failing amines challenge ohhh the noise. (Not the only trigger in my case but was the worst) – Jackie

See updated Tinnitus story collection

[1476] One-liners (January 2018)

It’s difficult but also the best thing you’ll ever do – Sally

I have long suffered from restless legs as a result of some foods and just discovered 160b in Bulla ice cream bars impacts on me. I am under meds to help me sleep through my issues and now know I have to avoid 160b it seems to be doing the trick – John

I went on this diet for gut issues but my fibromyalgia & arthritis is sooo much better & I haven't had a migraine in 3 years now!! – Sharyn

Joint pain (quite bad on occasions) was one of my symptoms before doing failsafe, as was insomnia (plus bleeding guts and the angry amine feeling). Joint pain gone completely and insomnia comes back very occasionally through FS – Rachael

I have used FAILSAFE for my sons with asthma which has had amazing results – Tracey

As an adult, I literally feel like banging my head (sometimes do hit it with my hand hard) when I have 160b. It’s a horrid horrible feeling of tension and more – Chris

Just had one of those moments at my local butcher -> overheard a Mum ask Re slaughter date due to amine issues. Nearly hugged her and asked if she wanted to be my best friend forever - Sue

Annatto 160b: My six year old son will wake up a couple of times during the night if he has anything with annatto in it during the day. Artificial red (and possibly yellow) cause him to have a few night terrors during the night after he has had it during the day and can sometimes last up to two nights – Kim from Canada

[1475] “Don’t underestimate what time can do” (January 2018)

Failsafe - the future always looks so dismal when all you see is posts about intolerance and reaction.

Well, my 13yo just walked into the kitchen to make herself a smoothie with milk, yoghurt, blueberries, raspberries, banana, and mango. Having finished all the apples and polished off the remains of last night’s Sunkist (a fizzy orange drink that in Australia contains only one preservative, 211 benzoate but other ingredients overseas), and is planning to make choc-chip biscuits tomorrow.

How big a deal is this? Where did we start?

Well, by the time she was 2 years old we’d gone DF then additive-free then full FS. With dietitian supervision, we were at one point FS DF GF SF egg-free sulphurous food free and something in lentils/beans had set her off, no pears and no added sugars and no vegetable oils, and she was essentially a low amine carnivore. It got to the point where I understood that it was every time I put the food on a plate or in a cup - it was the FS dishwashing liquid!

So having found a safe dishwashing powder but not a dishwashing liquid, and making my own laundry detergent, and using nothing but steam for mopping, etc. my little girl who was living on pretty much just meat was finally clear.

Things weren’t looking promising.

It took quite a bit of puzzling, but ultimately she passed dairy, soy, wheat (but not bread) and sugar and was okay with rice bran oil.

Choko. Pass. Swede. Pass.

Once I took the fruit and veg out, she passed the other challenge foods.

Life got a lot easier.

Passed 211. Passed 133 (blue).

Medication got a lot easier.

Started looking outside of FS at fruit/veg.

She passed, step by step, sweet potato, beetroot, blueberries, lychees, mango, raspberries, mulberries, corn.

... and that was pretty much it, until suddenly at about 8 years old she wasn’t as sensitive. Suddenly, she pretty much just woke up one morning and was okay with pears and bananas and other things, and was simply less sensitive in general. A single ham sandwich could now happen, whereas it previously would have meant a reaction.

... and then at 12 years old, having not been able to have so much as half an apple in ten years without being up all night crying in pain, she’s eating an apple a day.

We still need to navigate. The Sunkist has 211. Most other drinks are still very much off limits. And it’s very much a limited treat.

But life isn’t what it looked like it was going to be.

While others have at times criticised the lack of the latest “must have health food”, she’s healthy and happy and has a wide range of nutrition in her current diet as is. 🙂

How did she get there? What did we do?

Nothing. Stayed within her limits, maximising her nutrition and maintaining her health as best we could. Yoghurt (Vaalia) helps when she’s been unwell and is more sensitive, a few home made broths/stocks from stews along the way, but that’s it. Nothing special.

Just because it looks bad now doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. One or two answers can clear the way for more answers to follow, and suddenly things can be very different. Don’t underestimate what time can do - Tracy

[1474] 160b annatto: Allergic and food intolerance reactions (January 2018)

Have just had a double incident with Annatto 160b in Peters Connoisseur Vanilla ice cream. My 6 yr old grandaughter came up in two enormous allergic weals and I had what for me is a classic delayed reaction after 24 hrs. I am salicylate and benzoate intolerant with adverse reactions also to tartrazine and some other colours. I became physically and mentally exhausted with leg trembling which lasted for much of the day. It is a great concern that annatto is now being substituted for artificial colours. It may be of interest to you that we are a family with salicylate intolerance. My brother has Samter’s triad - asthma, nasal polyposis and anaphylaxis to aspirin - Ann

[1473] Avoidance of salicylates has put me into remission for ulcerative colitis (January 2018)


I’m 58 with a severe salicylate intolerance and thankfully, my avoidance of sals over the last 7 months has "cured", or put me in remission, for ulcerative colitis. My ulcerative colitis developed from my Paleo diet (to lose weight – juicing tons of spinach and eating almond breads, I thought it would cure my years of issues) and a natural practitioner who gave me high doses of Chinese herbs, thinking she was helping.

My GI doc said my recovery was remarkable. She also said I don't have to come back for 10 years. I think that is as close to a cure as anyone could get. I truly believe the salicylates crashed me and caused it. The stats I have discovered are that 7-10% of patients with UC or Crohn's have salicylate issues - if more docs knew this - they wouldn't give them meds which are...duh....salicylates. Thankfully, my doc listened to me and was willing to read my research - combined with real results - Kathy in 2014.

FOLLOWUP four years later: Yes, my ulcerative colitis is still fully in remission (I was diagnosed with moderate UC).  The GI doc gave me a 10 year return visit and was impressed at my healing – saying it should never have happened. I think salicylates are connected to other things like oxalates and histamines - it is not a stand alone. My roseacea is also cleared after 3 years of a dermatologist trying to fix it. My fibromyalgia is gone, as well. I'm in pretty good shape considering I thought I was a goner 4 years ago. Had I not been a persistent person and researched on my own, I’m not sure I would be as well today as I am.  But I believe I will always have to manage this issue.  My genetics say so and the epigenetic influences I have been exposed to say so as well - Kathy in 2018.

See Sue's blog on colitis

[1472] ADHD: “the results that can be achieved with just removing food “ (January 2018)

With a diagnosis of ADHD, our paediatrician recommended Ritalin (as a first step). I refused and taught her a bloody good lesson on the results that can be achieved with just removing food. She admitted she never thought it would work (in fact she put me down about it at the time) but because I had worked with a qualified dietician and we had an amazing change in my daughter she accepted it. She then said she could no longer give my daughter a diagnosis for ODD and ADHD and we obviously didn't need the Ritalin. So there’s nothing to be nervous about. See a recommended dietitian. The best thing is you leave with a list of what you can eat not an overwhelming feeling of can't have this. In fact the RPAH elimination book and the fedup shopping list are like that. Lists of what you can eat. It’s not as hard as you think – Roxanne

[1471] 160b Annatto: Terrible headaches for days (January 2018)

I have been having terrible headaches within the past year. I am 55 years old and fortunately I rarely had headaches most of my life, especially ones that have lasted for days. I am a creature of habit and so I was able to zero in on the cause after only a few months. At first I started eating Cheezits on a daily basis because I like to bring a snack to work, this is when they started. After that I was eating Colby jack cheese. I knew that some ingredient was causing the headaches but I did not figure it out right away. After I avoided these two foods for a while the headaches stopped. They started up again after I started eating instant grits with the butter flavor, no issues with regular flavor.  After comparing these three items they all contained Annatto. No headaches since - Margie USA

[1470] Reactive Hypoglycaemia (January 2018)

Kia ora, just wanted to update my journey on here. I have been more or less failsafe with a few little hiccups, as well as gf and df. I noticed after being as failsafe as poss (keep eating that chicken skin lolz), that my reactive hypoglycemia hasn't happened. I noticed after I had some unsweetened almond milk that I had an immediate sugar drop and got really disoriented and miserable. I haven't been sleeping well lately, but I have noticed that when I am staying gf and df failsafe that my sugars are stable. Normally I have a total collapse but I am coping physically better. I'm even eating sugar, which I enjoy, and not having any episodes. I always thought that sugar was one of the main culprits, but I have finally proved that it isn't the sugar causing my reactions. It is the dairy, gluten and all other food chemicals. It has blown my mind totally. I have been fighting some sniffles and cold germs. By now I would normally have a bad chest infection. But even eating sugar, I am doing so well and haven't gotten as sick as I normally do. Yay failsafe!!!! From Te-Rang

See more and with scientific references supporting this report

[1469] 160b annatto:  true allergic reaction to many USA foods over many years (December 2017)

Off and on for several years I experienced pain in my ribs, right side and around to my back. This would be stopping me in my tracks sharp pain, and I couldn't sleep. Doctors on three separate occasions, a few years apart, concluded it was my gall bladder but expensive tests proved that to be untrue. Then my liver count made no sense, so liver problems? Kidneys? Not the pain problem. Then my pain became more constant and daily.

I went to another doctor in late 2015 who had never seen me before. This new doctor within moments diagnosed costochondriditis (an inflammation of cartilage in the rib cage) which could take months to get better. In 2016, a new doctor thought again tests for gall bladder or liver so I was sent to a gastroenterologist. More tests. Inconclusive.

All these years I had allergic reactions to many things including a known nut and seed allergy. Medications were changed that resulted in needing to be hospitalized twice. I constantly had rashes, hives and the awful sharp pain randomly coming and going. More specific tests for gall bladder, kidneys, liver, and rheumatoid arthritis, and other things. Negative reports.

Finally, in 2017, I had to do something different as my pain was more frequent and I had had hives or rash of some kind constantly for past six months. I had begun writing down everything I ate or drank. There didn't seem to be any rhythm or reason to the itching or the flares of increasing pain. I was fairly confident that these symptoms were not from my prescription medication.

Then one August weekend after feeling very happy with myself for eating clean healthy foods, I experienced the worst allergic reaction to date. I honestly thought I had the entire checklist for a woman experiencing a heart attack! It was hard to breath and move. I could reach my blood pressure monitor so before calling 911, I took my blood pressure and pulse. I was fine, then I began to itch and noticed hives. I took a Benadryl, I began to feel better. A Benadryl cannot stop a heart attack! Once I felt better I went over and over my food list for the weekend. Everything I had eaten before! What had changed? I was convinced that something in the food was cause.

I spent hours looking up ingredients in the foods I normally ate but concentrating on the past two days! I saw that something called ANNATTO was in or had recently been added to nearly everything on my weekend food list. It was a new NATURAL flavor or color! I realized the healthy nut free bread, organic tomato soup and organic cheddar grilled cheese sandwich, clear soda, natural ice cream, Starbucks salad and organic protein bar all contained ANNATTO!!!!

So I gave up my organic foods, started to only eat whole fruits and vegetables, fresh sour dough bread, whole eggs, real butter, and only things I made myself. No rib or side pain, no rash, no hives, no breathing problems, no back pain, no swollen ankles and hands NOTHING!
My doctor is thrilled with the changes and she and I are very curious for to have my blood tested, to see if they will reflect the inflammation that seems to have disappeared! Since August, I've occasionally had my old symptoms reappear after getting tricked to eat something that I used to be able to eat. Or something that was added in a salad or food that contains ANNATTO.

100% of the time it had ANNATTO hidden in the ingredients. 100% of the time my symptoms are pain, side, back rib, itch, burping, chest respiratory heaviness. If a lot of ANNATTO then my ankles, legs, hands swell as well. The reactions can last thirty minutes to hours and overnight! Benadryl does help.

It is extremely difficult to find what foods and products contain ANNATTO! Some companies have been very helpful, while others seem to feel proud that that are using a natural flavoring or color! - Gerri  USA (italics added)

[1468] 160b annatto: “I hate this dye and what it did to my son” (December 2017)

Back story. When he was 3 he got cdiff (an infection of the gut caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile, often after antibiotics). It cleared but he would still have bloody mucus stools and to a point literally just pass a bit of blood and mucus. No stool. He went into growth retention. Blood tests, cdiff tests all came back in range.  When he was 18 months he had Goldfish (a type of biscuit containing annatto) and broke out into hives. At school he had Cheez-its (a cheese cracker containing annatto). Broke out into hives.  The only common ingredient was annatto.  During the same period he developed alopecia. I talked with his gastro and he said take him off all annatto give it three weeks and see what happens.  His hair grew back, he gained 10 lbs and has had normal stool since!  He is 8 now.  It's not all a coincidence. I know in my mama gut annatto is evil.  This is his story – Angela from USA (italics added)

See also Alopecia factsheet

[1467] Amines in supermarket meat (December 2017)

My 2 boys (now young adults) are very sensitive to amines. I won't buy meat from Woolworths or Coles anymore because my sons have always reacted to it.

I prefer to purchase fresh from a local butcher but sometimes there isn't a choice … from time to time I now buy some meat from ALDI: the chicken mince, legs of lamb, and occasionally the beef mince. I buy them as soon as they come in and we eat them that day or the next day at the latest (rarely but when necessary – eg staying in rental accommodation on a weekend), and we haven't had any problems. For super sensitives I wouldn't do it regularly but it really gets us out of a jam when we need it. I think the secret is in the high turnover at ALDI  – Sheryl

[1466] 200: Burning mouth syndrome due to preservative potassium sorbate 202 (December 2017)

I've just found your article about preservative 202, so now we know why my daughter always get the tingling sensation in her tongue and burning mouth every time she eats the Hommus Dip from Aldi. So bad that she cannot eat it anymore. We went through the ingredient list, it never occurred to us that the last ingredient which was 202 could be the offender!!! We all thought this was caused by her being allergic to sesame, which is also present in the dip, but the mystery is that she could eat sesame in other foods??? Now the mystery is solved!!! Thank you! - Mary

(Sue's comment: Sorbate preservatives in cosmetics and skin creams are known to cause skin irritation - a burning and stinging sensation of the skin - and contact dermatitis in some users. Similarly, when used as preservatives in foods, sorbates can cause stinging and burning in the mouth. This is known as Burning Mouth Syndrome. The sorbate group includes sorbic acid 200, sodium sorbate 201, potassium sorbate 202, and calcium sorbate 203. See sorbate factsheet for more information)

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


**WARNING** Peters vanilla ice cream is no longer failsafe (due to recent addition of coconut oil). Use Sarah Lea vanilla or Bulla original vanilla. For dairy-free (also low fat) use So Good Vanilla Bliss.

Here are our current sunscreen recommendations based on failsafe facebook group feedback and web research (UPDATED FEBRUARY 2018) 

sunscreenmoogoo     sunscreeninvisiblezincsunscreencleure

**CAUTION** There have been reports of itchy and burning reactions to Dermaveen shampoo, conditioner, soap wash and moisturising lotion. Some have used QV, Melrose shampoo base and MooGoo products to good effect. As we never tire of saying, everyone is different. It is so individual to what product is tolerated. Try it and see. There are many scent-free products here

Artisanal failsafe vodka and gin still available. Red Dirt Distillery from Dorrigo has moved to near Glen Innes NSW. New website email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. phone (02) 6732 1424. Expensive but special, avoid the flavoured varieties to be failsafe.

Allergy Train new shop opening in Victoria: Allergy Train is excited to announce that in addition to their online store, now with a Speciality Food Store at 922 Nepean Hwy, Hampton East Vic 3188.  They cater for people with food allergies and intolerances as well as those following vegan diets or who just want to avoid additives.  They also have a wide range of Failsafe goodies and are currently developing new ones. Their products are dietitian checked and free from artificial additives with clearly labelled allergen information, so you can shop with piece of mind.  They do not use any ingredients containing gluten, dairy, egg or nuts in their kitchen.
The Foodstore offers

• A wide selection of allergy friendly grocery lines. 
• Delicious desserts and treats that are allergy and intolerant friendly
• Specialty Fair Trade & Organic coffee
• Healthy juices and smoothies
• Frozen Foods and take home meals
• Catering
• Low chemical personal care and cleaning products

Come and have a coffee and a treat while shopping or join us for our GRAND OPENING on  Saturday March 3 from 10am-3pm. We will be showcasing some of our products with lots of tastings, children’s entertainment and we will even be making colour free fairy floss for our visitors. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Carob eggs from Carobana by 2 March


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


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 (13,700 members, open forum meaning the public can see your posts). 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 has become the support choice of members.

Closed failsafe group 
USA facebook group
NZ facebook group (membership preference given to those living in New Zealand)

twitter-bird-blue-on-whitetweet as @failsafers (note the plural).

Food Intolerance Network 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 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.


A member asked on the UK failsafe group some time ago whether there was feedback about the following UK dietitians. Since the failsafe UK group seems to have disappeared, can anyone here help please? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Note that Vivienne Pither does Skype consults for UK.
Merseyside -
Manchester -
Wirral -

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

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


Here are the 10 most popular Main Meals (most popular first) from the Failsafe Recipes at - each recipe has been downloaded more than 10,000 times. (V) means vegetarian.

Looking at them I was amazed how very quick and easy they are, like those in the Failsafe Cookbook - Sue.

chickenrisotto Chicken risotto (with butternut option - moderate in sals (V)) (Thermomix)

FN74thatcheesey That cheese sauce (Thermomix or traditional) (V)

canstockphoto5754171 Failsafe sausages

Chicken schnitzel

American Casserole

Chicken and Cashews

Chicken and leek frittata

Quick maple chicken

Veggie Bake (V)

Country vegetable bake (V)

Many many MORE recipes

At and you really can't do better than to get the regular newsletter from the new website of At the Failsafe Table - February edition now out with focus on failsafe lunchbox ideas


There's a recipe index of ANY Failsafe recipes on ANY blog. So far there are more than 1,008 recipes with great photos and ideas all categorised to make it easy to search 

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


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

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 and search for "Sue Dengate"

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

"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
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 2018 (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.