Fedup Newsletters


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


UAE bans nasty foods: why can't Australia?

Chicken crimpy behaviour

Meniere’s and food intolerance

The end of nitrate/nitrite preservatives?

Now targeting: Quiz: can you spot the SIX nasty additives?

Research: New baby guidelines on allergy for eggs and peanuts; 3 papers in Journal of Food Intolerance:

Contribution of food additives to worldwide variations in the prevalence of childhood asthma symptoms
How many children are affected by food additives? - a pilot trial
Dietary Management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a review

FPIES (food protein‐induced enterocolitis syndrome)

In brief: India ahead of Australia again, not just in cricket; EFSA to share scientific data on open platform; Rosemary extract, high in salicylates, coming to a food near you

Your questions: What exactly is a food additive?; How many additives are in our food supply and are they tested for safety?

Success stories: [1507] – [1520]

Failsafe shopping list: Check out important updates!

Factsheets: over 100 science-based information sheets on symptoms and additives plus video resources. Toothpaste and sulphite factsheets updated.

Support community: Failsafers talking to each other. UK facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/380347182034474/ again accessible.

Cook's corner: access to thousands of delicious recipes

Thanks and admin:



The latest newsletter has some interesting news - especially the UAE school food ban. Why can't Australia do that?

Reader stories this time include the very moving courage award winner:

         "After 44 years of health problems … I was about as near death as I would ever care to be" (due to dietary salicylates) -from story [1513]

3 reactions to "yellow hell" (increasingly used annatto 160b), from a child's insomnia to severe adult migraines:

"total sleeplessness ... my son stays awake all night after having some!" - stories [1520], [1519], [1507]

And a report about a non-supportive husband with facebook comments that made me laugh out loud:

"hubby is now on board and has made amends... with flowers!!" - from story [1518]

A major website update is underway to meet the reality that most people now use phones to access the website. Step 1 was a mobile-friendly shop, more coming.

 - Sue Dengate


UAE bans nasty foods: why can't Australia?


Last week, the UAE ministry of education published a list of food items that are no longer allowed for sale in schools, including chocolate, soft drinks and fries. This ban, implemented across all seven emirates and mostly removing the very additives to which food intolerant people react, follows a similar ban in Dubai school canteens in 2011. When you see the list of large companies who have agreed to support this policy, you wonder why this cannot happen in Australia and even around the ever-fattening world? Read full blog

Chicken crimpy behaviour

A failsafe mother wrote about her sister, who tries to do failsafe but gets slack:

"her boy was running around in circles and hasn't done it for ages until the last 24 hours..."

What did he eat?

"She said she met a friend at the park and he had gone nuts on chicken crimpies ... disgusting... could it be that?"

A look at the ingredients

The ingredients include Flavour enhancers (E621, E635) - that's MSG and MSG boosters. Plus natural flavour. Altogether that suggests a big dose of both artificial and natural glutamates. So YES -  those crackers could cause behavioural changes in a child, as reported by our readers. Read full blog

Meniere’s and food intolerance


A woman wrote:

"I was told I might have Meniere's. My hearing is affected and it's awful ... If you have any information, success stories, etc. about this, please tell me where to look"

I sent her the information on food intolerance.  Two weeks later, she wrote back:

“re Meniere's, the tinnitus has gotten much quieter and my ear hasn't felt stuffed …”

Meniere's can involve:

-  repeated attacks of vertigo (dizziness, spinning head)
 - tinnitus (ringing or other noises in the ears)
-  hyperacusis (sensitivity to noise)
-  fluctuating but progressive hearing loss

The ototoxicity of salicylates has only recently been recognised Read full blog

The end of nitrate/nitrite preservatives?


For years, our food regulators have told us they are safe. But we failsafers avoid preservatives (249-252) used in cured meats because they can cause a wide range of symptoms like headache, stutter, eczema, mania and depression.

Now, in the starkest warning yet about nitrites (249, 250) that turn cured products pink, food and medical experts and politicians in the UK have united to tell the meat industry to stop adding these cancer-causing chemicals to bacon and other cured meat products.

“...there is evidence that consumption of processed meats containing these chemicals results in 6,600 bowel cancer cases every year in the UK – four times the fatalities on British roads" they said and are campaigning for the issue to be taken as seriously as sugar levels in food. Read full blog



This is the ingredient label for American Cheez-It crackers cheddar nachos flavour Can you spot the SIX nasty additives? Answer here
Can you answer these questions?

1. Is cultured dextrose a kind of yoghurt, a kind of sugar or a nasty preservative?

2. Wraps can have more nasty additives than bread - true or false

3. Is there any MSG in a product that says "no added MSG"?

4. Which group of additives are most likely to cause asthma?

5. It's OK to put artificial colours in children's toothpaste because they don't swallow it - true or false?

6. Artificial colours in your vitamin supplements or cough medicine don't have to be listed on the label - true or false?

[Answers: 1c, 2 true, 3 there usually is, 4 sulphites220-228, 5 false, 6 true] See more quizzes


New baby guidelines on allergy for eggs and peanuts

All babies should have eggs and peanuts introduced into their food before they turn one, even if they are at high risk of having an allergic reaction, new Australian guidelines by the  Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) recommend. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2019/210/2/australasian-society-clinical-immunology-and-allergy-infant-feeding-allergy 

3 papers in Journal of Food Intolerance

We have posted three research papers about food intolerance because we do not have the resources to re-write them after each journal rejection. See them here or download directly using links in each paper.

Contribution of food additives to worldwide variations in the prevalence of childhood asthma symptoms. Dengate S, Dengate H (2004). J Food Intolerance No 1.

Abstract: Food additive consumption can explain the increase in asthma symptoms associated with the Western lifestyle; international variations in childhood asthma prevalence including high rates in English-speaking and Spanish-speaking South American  and lower rates in European and developing countries; higher asthma rates in preschoolers; and a decline in childhood asthma in some countries.

How many children are affected by food additives? - a pilot trial. Dengate H, Dengate S, Watt M (2008). J Food Intolerance No 2.

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To determine the proportion of children affected behaviourally or physically by 56 common food additives. METHOD: Behaviour and health were rated for 49 children who avoided food additives for two weeks and for 46 children who continued with their normal diet. RESULTS: Rating 14 behavioural symptoms, teachers reported that 69% of all children improved at the end of two weeks; parents reported that 53% improved. For children able to show improvement, teachers reported that 89% improved; parents reported that 59% improved. Parents observed that at least 25% of all children improved in sleeping, headaches, stomach aches, rashes or bedwetting by avoiding food additives for two weeks in a normal school setting. CONCLUSION: More than half of school age children may be affected by common food additives.  IMPLICATIONS: The appropriate educational and public health response would be to reduce the use of food additives that contribute to behavioural and physical disorders.

Dietary Management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a review. Dengate S (2017). J Food Intolerance No 3.

Abstract: The effects of diet on ADHD behaviours is reviewed. Early studies failed to eliminate sufficient problem-causing foods, to recognise the validity of parental observations, to rate adequately some of the most common symptoms such as irritability and sleep disturbance rather than hyperactivity; and focused on the effects of sugar, which has been shown not to cause behaviour changes. More recent studies show that additive-free diets alone are of little benefit and broader dietary intervention is required. The mechanism for behavioural reactions to foods is food intolerance, not allergy. A low-chemical elimination diet followed by challenges can assist in identifying provoking food chemicals. Dietary management can be part of multimodal treatment of ADHD. Parents who wish to pursue dietary management should be assisted in their efforts and referred to a dietitian.

FPIES (food protein‐induced enterocolitis syndrome)

FPIES is a little-known food allergy most commonly affecting infants under two. Most children grow out of FPIES by their third birthday. In Australia, the most commonly reported food responsible for FPIES is rice, followed by cow's milk, egg, oats and chicken. However, in Mediterranean countries, fish tends to be a trigger. An FPIES reaction is delayed: roughly two hours after eating the food, the child will begin vomiting profusely, sometimes also appearing quite "pale and floppy" and even hypothermic. Symptoms subside after a few hours.

Food protein‐induced enterocolitis syndrome: guidelines summary and practice recommendations. Sam Mehr and Dianne E Campbell. Med J Aust 2019; 210 (2): 94-99. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2019/210/2/food-protein-induced-enterocolitis-syndrome-guidelines-summary-and-practice


India ahead of Australia again, not just in cricket

The Food Safety Standards Authority of India will ban 'frivolous' terms such as 'natural', 'fresh', 'traditional', 'premium', 'best' and more on the labels of processed foods unless these meet certain standards. In the meantime, these are the 'trending food claims', largely unregulated, now used on Australian/NZ food labels: 100% Natural,  Vegan,  Superfood,  Free Range,  Healthy,  Made in Australia, and Live cultures, according to soldout workshops run by FoodLegal http://www.foodlegal.com.au/events/  https://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2018/11/28/No-more-false-claims-FSSAI-finalises-ban-of-frivolous-terms-on-processed-food-labels See also blog on how India fixed the 'no added MSG' scam

EFSA to share scientific data on open platform

In January 2019 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced that it would publish the scientific data on food consumption habits, pesticide residues in food, chemical contaminants and additives in food, foodborne disease outbreaks and antimicrobial resistance on an open-access electronic platform. Let us see how long it takes for the Australia/New Zealand food regulator FSANZ to undertake this simple step.....

Rosemary extract, high in salicylates, coming to a food near you

Rosemary extract was approved as a food additive in November 2018, months after it started being used in various foods and some months before requested scientific reports are to be provided. See story [841] about eczema-type rash linked to rosemary extract in farex, the warning (below) about Smith’s chips  and keep an eye open.  http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/applications/Pages/A1158%e2%80%93Rosemaryextractasafoodadditive.aspx 


Q. What exactly is a food additive?

Food additives are substances added to food to extend the storage life of the food or enhance its taste, appearance, or other qualities, particularly after processing.

Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling (with vinegar), salting as with bacon, using sugar for preserving or using sulfur dioxide as with wines.

With the advent of processed foods in the second half of the twentieth century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin. Some of these appear as ingredients, and some have numbers and are regulated by government. Others do not.

Q. How many additives are in our food supply and are they tested for safety?

There are currently about 350 permitted food additives in Australia/New Zealand as regulated by government. About 50 are most likely to cause adverse reactions.

Government safety testing is deliberately limited to toxicological and allergic reactions. There is no testing for behavioural and learning reactions and scientific evidence of such harm, such as changes to gut microbiota, is routinely ignored. Food additives are only tested one at a time and not in the target foods despite scientific evidence of interactive effects.

For instance, we have known since Roman times that many people react with asthmatic symptoms to sulphite preservatives, and even the conservative World Health Organisation says 20-30% of asthmatic children react to sulphites.  Australian research has found that up to 65% of asthmatic children are affected. For this reason, any level of sulphites above 10 ppm must appear on the food Ingredients Panel.  Nevertheless, the drug company-sponsored National Asthma Council of Australia continues to say of asthma and food that “Food is not a common trigger for asthma”!

People with food intolerance can have a very wide and distressing range of symptoms, both physical and behavioural, but the absence of scientific evidence for food additives as a cause for many of these is taken to mean that the additives are not the cause. 

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.

People tell us that stories are so useful and positive!

[1520] 160b annatto: Irritability and total sleeplessness (February 2019)

My son has ASD and I was lucky enough to stumble across the horrible effects it had on him over a year ago. His symptoms are irritability and total sleeplessness ... he stays awake all night after having some! I truly believe this is a harmful substance and should be banned. It's confusing because it's a 'natural colour'. I could see a lot of people not knowing that this additive could cause such a huge side effect! – Jenny

See annatto 160b factsheet

[1519] 160b annatto: “I was literally banging my head on the wall” (February 2019)

I always avoid foods that gave me migraines, such as bananas etc but then I started getting severe migraines and realised it was 160b in ice cream. It was because I decided to have a little every evening when a container was brought for the grandkids and they decided they did not feel like it. By the end of the week I was literally banging my head on the wall. So I researched what I had been eating all week and found it had to be 160b. Now I try to avoid it, but whenever I get a migraine I look back at the package and always find that it was in it, when in the past it never was! – Kathy

See also headbanging factsheet

[1518] “hubby is now on board and has made amends... with flowers!!” (January 2019)


Just needing to vent... my husband spent months sabotaging the diet to prove his belief that food has no impact on behaviour. He was secretly feeding our son bananas and lollies. At one point I laughed because our son threw up in the car after eating one. The last few days have shown very high salicylates to be an issue and still hubby thinks there’s no connection. How the heck do you get your partners and family on board? I’m so frustrated because my son is being quietly tormented for longer than necessary all in the name of proving a point.

Update... hubby is now on board and has made amends... with flowers!! ????- Anna

See full moving and funny transcript of the facebook thread, with permission, because it is too long to summarise https://www.facebook.com/groups/128458328536/permalink/10156908872873537/

Some edited highlights (names changed):

I told him he’s wasting my time because I’m the sucker filling out food diaries for myself and our son... then he complains I don’t have time for him... well genius, why do you think that is???!!!????♀️???? - Anna

For ages I tried to tell my family that there were certain foods that triggered behaviours in my son. Finally with eliminating the foods I could pinpoint my son is a completely different child... finally I have a happy child and family - Mel.

The challenges were showing DH that it wasn’t just growing up and learning, when all the old stuff suddenly came back on cue ... then disappeared again. Although still wasn’t really convinced until about 3 reactions later, following clear baseline in between, where I accurately predicted each day ahead of time - Tracy

This is it!! I can predict the days that are gonna go pear shaped and he keeps saying it’s just a coincidence ???? - Anna

My daughter is sensitive to dairy and when I first noticed I told my husband. He didn’t believe me and gave her a whole cup of milk then experienced her full aggressive meltdown. It took seeing it for himself to realise... after that I had his support and understanding - Tanya

I wish my hubby would acknowledge what he sees... he just keeps denying it... it’s so frustrating! - Anna

Are we married to the same man? - Mary

I would simply say there’s not a person on the planet that would choose this diet if it didn’t have a benefit to outweighs the sacrifices that come with the diet. The quicker you can reach baseline, the quicker you can rule it out or set a course for a new way of eating for you and your daughter. One stuff up just prolongs the process and isn’t helpful - Danielle

I did point out that he has delayed us getting true results and our son is being tormented longer than he should be by this diet – Anna

I know what I’d be giving up for him!!! - Meg

I suspect he has food issues too lol he’s a sceptic by nature so it’s difficult to get him onboard with anything – Anna

I would respectfully point out that your child is the one suffering here - not him. Request he shelve his ego temporarily for the sake of the health of your child. Good luck - Jacqui

I actually had a grandparent say "this is all bullshit” (meaning that food doesn't affect behaviour) while pointing a finger at my 6 year old son who was in meltdown after a reaction. I respectfully lost my shit. This journey is hard enough without that rubbish. I said “you don't have to like it. You don't have to agree. But keep it to yourself and stay out of it.” End of discussion. Harder obviously with a husband - Jacqui

My response is..."When you've read some literature on the subject and your opinion is based on more than just your upbringing and hunches then we can talk. Until then stand back and let me get on with it because what we've done up to this point clearly hasn't worked for him" - Jacqui

Have you tried taking him to a dietician appointment so he hears the symptoms and reactions from a professional? Maybe having a third party involved might help convince him - Laura

Yes actually! I thought the same thing... he was politely insolent to her ???? - Anna

Have you tried getting a new hubby  - Paul

My husband is similar, doesn’t believe it’s a thing and resists and complains, although doesn’t deliberately sabotage. Something we were advised, which I think is sensible, is to have one parent do the food diary and the other monitor symptoms... – Jen

You can definitely win this battle together! Let’s get creative. Lock the pantry. Hahahahaha – Jan

[1517] Failsafe with a baby – facebook thread (January 2019)

Could I please hear from anyone trialling the fs diet with a baby? How did you work out the severity and presence of symptoms? We have an appointment with a dietician to (hopefully!!) work out the cause of our 9.5 month old being awake and uncomfortable after dinner for up to 8 hours sometimes. The allergist suggested amines and salicylates since the problem foods are all listed as high or very high – Cath

My little one was confirmed with a salicylate intolerance at 10 months after a strict 6 week elimination diet. My suggestion would be to have a food dairy to track all food and fluid intake and reactions. I specifically tracked sleeping and stool as well as these were big ticket items for us. I would also recommend from my experience starting at the beginning with the elimination diet then introducing new foods in a timeframe agreed with dietician and your baby’s symptoms. Be flexible though as it can change. I still track 14 months on! – Laura

We started when my daughter was 3 months old. She was solely breastfed so meant I needed to do it. We tested me, and she was tested through my milk at 9 months. We did more testing when she was about 3. Early tests gave us back salicylates – Anne

We started dabbling with the diet at that age but didn’t commit fully until just after 1yr. After 6 weeks on failsafe our boy finally started to relax, play independently and sleep through. Good luck with your bub! – Carol

I went through this when my son was 6 months old. He wouldn't settle to sleep, had eczema issues, was constipated despite being breastfed and seemed almost hyperactive. The elimination diet was probably harder for me as I was breastfeeding so had to do it as well, at six months he hadn't eaten a lot of solids. But by day 3 we went through a bad withdrawal phase and by day ten my son slept 5+hrs for the first time in 4 months. He is now a much happier healthier child (and he sleeps!), and is slowly building his tolerance levels so we are introducing new foods. He is now 16 months and is starting to tolerate moderate salicylates and amines. The elimination showed sensitivities to amines, glutamate s and salicylate so we are on a long journey but his recent improvements have given me hope. The downsides of this diet were really for me. I was very stressed and sleep deprived when I started it. It contributed to my milk supply drying up and also impacted on my mental health which to be fair was not in good shape when I started. I lost 5kg unintentionally and was so bored with the food I lost interest in eating. I wish I had stopped breastfeeding to be honest earlier so I didn't put myself through it. No one warned me that my milk supply could be threatened but I also know it was likely a combination of things. I was however grateful to have such a good medical team behind me even if it did mean travelling 3 hrs initially. Best wishes to you and your child! - Cassie

We started elimination levels on my LO when he was 1. I was still BFing, so did it too. Amazing improvement in a few days. We trialed foods in my diet (ie through my milk) before trialing the same foods on him directly. I strongly suggest you keep a detailed food diary that includes anything that goes into your mouth or his as well as his symptoms (stool consistency/mucous/blood, temperature (if unwell), vomiting, diorhhea etc) & anything important that may have happened that day (eg went to day care, birthday party). This includes drinks/liquids as well as medications & brands of food. I discovered when we changed brands on one item we saw a reaction. Also, it meant if my LO needed pain relief, the kiddy Panadol syrups were not ok, so we need to buy the tablet form (without preservatives) & crush the tablet & give a portion of the tablet based on his weight (I recommend talking to your pharmacist about suitable dose). We found similar with Amoxil & other meds. Good luck, mumma - Sarah

My daughter was the same, tummy aches didn't sleep and it was eggs. She was breast fed so even if I ate eggs she was affected – Jen

We started FS when bub was about 12 weeks old ???? He was breastfed and suffered extreme gas and silent reflux and was either being fed or screaming, very rarely sleeping. It was difficult to work through and I made many mistakes unfortunately. We kept a strict food diary which helped me go back and analyse things as needed.

We saw improvement after a few months when I started to get the elimination stuff right.... his main trigger is salicylates so he’s still relatively low sals at nearly 3. I must admit it was a relief when we weaned at 2.5 and I was able to eat “normal” foods again.

We found challenges very difficult because with young children there is always something else going on - it took us until he was 18 months to get through them. Since challenging we’ve been able to reintroduce amines, soy and dairy (gluten was never an issue for us).

I love the RPA handbook for a quick easy reference guide for what he can and cannot eat. I’ve also used it to explain to family what we’re doing with diet because they didn’t understand and we’re quite critical.

My other tip as they get older is to continue to look out for behavioural manifestation of reactions. Our sons tummy symptoms have lessened but the behavioural symptoms have significantly increased - Karen

(Sue comment: make sure your dietitian is familiar with RPAH elimination diet.  See supportive dietitians)

[1516] 220: sulphites, asthma and dried fruit (January 2019)

Since about 18 months of age, our son has had asthma on and off and it took us a while to work out what was going on. One of the things that was happening was that every time he ate dried fruit, three or four days later he'd be sensitive to things. So if he had a chest infection, he'd have an asthma attack where normally he wouldn't. Or if we had a cold snap in the middle of the night - like around springtime - he'd had an asthma attack, starting out coughing, just as a cough and then it would develop into a full blown asthma attack. Eventually, we realised if we could keep the dried fruits and sulphites out of his diet, a lot of his problems would go away - Darryl (from our DVD 2006)

See how few dried apricots can affect your asthmatic child

Asthma and food factsheet

[1515] Update on Crohn's disease due to salicylates from 2011 (January 2019)


Update after 8 years: We are all doing well. My daughter with Crohn's is doing well although she flares up sometimes with too much dairy and now knows how much is enough. The funny thing is her Crohn's symptoms aren't really there anymore, it's just her top lip that swells with too much dairy (see photo - the paediatrician called it an angular stomatitis).  Her mood is also affected. We haven't been following failsafe to the letter either so pretty good considering. I often recommend failsafe to people and know that if they just tried it, that it would work for them as all the nasties in food are just terrible - Shelley

See more [1060]

[1514] 200: 220: 282: Atrial fibrillation due to preservatives (January 2019)

I am a 60 plus year old woman who has suffered from Atrial Fibrillation for a number of years. I noticed after some time that it was triggering about 40 minutes after partaking in food and have spent many years trying to pinpoint the triggers. Sorbate preservatives 200 and 202, plus 282 are most definitely my triggers also alcohol which I have stopped drinking. I get triggered mainly by sauces and dressings or anything with those preservatives in.  I do wonder how many people are unaware that their Atrial Fibrillation is triggered by certain additives or food groups. It took me many years to pinpoint my triggers, and I now have to be very careful especially when dining out – Sandie

[1513] Salicylates "I picked out my funeral dress" (December 2018) COURAGE AWARD

I would like to thank you for what is most certainly the best website on the planet. After 44 years of health problems which severely escalated 9 years ago, I was about as near death as I would ever care to be. Doctors were treating me for autoimmune neuroimmunological syndrome… with huge amounts of medication and big scary treatments of intravenous immunoglobulin. They told me I would likely die if it didn't work... Two months after the treatment, I started to get even more ill and I picked out my funeral dress. And that's when the doctors pretty much gave up. I was severely disabled and in huge amounts of pain. I had become so toxic I was going into anaphylaxis with nothing but light needed to trigger it. Every time I ate, I would end up on the floor or seizing. When we worked out it was something environmental, we started with a low histamine diet. But I was eating blueberries, broccoli and olive oil, and I really thought it was all over, until I worked out the Salicylate connection.  Finding a truly reliable resource of information was hard, your website is just that, and continues to be an invaluable asset to my survival. By connecting the preservatives and amines, your website has been life-saving. The reversal of my multitude of horrific symptoms is nothing short of miraculous. I lost 25kg of inflammation fluid in just weeks, I had been trying to use my poor body carrying that for 9 years, whilst trying to eat ‘healthy’ vegetables to lose the ‘fat’, ironically getting bigger and more ill. Thank you for all the time and energy you put into what you do, I will be forever grateful - Sara Altman, Ibiza

LATER: Awareness about PST Enzyme deficiency is something the medical profession globally could stand to improve on, and fast, before they pointlessly over-medicate and nearly kill the next poor sufferer. I have also never felt better than I do today, or understood the human body as much as I do now. You guys, along with the work of Rosemary Waring and Anne Swain back in the 70s, are the reason I am alive - S.

[1512] One-liners (December 2018)

A well respected paed recommended fruit to fatten up our bub who was not gaining weight and had terrible rashes and screamed half the night. So glad we got onto RPAH not long after. He was unwilling to consider food as being an issue – Clare

Same here with our boy! Diet has been a godsend for my sanity! – Kay

RPAH has proven helpful with all 5 of mine. Some doctors might not 'agree' with it but they don't see my children & their reactions..if I can manage mine best by following RPAH then I'm happy to do so, even if not everyone agrees with that choice – Lyn

The proof is in the pudding (the failsafe one????????) my son stopped waking every sleep cycle screaming in pain when we commenced RPAH – Danielle

Thank you for all the amazing hard work that you both do for all of the food chemical intolerant people – Bernadette

[1511] 621: Austism/ ASD “aggressive behaviour” (December 2018)

Our boy had aggressive behaviours come out when he did the glutamates challenge when he was 2. He scratched me, but me, growled like a tiger and threw a kids chair at me. Parmesan cheese, soy sauce, salt and vinegar chips were the worst. Then the bread in Australia always has vinegar in it ????????♀️. We make our own bread. He has got better over last 5 years but we still make bread products and avoid salt and vinegar chips like the plague.

We did systematic challenges under supervision for salicylates, glutamates, benzoates (with sunscreen too), amines and ribonucleotides. He reacted to all of them. Had a massive ribo rash. We initially found out because he was hospitalized twice with breathing issues when he was a year old. He was on strict Failsafe for 5 years. Is diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and executive functioning disorder and born with a low immune system. I always say God gave him to me to learn all about these things so I can help students in my classroom (Year one). We’re just finishing a year travelling the USA in an RV and have kept him on his diet as much as we can. He did Distance Education this year for school and continues to get high grades - Tina

[1510] 621: Not ASD but! (December 2018)

My DD12 doesn’t have ASD, although when reacting some traits would make you question. She has a high tolerance for glutamates, being able to freely eat things like Vegemite (challenged that one separately for a week to confirm) but a single meal with actual MSG or the flavour enhancers is too high and needs to be strictly avoided.

It’s hard to spot without the elimination and challenge as her reaction is delayed, remaining completely calm for 18-20 hours after ingestion, but then Bang! Full on emotional meltdown with unstoppable angry crying and ranting even when removed from the situation, such as continuing to yell from the other side of the road at a friend about something minor. This then continues for a full 5 days, from a single ingestion, worse each day when triggered with all emotions ramped up (happy, sad, angry, whatever ... they’re all maxed out) to the point where my normally calm and adored by her teacher girl in Prep worked her way through all levels of disciplinary procedure to the Head of Junior School in the space of 3 days as nobody could handle her. She then woke up on day 6 calm as, back to normal, full emotional regulation back on track.

No idea what glutamates do to DD14. She’s my most sensitive one. After elimination when little, having never had it, she refused to eat it. We could never do the challenge. Still can’t. All we know is she’s not as sensitive as her sister as she had no notable reaction to one dose, but refused a second, and while she’ll still have a few salt and vinegar chips she says even the smell of most other MSG foods makes her sick – Tracy

[1509] 621: Autism/ASD and food: a teachers’ aide perspective (December 2018)

I work as a teachers’ aide in special schools and we mainly look after children with autism as well as children with challenging behaviours and high needs. I can tell you from my experience assisting children with autism during snack and lunchtime that most of the kids come with processed food, usually chips and crackers.  Some eat up to 4 small packets a day, as they like the crunchy texture. I can see a child go from calm to extreme change in behaviour after eating foods like BBQ Shapes and some types of Harvest Snaps, both containing glutamates , on top of having sweet snack foods containing 160b (the colour does terrible things to these children but that's another story). Parents feel guilty and giving kids these foods which become their favourites and could never take them away as it's become part of their routine. Eating changes their behaviours significantly, hand flapping increases, closing ears, pacing etc compared to the odd child that has a strict diet of only protein and limited veg and fruit. It doesn't take away the autism but the child is a great deal calmer and easier for us to manage - Sheree

[1508] 621: Autism/ASD “extreme anger that is easily triggered” (December 2018)

My ASD son, now 18, is definitely sensitive to glutamates, both artificially added and naturally occurring. His tolerance has improved over the years - he can have small amounts without too much effect, eg some peas in food. Artificial glutamates are another story - definite behavioural changes with these. I have even noticed changes after eating certain rice crackers that have soy sauce in the ingredients list.

It has been harder to control his diet now that he is 18 - he often sneaks food that he is not supposed to eat, and is in denial about the effects on his mood and behaviour. We get nasty mood swings and extreme anger that is easily triggered. He is not a small 18 year old, and it means that sometimes we are all walking on eggshells around him to try not to trigger the anger. He is never violent to people, but often throws things, smashes things, slams doors etc. As you can imagine, this is very stressful to deal with and live with. He is already on medication to help with his behaviour. We have done the failsafe diet since shortly after my son was diagnosed, so about 14 years – Leanne

[1507] 160b annatto: "yellow hell" (November 2018)

We’ve been following a largely failsafe diet for my kids for over 10 years and it’s been a life-saver.

A well-meaning friend bought the kids the brown tub Bulla Classics Real Ice Cream Vanilla ice cream which has annatto B in it. An hour later my 13 year old had hives come up all over her face, as well as feeling generally rubbish (her words) and being very cranky (my observation). The kids call annatto "yellow hell" because they all react to it in some form, and it is showing up in more and more food - Hannah

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


***WARNING*** Smith chips - now contain rosemary extract. No longer failsafe.

***WARNING***Kingland Dairy Free Cream Cheese is not failsafe as it contains 200-203 sorbates. As do all their product range now, including their dairy free Greek yoghurt, except tofu. Not yet corrected in RPAH handbook.

UPDATE Bulla real dairy Vanilla icecream
– both dark blue and light blue containers have curcumin or turmeric (100) but the colour of the light blue container is very white so very little must be used. According to feedback, it seems to be well tolerated.

UPDATE: Omo Sensitive: We strongly advise those sensitive to fragrances to smell it every time they purchase the product - “The sensitive/non-fragranced range has had a fragrance in all sizes. THIS IS NOT THE SENSITIVE RANGE THAT IS LIGHTLY FRAGRANCED (down on the bottom of the bottle in in white/pink).  We have the same products here at home in different size bottles and they have very different smells. It could be the reason some people react to it and others don’t” – thanks Melissa. (Sue's comment: when I had severe fragrance sensitivity, I could not tolerate the Omo sensitive (non-fragranced) at all. Eventually I learned to do the washing in water only, no added detergents. If the clothes were too dirty, I soaked them in soda bicarb solution before washing).

UPDATE: Berries, None (Berries are NOT suitable for your supervised elimination diet. For people who can tolerate salicylates but not amines, fresh blueberries & mulberries when sweet and ripe are listed as HIGH in salicylates. All other berries like raspberry, boysenberry & blackberry are now listed in the VERY HIGH column with both sals and amines – except for strawberries & cranberries which seem to be VERY HIGH in salicylates only. See also blackberry story [1386] “A&E seemed totally unaware of the salicylate link”, strawberry sundae story [304] “I assaulted my wife” and blueberry story [1513] “I picked out my funeral dress”.)

COMMENT: Lys moisturiser - there have been some questions about the recommendation of the Lys moisturiser. The coconut oil is the last and smallest ingredient, it is not being eaten and the product was formulated by a person who has worked at RPAH for many years so can be trusted to know that there are no reported reactions. So yes it is OK for skin application but, as we always say, everyone is different so treat it as a challenge and report what happens.


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)

Toothpastes factsheet has been updated to include a Priceline product (but it contains SLS)

The sulphites factsheet has been updated with information on gluten-free sulphite-free flours:

Millet flour
White rice flour
Brown rice flour

Note that Ewanan brand tapioca starch is preservative free. You may be able to source cornflour organic which should be preservative free. Potato starch/ flour, cornflour (corn kernels) are soaked in sulphites when they are extracting the starch. Tapioca/arrowroot may have residual sulphites - it varies from brand to brand – thanks Teresa

Don't forget that there is great collection of short videos to help answer your questions and understand food intolerance.

Thanks for your continuing support of each other!

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


Diet not working as well as you'd hoped? One tiny mistake can make a huge difference. For fine-tuning, see the Checklist of common mistakes. Readers tell us this list is very useful. You can also ask for our Salicylate, Amine and Glutamate mistakes sheets This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Online support: Sue Dengate facebook group (14,600 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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/352777968116759/ with 5,000 members
USA facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/284241571702972/
NZ facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1011400158967643/ (membership preference given to those living in New Zealand)
UK facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/380347182034474/ again accessible

twitter-bird-blue-on-whitetweet as @failsafers (note the plural). See all tweets https://twitter.com/failsafers

Food Intolerance Network hit 11 million visitors in April 2018. Interest in food intolerance and in eating food without additives continues to grow.

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

Dietitians: for failsafe-friendly dietitians, see the regularly updated
http://fedup.com.au/information/support/dietitians There is no longer any need to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for this list.


DVD "Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” has subtitles in six languages. (In PAL format only, not available with subtitles in NTSC format. But NTSC format DVDs are at a reduced price of only $14.50 including postage through the shop on www.fedup.com.au). As a reward for reading this newsletter so thoroughly, the first two people to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their mailing address will receive a copy of our DVD free!

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


A great list of recipes at http://www.fedup.com.au/recipes/blog

You really can't do better than to get the regular newsletter from The Failsafe Table


There's a recipe index of ANY Failsafe recipes on ANY blog. So far there are more than 1,000 recipes with great photos and ideas all categorised to make it easy to search  http://pinterest.com/failsafetable/ 

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

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

And the very useful weekly meal plan website https://mealsplans.wordpress.com/
Privacy statement about emails and reports: Your email addresses and stories are never shared with anyone without your express permission. Names in stories are often changed to better protect the privacy of those providing them but the original emails are held in a secure location to provide evidence that these are real reports and that express permission to share them has been granted.

The FAILSAFE Newsletter is available free by email. Just email .

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

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

24 copies Fed Up Revised and updated at $12.50
10 copies Failsafe Cookbook Updated at $22.00
11 copies Fed Up With Children' Behaviour (NTSC format) - DVD at $14.50

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

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

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

Look inside


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

Buy direct at https://store16061019.ecwid.com/
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 2019 (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