Fedup Newsletters


Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network

July – September 2008

The Food Intolerance Network supports people worldwide using a low-chemical elimination diet free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers (FAILSAFE) for health, behaviour and learning problems.

To see this FAILSAFE Newsletter in colour on the web: FAILsaf57.html

The FAILSAFE Newsletter is available free by email.


Artificial colours in Europe to require a warning label

Preservatives in Coke removed in the UK but not here

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


Research: Diet and ADHD: a successful new trial, Camel milk ‘cure’ for food allergies, Network Survey results, Laboratory testing,

In brief: Diet and ADHD, Draft guidelines on ADHD, Additives around the world, Home kit for amine testing, Stakeholder Consultation Forum

Still targeting… Surprise announcement on 8 September

Readers' stories: [651] - [684]

Product updates: detailed help and information.

Questions: detailed help and information.

Around the groups: detailed support

Cooks Corner: Raw egg warning, Quick maple chicken, Anne’s quick slice



Hello everyone


In the 20 years that I have been lobbying against harmful food additives, I have never seen so much happen so fast – see below for exciting new research and overseas action about food additives. A special welcome to the many people who have joined our network after attending a presentation during our recent tour! Readers tell us how much they enjoy the reader reports in our newsletter - ‘I don’t feel so alone’ said one - so in this issue there are more poignant, courageous, heartwarming, inspiring or mind-boggling stories. Don’t miss product updates with some great new products and important product warnings. Thank you to all who have contributed to this issue and stay tuned – we will have an important announcement for you very soon.


Happy failsafeing


Sue Dengate



Artificial colours in Europe to require a warning label


Last year, research from Southampton University produced clear evidence that certain food additives can influence hyperactive behaviour. As a result of the Southampton Study, in April this year the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) requested a voluntary ban on the use of six well-known artificial colours. In July, the European Parliament voted in favour of labelling foods containing the six colours with the words 'may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children’. By the end of 2009, companies will have to decide whether to continue to use the additives and suffer the effects the warning might have on sales, or make the changes. Many large companies, including five major UK supermarket chains, Cadbury and Nestle, have pledged to remove all artificial colourings from their products in the UK but this is not happening in Australia. www.actiononadditives.com


Preservatives in Coke removed in the UK but not here


Coca-Cola in Britain began withdrawing the controversial preservative sodium benzoate (211) from Diet Coke in January in response to consumer demand for more natural products, but the company has no plans to remove it in Australia - http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/whats-making-children-sick/story-e6frea83-1111116509037


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


On Sue’s recent speaking tour, so many people wanted to buy “the set” (Fed Up, the Failsafe Cookbook & the DVD Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour) that we now have a special offer of $70.00 delivered in Australia for all three, and you can also buy them individually at very competitive prices. Click on covers on www.fedup.com.au.




Diet and ADHD: a successful new trial: A new Dutch study compared ADHD children on the Few Foods diet to a control group of ADHD children on the waiting list for the diet. Parents reported that 73 per cent on children on diet improved compared to none in the control group, and teachers reported 70 per cent of children on the diet improved compared to none in the control group. Researchers concluded ‘a strictly supervised elimination diet may be a valuable instrument in testing young children with ADHD on whether dietary factors may contribute to the manifestation of the disorder and may have a beneficial effect on the children's behaviour’. Pelsser LM and others, A randomised controlled trial into the effects of food on ADHD Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 2008 http://www.springerlink.com/content/34740t462g1p516p/


Camel milk ‘cure’ for food allergies: Eight children with severe food (mainly milk) allergies recovered fully from their allergies by drinking camel milk. Medical researchers at the Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva Israel reported that the children aged 4 months to 10 years suffered from symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting after eating, skin rashes, asthma, lactase deficiency and ‘chemical imbalance’ that did not respond to conventional treatments. The 4 months old child had been taken home from hospital because of lack of improvement and constant diarrhoea. A girl from the US was anaphylactic to cows milk and extremely allergic to all but a few foods. Families were supplied with bottles of frozen unpasteurised camel milk to be thawed as needed and instructed not to heat the milk which would destroy the immunoglobulins and protective proteins. The milk replaced all other foods for 2 weeks, after which other food was gradually added to the diet as chosen by parents. All children showed improvement with 24 hours of starting to drink the milk and all symptoms disappeared with in 4 days. No recurrence of the allergic symptoms was reported within 30 days. The 4 month old later suffered a severe ear infection which improved on reintroduction of camel milk. The child from the US returned home after two weeks and was able to eat foods to which she had previously been allergic. The researchers suggested that the rapid improvement in the children’s health and later ability to digest other foods may be due to both the lack of the allergenic beta-lactoglobulin and particular beta-casein protein found in cows milk combined with protective proteins found in camel milk. Shabo Y et al, Camel milk for food allergies in children, Isr Med Assoc J. 2005;7(12):796-8, http://www.ima.org.il/imaj/ar05dec-12.pdf


Network Survey results: during the speaking tour in May-June 2008, attended by more than 3,000 people, about 1,000 attendees were surveyed and 648 responses obtained. The result is that 96% believe that food additives should be better tested before they are approved, the focus being on including evidence of behavioural, learning and other health effects before approval.


A second survey question with 634 responses showed that about two-thirds of consumers (67%) had no idea that sulphites and asthma were related, and only about 27% of those surveyed understood the connection.


Laboratory testing: during 2007-08, FIN spent $4,351 on laboratory tests, looking for illegal additives and seeking to extend the knowledge of salicylate contents of foods. We have been unable to find a reliable laboratory for salicylates so this program is suspended. Thanks to Julie Eady of Additive Alert for a $600 donation towards this testing.



Diet not working as well as you'd hoped?

One tiny mistake can make a huge difference. For fine-tuning, see the Checklist of common mistakes. Readers tell us this list is very useful.



In brief


Diet and ADHD: Removing artificial colours and preservatives from the diets of children with ADHD should be considered a first-line treatment to reduce hyperactivity, a child allergy specialist says. Professor Andrew Kemp from the Children's Hospital at Westmead, in Sydney, says there is good scientific evidence that preservatives and colourings increased hyperactive behaviour. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=568712.


Draft guidelines on ADHD: FIN made a formal submission to the Royal Australian College of Physicians on their guidelines, which in draft minimize the use the diet and ignore much relevant research – see submission


Additives around the world: in the UK where the six artificial food colours identified in the Southhampton study are soon to be banned, researchers have found over 900 products containing these colours compared with 34 in Sweden, 119 in Austria and 344 in Denmark.

(http://www.foodcomm.org.uk) The Southampton colours are: 102 tartrazine, 104 quinoline yellow, 110 sunset yellow, 122 carmoisine, 124 ponceau 4R, 129 allura red. How many can you find? You are welcome to send details (name of manufacturer, name of product, number of additive/s) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Home kit for amine testing: a NASA-funded study for finding life on Mars has developed a prototype home test kit for biogenic amines with results in 5 minutes. ‘These toxins can be a serious health problem and are more common than people think,’ says study leader Richard A. Mathies, Ph.D., a chemist with the University of California, Berkeley. ‘They are hidden in a wide variety of foods. Having a quick, convenient way to identify them will help consumers avoid them or at least limit their intake.’ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001125645.htm.


Stakeholder Consultation Forum: Sue and Howard Dengate and Brenda Hunting attended the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council Stakeholder Consultation Forum in Brisbane on 7 August and sought real consultation and engagement from the regulatory system with consumers.



Now targetting…


There will be a surprise announcement on Monday 8 September sent to everyone on the Failsafe Newsletter list. Stay tuned.


In the meantime, please have your say if you would like natural colours in Smarties:




Click on the link above or www.nestle.com.au and click on Contact Us (top right) or

Phone: 1800 025 361

Fax: 02 9736 0407

Mail: Consumer Services Department, GPO Box 4320, Sydney NSW 2001



Readers' stories

[684] One-liners (September 2008)

· We have been failsafe for two weeks and my shopping bill has gone down by about $100 per week with no junk or frozen convenience food anymore. – Maria, NSW

· I wanted to try the elimination diet for my stepsons but they go to stay with their mother every second weekend and she would not support such a diet (she gives them cordial now, just because I have said to the boys they shouldn't have it) - by email

· I enjoyed your recent presentation. I took my mother along who until that night could not believe that I was not allowing my son to eat fruits and vegetables, which are all good for you!!! Now she asks what he is allowed and we are achieving so much. –Sandra, Qld

· My 8-year-old son has improved so much in the past month (additive-free) and is so much calmer that my husband thought he must be ill, because he never sits around so calmly usually! – Julie, by email

· I think your book is fantastic and should be on the six o'clock news, especially for all those poor parents who don't know what is wrong with their children! – Joanne, NSW

· I just purchased your updated cookbook and I am having a ball with it. I made my husband the custard (he loves custard and buys commercial custard) and he had to admit it was pretty good. - by email

· I have a 24-year-old son who had ADHD and could not believe the change in him when we controlled the colourings in his diet - FRUIT LOOPS should be banned. – Carol, by email

· I have changed to A2 milk and no longer get any 'bloating' which pleases me greatly. - Jane, by email

· Thanks for your comprehensive and life-saving website! – Rita, by email

· Being failsafe has given us the power to question so much more now about what our kids eat and what medication they take. – by email

· We started our 1-year-old on the elimination diet, and it has been an absolute bliss. He changed from being an irritable, screaming baby, to a content playful little boy. - Jeanette, by email (see full story [651])

· Watching your DVD was like sitting in a dark room and having someone open the blinds to the let the sun shine in’ - Carmel, by email.

[683] The truth about peanut bans – by the father of an allergic 6 yo (September 2008)

We have a six-year-old son with life-threatening multiple food allergies to nuts, dairy, sesame and egg.

We are concerned about the lack of allergy awareness in our state. While peanut bans initially sound like a positive move they are actually not recommended by ASCIA as they set up a false sense of security. It may only take 1/2000th of a peanut to kill. It takes up a huge amount of our time with phone calls and food label reading to try and establish what foods contain traces of nuts - and in our case other allergens. The ban is impossible to enforce, puts other parents offside, some parents and teaching staff refuse to adhere to the bans and it overshadows other allergens which are growing in number and severity like dairy or egg.

The most common allergens vary from country to country and city to city. For instance in Sydney the most common and deadly allergen amongst young children is egg. Unfortunately our child is not going to school at this stage as our local school’s idea of protecting our child from an anaphylactic reaction was to stick up a nut-free zone sign. This is cheap and an easy solution.

Rather than bans, we'd like to concentrate more on students being encouraged not to share food and to wash hands after eating. We hope these preventative measures would eliminate the need for the next step of using the epipen, but of course we would also require teachers to be knowledgeable in this area and be comfortable in using an epipen - something that was not in place at our school.

Some big changes in NSW and VIC occurred after deaths from anaphylaxis at schools. Luckily deaths have not occurred in our state yet and hopefully they will make the necessary improvements shortly and not wait for a death to occur before they do. – Geoff, by email

[To see Geoff’s suggestions – a letter sent home to parents and an allergy awareness page (note that nut bans are encouraged in childcare centres where children are too young to understand)

[682] I was pushed to control cry my son (September 2008) [COURAGE AWARD]

I just wanted to tell you about the startling difference we have seen in my son since removing salicylates. He is now 18 months old and the difference is profound - removing apple alone reduced nearly all of his night wakings, and removing avocado and corn as well has stopped his moodiness, screaming and irritability. His reflux is more under control and he no longer screams during the day and most especially at night. If he does we know it means either he or I have eaten something we shouldn’t by accident. I’ve also determined that he reacts to a lot of additives as well. 160b produces aggressiveness, defiance and screaming within 24 hours. I now have a really happy well behaved little boy. I was pushed to control cry my son due to his poor sleeping, but I knew something deeper was wrong. I'm SO glad I went with my gut instinct that it was food related. – Taryn, Vic

[681] My 14-year-old son thought it was a conspiracy theory (September 2008)

We have been on failsafe eating for just over 2 weeks. I am already starting to notice an improvement in my 6-year-old’s behaviour and picking up on certain foods that send him off the wall. I attended school last Friday with him for a picnic lunch and had to ring my husband to tell him how great our son was and it was actually a pleasure to be there with him. It is like I have my beautiful boy back again. I noticed he has been laughing at things on the tv which I haven't heard for a long time. Even his older brothers have said they thought he has been better.

By the way my 14-year-old son who thought it was all a conspiracy theory between mothers to get their kids off junk food came home from school and said ‘mum I know I didn't believe you but I actually had the best day at school today, I felt happy I could concentrate and had heaps of energy, maybe there is something to this eating programme’, and that's from my cruisy easy going child. – Maria, NSW

[680] Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) due to diet (September 2008)

We have seen some huge improvements in my 6-year-old son’s nocturnal eneuresis. He had not had any dry nights since he was 3 years old. After making the changes below he started to have some dry nights (3-4 a week). Now he has been dry for the last 9 nights.

· we have started him on A2 milk

· we used to have a jug of diluted orange juice in the fridge, now the kids drink mainly water with the occasional magic cordial.

· he was eating broccoli almost every night and we have not had any for 4 weeks now

· I have been more diligent in not buying any products with preservative 282 in it

· generally more aware of products full of additives, colours and preservatives since hearing you speak and reading your books

· our son did love to eat salami and ham (deli), so he has not had this for 4 weeks.

His bladder capacity is so much bigger and he can hold on for longer in the day. His mood swings are virtually resolved and you can reason with him if he is wanting something that is not appropriate, food or otherwise. My husband and I can both see that he is more confident in himself and sociable, making him a lovely child to be around. He usually has redipred once or twice in winter for exacerbation of asthma symptoms, but so far has not required any this winter, despite having a cold last week, so that is looking positive. Thank you for motivating me to review what I was putting in my family’s mouths. We don't have access to fast foods living in the country, so that was never an issue. With a few simple changes to my son's diet, the improvements have been remarkable. The whole family is now reaping the benefit of these changes and so will continue to be more aware of what is in the food that we are eating. Thanks again for your passion and drive. – Paula, NSW

[679] Menopausal symptoms, hot flushes and failsafe (September 2008)

I put myself on the diet five years ago as I was suffering severe hot flushes, was continually tired, felt sick most times after I ate, felt fuzzy in the head, got cranky for no reason and did not sleep well at all. My life changed - I now sleep well, I am not tired all the time, the hot flushes stopped, my head is clear and I very rarely get sick. If I have a lousy day or night I can always trace it back to something I have eaten the day before or two or three days before. The worst offenders are additives and salicylates. I have always been a big fruit eater especially watermelon, and it has been one of the hardest things to give up, however if I do binge on fruits high in salicylates especially watermelon I pay for it with hot flushes and a sleepless night. I also get hot flushes if I eat chicken that is not organic which I avoid at all costs now.

I see a lot of women I work with suffering with menopausal symptoms and I think myself extremely lucky that I found and was prepared to give failsafe eating a try. Unfortunately you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. These women as many other people I talk to don't believe it could be that simple and are not prepared to give it a go, silly them. - by email

[678] ‘Postnatal depression’ due to fish oil capsules (September 2008)

I've recently noticed that I get really grumpy when taking a certain brand of super strength fish oil capsules. I started thinking I was suffering from post natal depression as I could feel the anger start inside me and build really fast and grow bigger. A bit hard to describe but I had never had this feeling before. I forgot to take them for a while which is what made me realise it was the capsules. - Carole, by email (see our supplements factsheet for similar reports)

[677] ‘Postnatal depression’ due to diet coke (September 2008)

I noticed that I have a dramatic reaction to diet coke. If I drink it, I get depressed and mood swings within 24 hours. So what we thought was emotion due to having bubs, was really the diet coke I was drinking as a pick-me-up due to lack of sleep. The challenge was eye opening. I did a benzoate challenge and was fine. I did another challenge with Diet Coke and the mood change is profound. The next day I was depressed, despondent and my husband said it was like turning off a light. – by email

[676] Salicylate reaction to NSAIDs and Cox 2 inhibitors (September 2008)

I just wanted to let you know that some people with salicylate sensitivity do not just react to NSAIDS. Cox2 inhibitors such as Celebrex can also be a concern in 5-10 per cent of people. I fall into this group and I am unable to take any prescription anti-inflammatories apart from prednisolone. Fish oil (if tolerated in high doses) is an excellent alternative for me and thought your readers may benefit from this. It was known that I had reactions to NSAIDS and aspirin yet when I was trialled on Cox 2 no mention was made that there could be a possible cross reaction (http://www.allergy.org.au/patients/about-allergy/65-aer/general/105-allergic-reactions-to-aspirin-and-other-pain-killers). I was basically told that I was unusual without any explanation other than for me to try others would be life threatening. If it helps one other person to know that this is possible then what I went through is worth it. – by email, Vic (For more about fish oil supplements. The writer of this email does not react to amines and is using Blackmores fish oil)

[675] Alzheimer’s, asthma and apnoea (September 2008)

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

[674] Two naturopaths write about failsafe eating (1) (September 2008)

I have been in practice as a naturopath for 22 years. Your failsafe information has completely revolutionised the way I look at food and how it affects children and adults. Gone are all my old elimination diets and theories, I work purely with chemicals, natural or otherwise, in the diet. Thanks for all the support and your great website and books, they give my patients an instant network to hook into when they are not with me. – by email

[673] Two naturopaths write about failsafe eating (2) (September 2008)

Our son has been progressively more moody and ADHD since 3 yrs-old and we couldn’t understand why. We know now! We were used to wheat, dairy and numbers sensitivities and have worked with them in our family for years. Plenty of healthy foods. We had no idea about salicylates or amines and have had to shift from a diet abundant previously in fruits and veggies.

We haven’t done well with elimination - most weekends since we started we have either been travelling or having birthday parties and have mucked up the diet - and even so we have seen great changes in our son. He has become quite the sleuth in reading labels and monitoring other children’s lunches. He has been very compliant. Better than my husband who we’ve seen great changes in too.

My husband is a naturopath and worked a lot with sensitivities and this has unfolded a whole new awareness and interest for him He has definitely seen proof in the salicylate/amine/number free pudding!!! My daughter’s eczema is much better too than on the previous wheat and dairy free approach. My husband would like to incorporate this awareness into his work with clients and we shall get the DVD to show clients and family and friends. – by email

[672] Profound migraine, trigeminal neuralgia and the cream cheese diet (September 2008)

I stumbled upon your web page by accident. I have lived the last 30 years with profound migraine and trigeminal neuralgia. I am on some powerful meds and am trying to put off MVD (microvascular decompression) surgery. My headaches are chronic and have absolutely stolen the best years of my life. I have almost learned to expect and just deal with the incessant pain. But I think I just may have accidentally made an odd discovery. I wanted to lose a few pounds and I decided to do Dr. Atkins Fat Fast for a few days - which is simply cream cheese and nothing else. Within two days my head was pain free. So I am thinking this is very strange: is eating food giving me headaches??? I began to research and came upon histamines. I am amazed as I have never been ‘allergic’ to anything and never had sinus problems. I did note to the doctor that I was certain oranges had triggered migraine attacks - and wine or alcohol and dark chocolate. He told me to stay away from them but never mentioned histamines. I used to have friends … a life ... I have contemplated suicide many times. I have been told to put ice packs on my head. I fantasize about somehow being present at my own autopsy and taking a hammer and beating my own head and face to pieces. Now I think I am on to what might have caused this pain all these years. – by email, USA [preservative-free cream cheese is one of many failsafe foods - S]

[671] Extreme reaction to local anaesthetic (September 2008)

On the second day of school, my 12-year-old cut his knee badly exposing the tendons. The doctor said he had to really pump him full of anaesthetic as it was so bad. The effects seemed to really throw him out. Instead of getting physical though as he would have a few years ago, he brought it into himself. He just sobbed his heart out and couldn't talk. He had very bad headaches and the shakes. He slept non-stop for about two days before we started getting him back on track. At school the teacher said that my son had been so happy before but after his accident he turned into into a sullen, seldom speaking young lad. - by email, Qld [Local including dental anaesthetic injections usually contain preservatives that can cause worse problems when injected than consumed by mouth. It is possible to get preservative-free local anaesthetics if you ask - S]

[670] Behavioural reaction to medications in hospital (September 2008)

Recently my failsafe 6-year-old son went into hospital to have grommets in and his adenoids removed. Right up until he went into the operating theatre he amazed us with his great behaviour and how he dealt with the whole process. The minute he woke up he was so aggressive, rude, would not co-operate and was back to our little monster again. We couldn't wait to slink out of the hospital with him and get home. The next day he was still agitated and demanding. Do you think the anaesthetic and medication he received for this procedure could cause these sort of reactions? I know kids do react to going into hospital etc but the change in him from before and after was so dramatic I just have to wonder if it could affect him. – by email, NSW [General anaesthetics are usually OK but medications before and after the procedure can cause bad side effects. You can discuss this with your anaesthetist beforehand, see the free introduction to Friendly Food on www.cs.nsw.gov.au/rpa/Allergy/default]

[659] WOW! Big turnaround in three weeks (September 2008)

My son started kindergarten this year and was at the principal’s office within weeks. He had stabbed his classmate with a pencil, he had run away on a school excursion, been incredibly rude and obnoxious to teachers and hit other children. He was defiant, easily frustrated, blamed others for everything under the sun, he was aggressive with his siblings and parents, socially he was not improving either.

After the disastrous start to school I picked up your book which I thought was going to just talk about colours and preservatives and could not put it down. It made so much sense and I just had that gut feeling we had found a possible solution. We started failsafe eating almost immediately and we made many errors but finally worked through those. Before the diet he would have avocado, banana and berries in his lunch and he would come home to spinach and tomato lasagne!!

During the diet my son slept and slept and slept. His behaviour improved very slowly but once we were in the third week we noticed a big turn around. One morning he surfaced at 8am, his bed had been made, he was dressed and he was calm, polite and happy.

When he returned to school for term two his teacher and school counsellor were in disbelief. During the whole of term two he did not even once have to go to the time-out beanbag in his classroom. WOW! He has started to make friends and has picked up some awards along the way.- by email

[658] Tachycardias, falling blood pressure, red nose (September 2008)

For many years I have had tachycardias, a feeling of being ‘unplugged’ (as if my heart had stopped, blood pressure rapidly falling and I was going ‘out’) and inexplicable cold in my hands and feet like ice even in the summer. And the same thing on my nose. It turns bright red at times for no reason as if the capillaries dilated and it remains that way for a long time - it burns as if it has been held on the stove. Since changing my diet, my nose is normally coloured, I am nice and warm all over and no one has been ‘pulling my plug’. It seems that food chemicals affect my vascular system and blood flow. – by email

[657] Open message about Smarties sent to Nestle Australia (September 2008)

Regarding my dissatisfaction with Smarties. I've just discovered that the UK smarties are using natural colours rather than artificial colours. I'm just wondering (as a very concerned parent of two small children) why the hell the Australian division of Nestle haven't followed lead WITHOUT relying on complaints from concerned potential buyers. It is the same for quite a few products including jelly. We the consumers shouldn't need to complain before a product is changed.

Nestle, you are a world wide company making profit at the cost of your consumers health. Isn't it YOUR best interests (including your shareholders pockets) to try to ensure your customers live a LONG and HEALTHY life (so they can buy more of your products of course!) And the only way to accomplish this profitable long term bottom line is to ensure ALL your products meet the highest of standards to ensure they are as healthy and natural as possible. Not to mention that it is a marketers dream to have their company turn ‘green’ during the current healthy, green and natural consumer push. – by email

[656] Effects of mixed pink and white marshmallows (September 2008)

The girls very rarely have marshmallows but tonight I bought a packet of mixed white and artificially coloured pink ones. Older daughter had 4, younger had 3 and they both went right off! My younger daughter started biting again, something she hasn't done for ages and they were both shouting and went stupid. They have settled now, a couple of hours later but I realised they are not ok and threw rest of pack out. I try so hard with everything and then make a silly mistake like that which is very frustrating! - Tania, by email

[655] 'She screamed most of the time' - behaviour and bedwetting (September 2008)

I can't express how elated my entire family was to discover failsafe eating about five years ago. We have all benefited especially my granddaughter Zoe who was around three (and eating lots of bread with 282) at the time and out of control. She screamed most of the time, threw tantrums, tried to hurt her baby sister, threw anything within her reach, was so so angry with the world and wet the bed most nights. My daughter who was a single mum at the time would ring me up in despair and I would go and help her to give her a break. One day Zoe just sat on the floor and screamed and screamed. I asked her what was the matter, why was she so sad and she said she didn't know she just couldn't stop crying.

I was working as a Teacher's Aide Special and I happened to mention Zoe's behaviour to the teacher I was working with and she told me about your book Fed Up. She brought the book in for me to read and it was like a gift from heaven. Zoe's mum started her on the diet straight away and what a new child we had within days. The screaming stopped, the tantrums stopped, the bed wetting stopped and she started to smile and laugh again. A happy little girl at last. She is almost nine now and a most delightful intelligent child who puts all her energy into dancing and singing. However, on occasions when she does eat ‘Cranky food’ she goes off the deep end or ‘cuckoo’ as her sister says. Zoe is now aware of what she can and can't eat. When we went shopping she would carry the list of ‘Avoid these Food Additives’ but now she just remembers them.

I put myself on the diet as well as I was suffering severe hot flushes (see story [679] Menopausal symptoms, hot flushes and failsafe]. ... My entire family believes in Failsafe and we all avoid the nasties and live a healthier happier life. The funny thing is I am like a tester for Zoe: if I react then so does she.

I will just add that my daughter now has a 5-week-old baby boy - she stuck to failsafe while she was pregnant and she is still on it now while she is breast feeding and her little boy is the best baby, feeds and sleeps. - by email

[654] 635: Flavour enhancers and a breastfed baby (September 2008)

Thomas was born a very healthy full term baby. A couple of days later he had little red pimples on his face that after two weeks became quite red and covered a quarter of his cheeks, Clinic nurses noted that it was a bad hormonal rash, but it never went away, it only got worse. Thomas was also an irritable baby needing feeding at least every two hours he didn't sleep for any more than 2 hours at a time.

With two other children and hubby to feed, time was precious, so I started whipping up quick casseroles to feed the family. In the casseroles I would put in meat and fresh veg I had in the fridge, and for the flavour we were used to I would throw in a packet of beef & veg cuppa soup and thicken it with Gravox. Things were going from bad to worse. Thomas was covered all over in a red rash. The doctor diagnosed eczema and gave creams for it but it only got worse and infected.

On one particular occasion I remember vividly, I made the casserole for dinner on Friday night, and while having a cuppa and chat next day noticed that Thomas became quite irritable and his little head came out in beads of sweat, which later became a crusty layer. It suddenly dawned on me that this happened every time I made the casserole, I would eat it about 6 pm and by 12-1 pm the next day (18 hours later) this little time bomb would go off in Thomas. The next day Thomas was a ratty all day, his whole body was red and his scalp crusty.

When Thomas was 4 months old we got into a Dermatologist who listened to our story and nearly laughed at us and explained about Cuppa soup (flavour enhancers) and Gravox (salicylates) his words were ‘it's like a time bomb’. We discovered from that trip that Thomas was allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, and probably intolerant to the nasty food colourings, preservatives and additives given his reaction to flavour enhancers and salicylates. Although he had never ingested these foods directly, he had got it all through my breast milk. Thomas was weaned onto Neocate formula then to soy at 12 months of age. He has since developed allergies to soy, all nuts, potato, gluten, house dust, cats, dogs, horses, many grasses and weed pollen. He also suffers from asthma. He now drinks rice milk and is on a strict egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, potato-free, gluten-free low salicylate diet. Now at six years of age Thomas is a healthy active boy despite all this.- by email.

[653] Everyday we are being lied to, tricked, conned, call it what you will (September 2008)

I had been giving Cottees Fruit Cup Crush to my 3-yr-old son and 2-yr-old daughter for the past week, knowing I had checked the ingredients and thought it was safe because there were no additive 'numbers' listed in the ingredients list!! I knew it contained a preservative called sodium benzoate, but it wasn't listed as a 'number' and therefore I thought it was harmless. I thought ‘finally something my kids could drink!’

To then realise this morning after reading your article in the Sunday Examiner that sodium benzoate is actually preservative 211. I was horrified! Not only do you have to look for additive numbers, BUT ALSO NAMES!!!!!!! How can companies do this to us ... knowing WHAT they are doing??? !!!

I am now learning and understanding your outrage at this, and your consequent plea and cry for desperate measures to be taken to reach mums and dads. To reach everyone, everywhere for that matter, because everyday we are being lied to, tricked, conned, call it what you will! But this is impacting my kids and their future!! Even us adults! – Katherine, by email

[652] A2 and UHT milk better tolerated than fresh (September 2008)

My stepson has suffered from black rings under the eyes, continually stuffed up and asthma attacks since he was a baby. After speaking to you in Brisbane we decided to try A2 milk.

On A2, the rings cleared up straight away, the snorting stopped and after a while we realised there had been no asthma attacks. Then he spent a few months living with us overseas where A2 is not available. However, there is also no fresh milk - all milk is UHT (mainly Pauls). There were no side effects.

On returning to Brisbane for a week's holiday, we were off guard and purchased plain milk. He had 3 small asthma attacks (required ventolin) in the week. He's now back on the UHT again no effects. We don't know why, whether it is the heat process or not, but it definitely is not a figment of our imagination. - by email

[651] Salicylates and breastfeeding: from irritable screaming baby to bliss (September 2008)

We started our 1-year-old on the elimination diet, and it has been absolute bliss. He has changed from being an irritable, screaming baby, to a contented playful little boy. So far we have found that he is very sensitive to salicylates.

For the first ten days of Noah’s life, everything seemed to be all right, but when he was 11 days old I had a bout of mastitis, and that was when his crying - or rather screaming - started. He seemed to be in pain when feeding, pulling away from the breast, arching his back and screaming. He almost never slept, wanting to feed every two hours, sometimes even more frequently. His worst times were from 12am-4am, just screaming constantly. It was impossible to drive with him anywhere as he would cry and scream non-stop in his car seat. The doctors told me it's just colic and he will grow out of it sooner or later. He also had this rash mostly on his back which the doctors said was probably just a heat rash or something, nothing to worry about.

By the time Noah was five months old, I couldn't take his constant screaming anymore, and he still had all the above symptoms. He was reaching his milestones, but wasn't interested in playing on his own. I was carrying him around for most of the day, and even then he was still moaning away. I tried some baby rice cereal, but he would vomit after each feed, so I stopped that. I introduced some other baby food (oats and fruits) which he seemed to tolerate better, but he was still screaming most of the time. Reading a lot on the internet, I came to the conclusion that he might have a food allergy. (This seemed quite logical as I have a 9-year-old daughter who is allergic to numerous things and has anaphylaxis reaction with peanuts). I eliminated all dairy, egg, wheat, and soy from my diet as well as Noah's. His rash went away in just a few days, and he seemed to be crying a little bit less, but other than that there was no real difference.

When he was six months old I convinced my GP that I needed to see the paediatrician. What a disappointment, the paediatrician told me that I was just imagining things as Noah was looking healthy and growing well. He told me to come back when he was a year old if I still thought there was a concern. So the next few months we stayed on that ‘homemade elimination diet’ of mine, taking everyday as it came. Noah was not interested in playing with his brother (7) or sister, crying most of the days, and sleeping poorly at night. A few weeks before he turned one I decided to talk to my GP again, tell him I want to see an allergist, because I was more convinced than ever that Noah had some kind of allergy. That was the best thing I could have done. Noah was tested and we found out he is allergic to egg, and the doctor explained to me about food intolerance, which I knew nothing about.

We were put on the elimination diet and within three days we could see the amazing changes in Noah. He was actually playing with his siblings and on his own, not wanting to be picked up the whole time, and sleeping through the night. What a joy it was. We introduced the salicylates first, and by the morning of the second day he was back to his old self. That night he screamed the whole time and for the first time in a long while he pulled away from the breast again. We went back to the basic diet again. It went all right but after a few days he was again irritable. After searching for the problem I came to the conclusion that it was the vanilla in the vanilla soymilk he had been drinking. I cut that out of his diet and things went smoothly again. We seem to be on the right track now. Thanks for the great books, they’re a really big help. – Jeannette, by email


Product updates


New products: Orthoplex Children’s Vitamin supplement, NZ Natural Classic Vanilla tubs in supermarkets (but not the waffle cones), Banjo’s bread, Dominion natural vanilla marshmallows at ALDI, You’ll Love Coles Potato Chips, Altimate Foods Mini Cones.


Warnings: oats for coeliacs, LCMs, Coles pears snack pack, tortillas, fluoride tablets with unlisted artificial colour, preservative in ‘natural vanilla flavour’.


Reminder: spicewash in Bakers Delight white iced finger buns (order without).


Specialists: The Small Food Caterer in Adelaide, butchers in Cairns, Miranda and Rouse Hill Sydney, Belconnen, Hobart, Brisbane, Tumut and Palmyra.


Others: Thermomix feedback, makeup, soapnuts, sunscreen, zinc supplements. Meat in the USA. Lemonade, shallots and milk in the UK.


See  Some of the information, particularly that about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe shopping list on www.fedup.com.au for the latest information.


Your questions

Q. My son who has just turned 4 has just been diagnosed with his 54th ear infection. He has had 13 perforated ear drums with bleeding. His speech is affected and his hearing. He has had two operations: the first for grommets and the second for grommets and adenoids removed. I'm at the end, I cry all the time, he cries in pain and keeps us up at night. He is just such a sad boy. He has these really loud naughty outbursts that take their toll on the whole family. Please help me.

A. The answer for this child – as for many others with frequent ear infections – was dairy foods. The child improved so much on dairy avoidance that the mother was able to cancel the next grommet operation. After a week-long dairy challenge the problems recurred. While dairy foods seem to be the main culprits with frequent ear infections, other common culprits (additives, salicylates, amines, gluten) can be involved, depending on individual sensitivity.

Q. My husband gets severe eczema from amines. A couple of months ago he was watching an action movie with Harrison Ford in it. Lots of fighting, guns etc. He doesn't normally watch these sort of movies. By the end of the movie his skin had gone red, weepy and very itchy. Within a half hour of the movie finishing his skin had settled back down. Could an adrenaline rush cause a reaction?

A. Yes. Adrenaline is an amine.

Q. We can’t find cauliflower mentioned in your book – it is failsafe?

A. Cauliflower originally tested as moderate in salicylates but has been upgraded and is now listed by RPA in Friendly Food as *very high* in both salicylates and amines. Fruit and vegetables mentioned in the shopping list and recipes in my books are low in salicylates and therefore permitted on the strict elimination diet unless otherwise specified. If moderate, they are listed as optional -not suitable for the strict diet. If high, they are in the challenge section. If not mentioned at all they are probably very high in both salicylates and amines. If you’d like more information about salicylates or amines, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Q. Cornflakes are not on the shopping list but I can't see what is wrong with them. Please explain!

A. The salicylate content of corn products depends on the variety of corn and the processing method:

· corn, cornflakes and other corn cereals (e.g. Nutrigrain), cornmeal and polenta are listed as high in salicylates by RPA

· corn chips (crisps), tacos and corn oil are listed as moderate

· highly refined corn products totally lacking in flavour such as corn cornflour (e.g. White Wings) and cornstarch are listed as low

· corn syrup hasn’t been tested but is probably moderate

· in Dr Swain’s salicylate analyses, canned corn was much higher (up to 0.39 - in the high category) than fresh sweetcorn on the cob (0.13 - in the moderate category), so fresh homegrown sweetcorn on the cob may be moderate

· popcorn has not been tested but I’m guessing it’s high

· highly refined maize starch is probably low but maize meal and wholegrain maize would probably be high.

Q. My son (now 22) ate very limited salicylates for much of his younger childhood. It made a dramatic difference to his personality and behaviour. He now wants to eliminate them again to see if it helps him to focus, become more organised, and gain a bit of self-control to assist him in his uni studies.

A. We have heard from many parents that their grown up children – including mine - have good motivation and do well on the diet at university.


Around the groups: getting in touch


Can you help?


· During our recent speaking tour, several people including in Hobart and Launceston volunteered to be local contacts. Unfortunately I lost your details – can you get in touch with me again please?


· Does anyone have a recommendation for a Sydney gastroenterologist who specializes in coeliac disease?


· Has anyone experienced a diet-associated improvement in blepharospasm (excessive blinking)?


Replies to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Last talking point


In the last newsletter we asked if anyone had suffered from ventricular arrhythmia from sulphites like Michiko (story [641]: ‘I just thought I'd tell you that although my cardiologist never questioned my diet, after two hospitalizations in emergency for ventricular arrhythmia, and nearly two years of fearing for my life, feeling my heart jumping all over the place, and being miserable, I finally linked a very bad episode to a wedding and consumption of red wine, and then to the foods in my cupboard. Since eliminating sulphites, I have had NO problems …..’ Responses were too numerous to include this time and will be in the next newsletter.


New talking point


A reader writes: ‘my attempts at hiding vegetables didn't work until I got advice from the failsafe forum to cook, puree and freeze vegetables in cubes, then add just one cube at first working up to more.’


What is the most useful hint you have learned from other failsafers?




See http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/support-factsheets/failsafe-support

The list of local contacts has been completely updated with the help of Jenny Ravlic of Additive Education. Many thanks to Joanne (Armidale), Jenny (Blue Mountains), Tracy (Forster), Kim and Rhonda (Lismore), Darani (Newcastle), Ruth (Newcastle), Jennifer (Sydney), Llewellyn (Goondiwindi), Ross (Rockhampton), Samantha (Townsville), Deborah, Ann, Erica, Rachel and Denny (Darwin), Rachel (Darwin River), Liz, Sonia and Teresa (Adelaide), Nicole (Mt Gambier), Jean (Hobart), Lisa (Launceston), Robin (St Helens), Tarnee (Seymour), Marnie (Bunbury), Carla (Brazil), Susannah (UK) and Reitjie (South Africa) for their help over the past years and welcome to new faces below and thanks again to the old hands who continue to help.

Local contacts can generally answer some questions about failsafe eating and many have brochures and a copy of the DVD to lend out. They can also advise on supportive dietitians locally.


Email support groups: we currently recommend failsafe3 for beginners. It is the smallest of the big general groups.


Note that the Failsafebaby group had to be closed due to a Yahoo error and a renewed Failsafebaby2 group has now started – email ‘subscribe’ to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


A new Central Coast (of NSW) support group may be starting – email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested.


Online Nutritional Analysis for $49 is available from an APD (accredited practicing dietitian) who also supervises the RPA elimination diet. It is a simple and convenient way to have a quick check for adequacy of nutrients particularly if the diet is somewhat restricted in variety of food groups. Worth doing when you have finished challenges and settled into the diet: www.optimumintake.com.au.


Supportive health professionals: We were very pleased to have supportive pediatrician Elizabeth Pickford and dietitian Jane Dostine from the Peadiatrix clinic at our recent talk in Castle Hill, Sydney www.paediatrix.com.au. Our list of supportive health professionals has grown since our recent lecture tour - for someone in your area, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Over 3,000 people attended Sue Dengate’s recent May-June 2008 talks in a program remarkable for its warm support and increased level of knowledge of food intolerance, with 20 talks in 5 states requiring 7,500km of driving. Thanks to the many unpaid organizers and in particular to Peta & Vicky (Port Macquarie), Belinda & Bonnie (Wagga Wagga), Sheryl & Jan (Canberra), Debbie & Caroline (Devonport), Lisa (Launceston), Diane (Hobart), Marg & Colleen (Frankston), John (Mornington), Kaz & Kirsty (Warrnambool), Irene, Peter, Adrian & Kathy, and Helen & Chris (Ballarat), Tracey (Mt Gambier), Bronwyn (Adelaide), Korina, Hadyn & Carol (Woy Woy), Erica & Matthew (Castle Hill), Tammy (Ipswich), Ann & family (Brisbane), and Bernadette & Debbie (Maclean).


Sue Dengate is a speaker at the 10th Annual Food Regulations and Labelling Standards Conference on Tuesday 18th November at Sydney Harbour Marriott http://www.informa.com.au/conferences/legal-affairs-conference


Sue will also be talking to the BFA (Biological Farmers of Australia in Armidale (28 November) and Coffs Harbour (29 November) – details will be put on website when available.


Sue will not be speaking in New Zealand in 2008 but hopes to do so early in 2009.




NOW AVAILABLE in Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Nepali and USA. http://fedup.com.au/information/support/food-intolerance-brochures. Translators for other languages please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Printable trifold brochures on food intolerance and oppositional defiance are available. We'll post two free that you can copy, or you can buy bulk copies at cost $A0.26 each plus postage. See instructions on the website for accessing pdf versions. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with enquiries.


We loved this comment from one satisfied failsafer: "Ah, the answer to my prayers. I had no idea the brochure even existed, but thanks so much for directing me to it. I am not very Internet savvy, however I found it easy enough. Regarding possible opposition to failsafeing within the child care setting ... now all I have to do is hand over a copy of this and let them ask questions! Thanks again. I highly recommend everyone print this out if you don't already have a copy, it sure cuts out the "but WHY can't your kid have (insert food here)?" questions. Great for grandparents too."



Cook’s corner


Raw egg warning: using raw egg, especially for infants and children can carry a risk of salmonella poisoning and raw egg white may cause biotin deficiency – thanks to Helen



· Thank you for the magic cordial recipe - the kids love it! I add a small teaspoon of beetroot juice in the 2 litre bottle of diluted cordial and the boys say it looks just like the ‘bad stuff’!! - thanks to Heidi


· Just thought I'd let you know that I finally got around to cooking Chickadamias from your cookbook - except I left out the garlic and added a bit of sunflower oil. I don’t like the smell of cooking chickpeas but once they are done, that smell is gone and they taste great! - Leah


Quick maple chicken

In this easy stir fry, vegetables are steamed first.


400g pkt of Hokkien Noodles, colour-free (or even pasta)

6 cups failsafe vegetables, finely chopped (celery, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, choko, swede, carrot if permitted)

400-500g chicken thighs, cubed

1 spring onion, sliced

2/3 cup failsafe chicken stock or water

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tbsp canola oil

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

½ tsp citric acid

salt to taste.


Cook noodles according to directions on the packet. Chop and steam or microwave vegetables. In a preheated frypan or wok with a little failsafe oil, stir fry chicken pieces and shallots over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add steamed vegetables and noodles and cook for a further 3 minutes. Combine chicken stock, cornflour, oil, maple syrup and citric acid into a sauce and pour over. Stir gently until heated through and thickened. Serves 4 immediately.


Anne’s quick slice

Anne says ‘this is the recipe I use whenever I need to take a plate’. We were very grateful when Anne and the finB group gave me a container of this slice as a gift after the Mansfield presentation in July! It’s gluten-free but appeals to everyone.


60 g butter

1 tbsp golden syrup

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup SR gluten-free flour

½ cup rice flour


Melt butter and syrup together in microwave. Mix in sugar, then egg, fold in flours. Pour into a well greased slice tin and bake for 10-12 minutes at 180 degrees C. – thanks to Anne


The FAILSAFE Newsletter: You can have this Newsletter emailed to you for free about every three months, and also see it in colour with graphics on www.fedup.com.au.



© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to Kathleen and Jenny from Additive Education and finM, Anne and Brenda from finB, Julie Eady of Additive Alert, Robin from finCant, Helen, Leah, Michelle and all others mentioned above who have contributed to this issue. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up, Fed Up with Asthma, Fed Up with ADHD and the Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, (Murdoch Books).