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Failsafe 110 (June - September 2024)

  • Rising violence and ultra-processed foods
  • Diverticulitis from daily low dose aspirin - and IBS from dietary salicylates
  • ADHD and autism in dogs
  • Difficulty swallowing - Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) – “asthma of the oesophagus”
  • Ultra-processed foods linked to 32 adverse health effects
  • Common food preservative has unexpected effects on the gut microbiome
  • Reading and diet

The Food Intolerance Network - Failsafe Newsletter

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.


Rising violence and ultra-processed foods

Diverticulitis from daily low dose aspirin - and IBS from dietary salicylates

ADHD and autism in dogs

Difficulty swallowing - Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) – “asthma of the oesophagus”

Ultra-processed foods linked to 32 adverse health effects

Common food preservative has unexpected effects on the gut microbiome

Reading and diet

Cook's corner:

The Failsafe Table #78 on delicious chicken ideas

Success stories: [1671] – [1676]

[1676] One-liners (May 2024)

[1675] Has diet been helpful with ADHD? (May 2024)

[1674] Our failsafe journey (May 2024)

[1673] Myoclonic jerks and salicylates (May 2024)

[1672] Diet and fertility (April 2024)

[1671] Diverticulitis from low dose aspirin (May 2024)

Your questions:

Curious to know exactly how high in salicylates is honey?

What is your opinion of (the food intolerance blood test) LEAP MRT?

Frequently Asked Questions

Now targeting:

Recent submissions from the Food Intolerance Network

In brief:

Sue Dengate talk ECTA Conference June 2024

Chinese government acts on hidden additives – will Australia follow?

Soon we can complain direct to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Ham limited in schools in Western Australia

Histamine intolerance

On a lighter note...

Sue Dengate's famous presentation “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour”


A2 milk latest review

Sweetener neotame 961 can damage gut wall, scientists find

Failsafe shopping list:

***WARNINGS Bakers Delight WHOLEMEAL and Woolworths instore bakeries

Updated complete list of food additives, with those to avoid highlighted

Wein 'electronic mask' back in stock

Food Intolerance Resources from RPAH; SPECIAL OFFER on Friendly Food

Factsheets: over 100 science-based information sheets on symptoms and additives. See also video resources. See also story collections

Support community: Failsafers talking to each other. New and updated dietitians.

Thanks and admin:

Sue Dengate

Hello everyone

Thanks to all who contributed to this newsletter.

I have put a focus in this newsletter on an overlooked cause for rising violence that is becoming evident around us.

The most fascinating thing is that as long ago as 1965, Dr Ben Feingold suggested that certain foods could be the cause of “steadily growing … unprovoked aggression and violence”, pointing out that “not a single one of the synthetics used in our food has been subjected to the rigid investigations required for licensing drugs”.

It is time everyone started listening. Avoiding ultra-processed foods in schools would be a good start.

Now read on - Sue Dengate


Rising violence and ultra-processed foods


Violence is increasing in children, adults and against women and at the same time, ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption has been increasing.

While UPFs have been linked to many adverse health effects including obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, early death from all causes, and depression, recently, Brazilian researchers have found a connection between UPFs and domestic violence.

Additive-free school trials around the world – including ours – find that children are calmer after 10 days without additives.

Food chemicals both natural and artificial can cause aggression and violent reactions in some people. Everyone is different. The best way to find out if you are affected – and by which chemicals - is to do the RPAH elimination diet with challenges. There are many dietitians trained in this protocol.

...from failsafers

A 15 year old talks about propionate preservatives, that were introduced into Australian food in the 1990s and are now consumed every day by most people, often hidden under innocent-sounding names

Mother: "Do you find 282 affects you that badly?"
Teen: "HELL YEAH, I find a huge almost uncontrollable anger building up inside me, for no reason, and I feel I just want to punch something or someone….” [206]

Annatto (natural colour 160b)

”Annatto (160b) is one of the main things that I need to keep out of my son's diet, he cannot control his temper when he eats something containing it and is generally cranky and violent - Kristy [1352]

Improvements on the diet in an amine responder

“My 7 yo son has gone from a "Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" personality, which included plain meanness, virulent on-and-off ODD, and actual violence... to the all-around nice, bright kid I knew he was… “ [1295]

Unlabelled additive, due to the 5% labelling loophole

“Our very aggressive 5 year old improved dramatically on the elimination diet … after several weeks of excellent behaviour, he gradually deteriorated to the stage where he was uncontrollable, breaking windows and punching others… we found the culprit - unlabelled BHA 320 in vegetable oil used in a gourmet garlic paste that we had started to use more frequently. There was no effect when it was eaten occasionally, but it caused catastrophic results when used every day.” [1037]

Domestic violence due to artificial colours?

“Last weekend I assaulted my wife and did horrific damage to her face… I had been drinking… then consumed two strawberry sundae tubs of icecream ... in the past I have never reacted violently after drinking alcohol… from the ages 18-25 I experienced panic and violent moods, then I started to look at my diet. Cordials with artificial colours especially red had been a part of my diet and I noticed a link. Since then I have avoided food colours wherever possible, however I simply overlooked the strawberry sundae as I love desserts and was having a good time. I think I have stumbled on to the cause for my actions….” [304]

Feingold first suggested that foods could be the cause of “steadily growing …unprovoked aggression and violence”, pointing out that “not a single one of the synthetics used in our food has been subjected to the rigid investigations required for licensing drugs”.

It is time everyone started listening. Avoiding ultra processed foods in schools would be a good start.

READ MORE with references

Diverticulitis from daily low dose aspirin - and IBS from dietary salicylates


I had a heart attack last July and was put on prasugrel (blood thinner) and daily low dose aspirin. By the end of September, I was having stomach issues which continued to worsen ... By November, I had a CT scan that showed diverticulitis. I also had an eczema outbreak at the same time.

... About two weeks ago, I finally asked the cardiologist about quitting the aspirin and he said ok if I doubled the blood thinner. I started eating low salicylates, too. The flatulence and bloating are gone and the diarrhea is now maybe twice a week, treated with Imodium ... I definitely think the daily aspirin caused the diverticulitis and is a salicylate sensitivity – Michelle [1671] - full story below

READ MORE in blog from Sue Dengate

ADHD and autism in dogs


50 years ago, most people had never heard of autism or ADHD in children, let alone dogs. Now, studies show that dogs can have symptoms resembling either of those conditions. Called CDB (Canine Dysfunctional Behaviour), the condition is considered to be idiopathic – that is, experts don’t know what causes it.

But scientists have already shown that propionate preservatives can cause autistic type behaviours in laboratory rats, as you can see for yourself in the following video:

Vautism  (From Autism Enigma; 3:00min)

If propionate preservatives can cause autism in rats, WHY would you give it to dogs???? (or children, for that matter!)

READ MORE in blog with scientific references

Difficulty swallowing - Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) – “asthma of the oesophagus”


Some food intolerant people have difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and often blame the texture of foods. People also report oesophageal spasm which hospitals may blame on “vagus nerve issues” and treat with antispasmodic drugs.

But a more serious allergic condition is a diagnosis of “asthma of the oesophagus” or eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE).

Dysphagia may respond to diet:

"For several years I had trouble swallowing food. Nothing is anatomically wrong, so my doctors all assumed it was an anxiety symptom, even though I didn't feel anxious about anything other than having difficulty swallowing food ... I started the failsafe diet in August last year on the advice of my dietician ... now I have no trouble swallowing food. It wasn't a sudden change, but at some point it just started gradually improving and now it's completely normal" - Tammie

But given that that the Network is concerned with food intolerance, not food allergy, it is not surprising that the RPAH food intolerance protocol is not always effective for EoE. What is important, if you have these symptoms, is to find a qualified team who regularly treat EoE, so they can distinguish dysphagia from EoE as they understand that untreated EoE can lead to irreversible scarring of the food pipe.

“At the RPAH Allergy Unit we have seen hundreds of patients with EoE who have had success on the RPAH elimination diet & challenge protocol. This is done under the supervision of an immunologist and dietitian, with close monitoring” – from a dietitian

READ MORE with reader reports and dietitian recommendations

Ultra-processed foods linked to 32 adverse health effects


The world’s largest scientific review, involving nearly 10 million people, found that UPFs (ultra-processed foods) are associated with higher risks of multiple health problems. These include:

• death from any cause
• cancer
• mental health problems including depression, anxiety and sleep issues
• asthma
• heart disease
• gastrointestinal
• obesity
• diabetes type 2 and other metabolic diseases such as fatty liver disease

According to the accompanying editorial:

“Ultra-processed foods damage health and shorten life…"

"Overall, the authors found that diets high in ultra-processed food may be harmful to most—perhaps all—body systems...”

In Australia, 42% of our calories come from ultra-processed foods. Common UPFs include mass produced breads, ready-to-heat or ready-to-eat meals like nuggets, fast foods including burgers, French fries, bakery products, breakfast cereals, fruit drinks and confectionery.

Well, what took them so long to realise that these foods are harmful? Failsafers have been avoiding UPFs for decades.

READ MORE with references

Common food preservative has unexpected effects on the gut microbiome


Evidence continues to emerge of the unsafe effects of preservatives on our gut microbiomes. In fact, it is hard to find science papers which conclude there is no effect from preservatives, but these facts are completely ignored by food regulators.

The latest research fingers food preservatives that are actually antibiotics, which kill off pathogens but also kill the commensal bacteria which keep us healthy. These include Nisin 234, a popular antibiotic used in many foods, particularly in cheese in Australia, but also in foods from beer and sausage to dipping sauces.

“If too many commensal bacteria are indiscriminately killed off by antimicrobial food preservatives, opportunistic pathogenic bacteria might take their place and wreak havoc - a result no better than eating contaminated food in the first place”.

The Food Intolerance Network now shows these additives as CAUTION in the hugely popular (more than 750,000 views!) complete list of food additives.

READ MORE with scientific references.

Reading and diet


The Grattan Institute recently opined on poor Australian reading performance: “A key cause is decades of disagreement about how to teach reading”.

What about diet and academic performance?

An Australian study on the association between diet and children’s NAPLAN scores found academic performance was deleteriously associated with a nutrient-poor diet but not associated with a nutritious diet.

Researchers suggested that perhaps it is not the actual nutrition affecting performance, but that food additives such as colourings and preservatives may be negatively impacting academic performance.

Yay! We’ve been saying that for years.

READ MORE with references

Cook's Corner

You can always find more recipe ideas at or Failsafe Cookbook

Every failsafer should SUBSCRIBE TO the regular newsletter from The Failsafe Table - it is fantastic.

110AFT78 You will be spoilt for choice with these delicious images and recipes for Mother’s Day

Latest newsletter May 2024 #78 is focused on chicken ideas from creative failsafe cooks we have to give the whole list:

Chicken and Leek “Pie”
Sheet Pan Maple Chicken + Brussels Sprouts
Sticky Chicken Drumsticks
Garlic Chicken
Skinnymixer's Lunchbox Loaf
Chicken and Egg Pasta Bake
Pear Glazed Chicken Meatballs
Chicken with Pear Sauce
Butter and Garlic Chicken Wings
Creamy Chicken & Leek Parcels
Colourful Stir Fry
Easy Garlic Chicken Parcels
Maple Poppy Chicken Burgers


Links to recipes make it so easy – thanks again Rona at Domestic Diva Unleashed and her many other contacts!

You can find more great recipes at Domestic Diva Unleashed, Cooking for Oscar, Failsafe Foodie, Real Meals and Failsafe Decorated Cakes. 

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 

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

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

And the very useful weekly meal plan website

Success Stories
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!

[1676] One-liners (May 2024)

It still blows my mind how many medical issues for me have resolved themselves since being failsafe – Sarah

I've found my diet usually fixes most of my problems but doctors insist it has nothing to do with diet, yet they offer weirdo side options. ߤ䰟鄰 – Kristine

Your food intolerance information turned our whole family sunny-side up decades ago and it is a gift that keeps on giving, thank you – Tom

[1675] Has diet been helpful with ADHD? (May 2024)

My six-year-old has just been diagnosed with ADHD and we are doing the diet. Just wondering if anyone else has children with ADHD and if this has been helpful thank you – Donna

Yes very early into our ASD and ADHD diagnosis, the elimination diet certainly helped clean up a lot of food intolerance symptoms. I think looking back sleep was a number one area of improvement and then behaviour followed. Stay on track with an experienced dietician or OT who also works with food. It’s a super important part of the solution/plan for moving forward. All the best ߙ⠦ndash; Laura

It worked on two shiniest in our house. Bought all symptoms down a few levels. Cutting out salicylates was the best thing ever for my girl – Nona

Being FS myself (but not ADHD) I tried eliminating sals from my sons diet a couple of years ago (pre ADHD diagnosis) but it made no obvious difference. We only tried sals as he wasn’t having enough amines for it to likely be the culprit. It wasn’t the answer for us but I don’t doubt it’s part of the picture for some. Artificial colours are are no go for us though as is common in ADHD – Rona

Very much so. I have a son who has ADHD/ODD – Betty

Yes definitely makes a difference with my daughter who has ASD and ADHD – Joan

Yes, we did FAILSAFE at a young age due to eczema and as a bonus realised that certain things: particularly colours, flavours & preservatives (which we mostly avoided) as well as dairy would effect my daughter’s behaviour. Fast forward many years and she was diagnosed with ADHD and is still sensitives to the above – Rachel

My daughter is now thirty five. I first heard of the diet when she was in yr 5 and struggling. She was on medication from the paediatrician which was making her very withdrawn. I decided to try the diet with her. Immediately we had a different girl and we were able to take her off all meds. When she was at the end of high school finding out she was a coeliac as I am, really gave her the extra boost she needed. The failsafe diet and later going gf did not fix all of her issues and she still had to work super hard compared to her sisters. This was especially so with her social interactions but she has several uni degrees with honours plus a masters with distinction, she has been very successful in her career, is married to lovely ADHD guy who totally gets her, she has quite a few very good friends and is positively blooming in her life. She is now expecting their first baby any day and I know she will be a great parent. She is super careful about what they both eat and she has become an awesome cook, also she is right into fitness. RPA is a great resource and we have benefited both from Sue’s books, website and the RPA clinic and its materials – Debby

My child had adhd tendencies but I never thought they were adhd. It has always been linked to gut health and food intolerances. They are now calm, focused, and willing to listen and learn and memorize. Huge difference for us!! Also saw improvements with probiotics and recently after treating SiBO with antibiotics – Anna

Yes, my son is 11 now and has been low amine since before age 3 after doing the elimination diet. Still highly sensitive, I was really hoping he’d outgrow it over time. His reactions are very behavioural, if he’s consumed too high amines, it’s as though he is unmedicated (ADHD meds) – Tania

Two of my kids have ADHD and two don’t. All have salicylate intolerances with varying reactions. Definitely helps as they also have the intolerances, but doesn’t make ADHD go away. Emotional regulation is much better on diet (both teenagers now so have both decided not to follow diet and live with the consequences) oldest one is back on moderate diet as nose stuffiness is driving him crazy. Both are on ADHD medication – Kath

I did it many years ago for my 3yr old back then and we found no difference in behaviour, apart from finding out which additive made her even more hypo. Which she still doesn't eat/drink now – Gill

As an adult with adhd I can say that eating Failsafe doesn’t make my symptoms magically go away unfortunately and medication has made a world of difference for me in many ways. Everyone is different of course – Amanda

It helped us big time, all three of my kids, we have a mix of asd and adhd, the diet makes them into little angels seriously just lovely kids that listen and cooperate. We can tolerate medium Sals now – Bridget

It did nothing for my ADHD one, but her sister (and myself) are extremely amine sensitive – Sarah

My son was diagnosed also but I wanted to try the diet first before medication. Once we worked out his triggers he was very differently behaved and no longer met the criteria for an adhd diagnosis! – Penny

A million times yes - they did not give him an Autism diagnosis at 4yrs old because we had already done the failsafe protocol for dairy allergies. (We got it 12 months later with more supporting evidence and allowing him some non-approved treats). He is a teen now and slipping into unhealthy food choices, I'm hoping revisiting the diet will help us both - Marion.

[1674] Our failsafe journey (May 2024)

Hoping our experience may help others ߘবt;/p>

We started our failsafe journey almost 6 years ago (initially for our son and then later our younger daughter). For us, discovering our children’s intolerance(s) and learning how to manage them has had a hugely positive impact on their lives (and ours).

Most people we know are incredibly supportive and go out of their way to support us in helping us provide our children with the right foods/environment. However *understandably* not everyone always understands why we are so particular about the children’s diet or what the consequences are if they have the "wrong" things.

Quite often (usually out of genuine interest) people ask me - what happens if they eat those foods? Given that (most of the time) we get things right these days or if we make mistakes they are minimal so the reactions are far more mild than they once were, I sometimes "forget".

Recently, we have been having quite a few reactions happening and so I thought I would take the time to share some of the things we are seeing atm:

• Bedwetting
• Red eyelids
• Excessive hunger at night
• Making "silly" noises
• Fidgetty/restless
• Difficulty sleeping
• Bad dreams/waking in the night
• Not listening to instructions (or listening, accepting the rules and literally repeating the behaviour as soon as the instruction is over. The information just doesn't register and when you tell them again it is as though they are hearing it for the very first time).
• "Silly" behaviour - annoying siblings to get a reaction.

Other symptoms that can happen (but we usually prevent getting to this stage) include:

• blood noses
• mood swings (highs and very low lows), anger, easily upset/emotional
• rash
• impacts on ability to do school work

There are likely others I have missed but I hope this list helps give those new to this process (or friends and family that are curious) some insight into some of the ways that these intolerances can impact, firstly the individual, but also on their relationships with others and their experience with all aspects of their life. Good luck with your FAILSAFE journey.

(PS: if your child is displaying symptoms even after starting FAILSAFE don't give up too easily, it is VERY easy for mistakes to be made, they may be coming into contact with something you haven't realised) – Rebecca

[1673] Myoclonic jerks and salicylates (May 2024)

I have been a long-term meditator and recently had a recurrence of a symptom that I had bothered me years ago: sudden, brief involuntary twitching or jerking of a muscle or group of muscles in my upper body and neck as I settled. I found these were called myoclonus or myoclonic jerks and they went away entirely years ago when our family went failsafe (I am sensitive to salicylates and increasingly to amines). Now they were back because I had chosen to eat high salicylate foods for several days. They disappeared again when I reduced salicylate containing foods.

Your food intolerance information turned our whole family sunny-side up decades ago and it is a gift that keeps on giving, thank you – Tom

See earlier story from Tom [1600] about prostatitis and salicylates.

[1672] Diet and fertility (April 2024)

I fell pregnant naturally with my first son on the RPAH elimination diet and I had tested up to amines. My chances were extremely low given my limited follicle count. I am wondering if there is any evidence of failsafe and positive fertility outcomes? We're doing IVF to try and have another and have one embryo left. I am considering going back on the diet prior to see if it helps my chances.

Followup 20 months later: Well it didn't work for that last embryo. We had another retrieval using donor eggs as my follicles stopped responding. I ate according to the diet that I'd tested for in the past. So no soy, no gluten, and no lactose and no nuts or honey. That embryo stuck. I now have the most beautiful 7 month old son with the help of science, diet and my donor. I'm super lucky to have both my boys and I feel diet had a big part to play in being able to successfully conceive/implant both – Karen

(Sue comment: I still remember a woman coming to our second talk in one town with her new baby, come to say thank you [788])

See fertility also here:

[1671] Diverticulitis from low dose aspirin (May 2024)


I had a heart attack last July and was put on prasugrel (blood thinner) and daily low dose aspirin. By the end of September, I was having stomach issues which continued to worsen. By end of October, I started questioning the aspirin, as I knew it could be hard on the stomach, but my cardiologist said I had to have it. By November, I had a CT scan that showed diverticulitis. I also had an eczema outbreak at the same time.

I had IBS-D for years, but never did it go into diverticulitis. I tried a bland diet for months, but the flatulence, bloating and diarrhea continued. My general practitioner suggested a specialist and a colonoscopy (not available till this coming May).

About two weeks ago, I finally asked the cardiologist about quitting the aspirin and he said ok if I doubled the blood thinner. I started eating low salicylates, too. The flatulence and bloating are gone and the diarrhea is now maybe twice a week, treated with Imodium. I am hopeful that more time will allow my stomach to heal.

This also reminded me that my son and I have both had strange mouth reactions to certain foods, especially during high pollen seasons (bucket overflowing). I am allergic to eggs, confirmed by testing, and many pollens and mold. I have reacted to antibiotics and ibuprofen in the past, too. I also have chronic anxiety which I believe is related to all of this… Anyway, I definitely think the daily aspirin caused the diverticulitis and is a salicylate sensitivity – Michelle

Response: when I was in my 20s I had a slipped disc in my lower back and severe sciatica. The only treatment I was offered was large doses of Aspirin. I ended up with a ton of bruising all over my body, tinnitus and started with diverticulitis around the same time - June

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

Your Questions

Q: Curious to know exactly how high in salicylates honey is? They’re listed as one of the highest salicylate foods but I also just read it's only 11 mg per 100 g? That can't be true cuz it affects me so strongly. That doesn't sound like a lot for like a couple tablespoons of honey - Erica

A: Analyses of salicylates on the web are often done with modern techniques that specify the salicylate chemical group only (and so give low results), but the old analyses were less specific and so included many other phenolic groups (and so gave higher results). These higher results were verified at RPAH by hundreds of clinical trials. One of those cases where it is better to stick with the old for best results! While different varieties of honey do differ in salicylate content, the collection of nectar by bees is bound to put all honey in high to very high.

Q: What is your opinion of (the food intolerance blood test) LEAP MRT performed by Oxford Biomedical Technologies in Florida USA?

A: I have read the scientific papers from Oxford Biomedical Technologies at I agree that the techniques will grade immune responses to particular foods and I like that they try to find foods to which you do not react. However the information that you gain is not useful unless you can understand what other foods may also cause you to react - in other words, what is the underlying cause of the response observed? If you do not get to a cause, then you will need to test hundreds of foods at considerable cost and never know how long the response lasts after ingestion or whether there are additive effects (ie do you get a bigger response if you eat a blueberry and a blackberry together rather than each separately).

This is why the RPAH approach is so useful. It identifies families of foods that are high in particular chemicals that cause a food intolerance response, and avoids all of them. And the results have been confirmed clinically on over 30,000 patients, so they are robust and reliable as a guide as to what you can eat. The elimination, challenge and liberalising protocol is a repeatable and useful diagnostic tool way beyond the LEAP MRT blood test.

There are a range of similar tests which have been suggested (hair, AAE, IgG, IgA, ALCAT, Elisa, Rast, Imupro) but they also don't work reliably for food intolerances (although they may be of value for true allergies), giving both false positives and false negatives. Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit, whom we believe lead the world in this area, hold the same view.

Frequently Asked Questions are the result of a lot of work by many people. Over 322,000 people have viewed them!

You can search all or scroll through them all classified as follows:

  • Additive questions
  • Diet questions
  • Food and product questions
  • Graphic answers for the 9 most common questions
  • Medications and supplement questions
  • Perfume and chemical sensitivity questions
  • Personal care and household cleaning questions
  • Support questions
  • Symptom questions


Here are graphics for the 9 most common questions



Over the last 30 years, the Food Intolerance Network has made many detailed submissions to government, usually to very little effect despite a huge amount of work by members.

Here are the most recent:

Submission to FSANZ on A1261 - Irradiation – Increase in maximum energy level (March 2024)

Public Consultation by Department of Health and Aged Care: Feasibility study on options to limit unhealthy food marketing to children - response from Food Intolerance Network (March 2024)

Public Consultation on the Review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (FSANZ Act Review) Impact Analysis – response from Food Intolerance Network (March 2024)

Codex Alimentarius submission on new and emerging issues: Clean labels and hidden additives: an emerging consumer issue (February 2024)

Submission to FSANZ on A1254 - Rosemary extract as a food additive - extension of use (December 2023)

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Barriers to consistent, timely and best practice assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and support services for people with ADHD (July 2023)

Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Disruption in Australian Schools (February 2023)

Thanks to all members for their help with these endless bureaucratic submissions!

We would appreciate your help in writing and talking to Ministers, your local member and the media to keep them aware of the extent of problems caused by poor food regulation. The current addresses of all health State Ministers and the Commonwealth Minister can be found on the web.

In Brief

Sue Dengate talk ECTA Conference June 2024

Sue will be presenting personally and by Zoom at the ECTA Early Childhood Conference in Brisbane on Saturday 22 June 2024. While it is expensive to join ECTA (at least $100, see more you may be able to access this through work if you are in the education system. Register here.

Effects of food on children’s behaviour
This workshop will show how to avoid ultra-processed foods and how to use Sydney’s RPAH diagnostic elimination diet, supervised by an experienced dietitian, when diagnoses such as ADHD are involved or food is suspected.

Chinese government acts on hidden additives – will Australia follow?

A February 2024 draft regulation for packaged foods will prohibit compound ingredients from being present in the ingredients label, where the individual ingredient must be labelled instead.

For example, a compound ingredient such as ‘date paste’ must not be labelled as an ingredient, but the specific combination of dates, sugars and other additives must be labelled.

In Australia for instance, propionate bread preservatives are hidden as ingredients like “fermented wheat flour” in unregulated amounts. And anything at less than 5%, like a nasty antioxidant 319, 320 or 321, is not shown. Such a regulation could end these practices designed to fool consumers. More - thanks to Food Legal

Soon we can complain direct to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

A new law is proposed to allow certain consumer and business advocacy groups to make a complaint direct to the ACCC about systemic or significant market issues affecting consumers, with public response within 90 days. We will see if this works as our past complaints have been handed off to FSANZ and back to ACCC in an endless loop - thanks to Food Legal

Ham limited in schools in Western Australia


The WA Department of Health has changed how it classifies school food and drink, leading to ham being largely removed. Their focus was on the high salt content but also mentioned that “hams may contain additives, preservatives and flavour-enhancers we should limit”, failing to mention nitrates despite action overseas. The Food Intolerance Network has been urging for over 30 years that added nitrates, nitrites and nitrosamines should be removed from our food supply. And be careful, nitrates are being increasingly hidden by “clean label” practices.

Food intolerance Network members report a range of symptoms from headache and stuttering to eczema, mania and depression.

“I introduced nitrates (ham). My 6 year old son went pretty nutty after eating it, not violent, just manic. The next day he had bad eczema and was unable to read or write properly when I asked. The teacher also mentioned that he was having trouble concentrating again. He was also crying and clinging to me when it was time to drop him at school. The effects lasted about 5 days” – from story [855]

READ MORE with access to scientific references

Histamine intolerance

Two excellent dietitian presentations on histamine intolerance, very useful if you have an actual diagnosis, but $24 each to view. If you are confused about histamines, see

Symptom relief by reducing excessive histamine in the body by Adriana Duelo, Registered Dietitian (Spain), Predoctoral Researcher
Histamine and histamine intolerance by Oriol Comas-Basté, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher and Assistant Professor, University of Barcelona

On a lighter note...


Food regulators recently asked the Network for “comments ... on the proposed changes ... to the International Numbering System for Good Additives”.

To which we were able to reply that we were “so glad that the international food regulator is now accepting that there are bad food additives and good food additives, as we have been saying for over 30 years. Here is our list of BAD food additives based on sound science and viewed now more than 750,000 times”. No response.

Sue Dengate's famous presentation “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” view for free (1hr 12mins).

Irene says “ladies show your men the video as they will rarely read the book. Watching an hour of a DVD is more comprehensible to the male brain. That is how I got my husband to finally understand our son’s behaviour and to support what I am doing with him. He now has the book in his van and every spare moment he has, he reads it" - from story [717]

Subtitled version in 6 languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish) can also be viewed for free. (The Bonus material of interviews with parents can only be seen in purchased version)



A2 milk latest review

Professor Keith Woodford reviewed A2 milk in 2021 “The easiest albeit challenging nutritional strategy to modify risk is reduced intake of foods containing embedded opioids” (meaning avoid A1 milk products, which is the most common type in our supermarkets). Very sciencey but a great introduction to this area. - see also A2 milk factsheet.

See also this confronting, amusing and convincing video on all dairy

Sweetener neotame 961 can damage gut wall, scientists find

Industry’s sugar substitute E961 can have ‘toxic effect on health’, says study finding sweetener capable of damaging intestinal bacteria, potentially causing irritable bowel syndrome, insulin resistance, and even sepsis. Previous work identified several other artificial sweeteners as problematic too which is why we mark them as CAUTION.

Even a low intake of neotame E961 might be harmful, lead researcher Chichger stressed: “Even when we studied neotame at very low concentrations, 10 times lower than the acceptable daily intake, we saw the breakdown of the gut barrier and a shift in bacteria to a more damaging behaviour, including increased invasion of healthy gut cells leading to cell death”. Will there be action by Australia/NZ regulator FSANZ, as there is in EU? and

Shopping List

WARNING ***Bakers Delight WHOLEMEAL change of ingredients: some stores are changing high fibre loaves by adding E412 guar gum, which is failsafe but causes problems for some. Check ingredients – their Head Office says you can still request the traditional Wholemeal Block Loaf from your local bakery – thanks Jenny.

WARNING***Woolworths instore bakeries seem to bring in breads containing preservative 280-283 propionates (hidden as "cultured wheat flour") on weekends and sometimes Mondays, rather than baking it themselves without preservative. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL! - thanks many failsafers.

The complete list of food additives, with those to avoid highlighted, has just been updated to the latest information.


Small shipment of this rechargeable 'electronic mask' (as one grateful member called it) available. See shop

Food Intolerance Resources from RPAH at

The following resources have been made available on the condition that they are for personal use only and may not be distributed:

  • Elimination Diet shopping guide
  • NSW & ACT butchers
  • Toiletries & Personal care products
  • Medications
  • Nutritional Supplements

NOTE the failsafe shopping lists on is being regularly updated to reflect changes. If using the shopping lists, check for a current date at the bottom of the list.

The failsafe sausages list has been updated again. Please email directly with changes, preferably in the format in the list, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. People continue to rave about the real flavour of these sausages!

The completely revised and updated Friendly Food from RPAH is now available at $38.00 including post and GST from the Food Intolerance Network store

Friendly Foodsmall

SPECIAL OFFER because it costs no more to post these:

  • Friendly Food (at cost) $38.00 incl postage & GST
  • add Fed Up for only $18.00 (32% discount)
  • add Failsafe Cookbook for only $27.00 (22% discount)
  • add Fed Up and Failsafe Cookbook for only $45.00 (25% discount)
  • add DVD Fed Up with Children's Behaviour for only $14.00 (45% discount)
  • add 'The Set' (Fed Up, Failsafe Cookbook & DVD) for only $60.00 (25% discount)

Fact Sheets

If you want some inspiration, try the COURAGE AWARD story collection - 40 pages of brilliance!

Most recent story collection: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (14 pages). Other recent collection doctors and food intolerance and violence and aggression – if anyone wants to help update a story collection (all you need is time and some word processing skills) please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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)

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!


  • Remember that we always recommend that people use one of our supportive and experienced dietitians for best results. Do it once and do it properly and then you will know which food intolerances you have and how to manage them. There is now a list of dietitians able to consult in languages other than English, and overseas.

  • For all failsafe-friendly dietitians, see the regularly updated - there is no longer any need to email for this list. Let us know This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you find others not listed.

  • Many dietitians are now online and the cost (typically $80 per half hour) can be rebated from most health funds. Ask them when making contact. As one dietitian said,”I use Coviu which is a video conferencing service developed by the CSIRO for Australian allied health workers. It is encrypted end to end so it has a very high privacy. I can show education videos, share documents, patients can fill out forms for me and I can see them in real time so it is going really well”.

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

DVD "Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour”  DVD

Brochures  Flags indicating languages our brochures are available in. Finland


  • 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 latest collections are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (14 pages), violence and aggression (54 pages) and on doctors and food intolerance (7 pages)

  • 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

**WARNING** is a spam website funded by the shadowy “Society for Public Health” about which no information is available. We think it is a food industry spam site and complaints about stealing our name have been unanswered. Use to find us directly.

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


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. You can subscribe or unsubscribe here

Sue Dengate’s books and DVD, failsafe magnifying card  sulphite test strips and ionizing air purifiers are available through the shop on

Special offer for USA and Canada: Fed Up With Children' Behaviour (NTSC format) - DVD at $US14.50 - go to and search for "Sue Dengate"

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

Sue Dengate’s Fed Up with Food Intolerance - a personal story (Australia USA and many other countries)

  • NOW AVAILABLE AS A PRINTED BOOK $A14.85 incl GST in Australia, different prices in other countries - lend it to your friends! (ISBN: 979-8845846761 ASIN: B0B92L1L1L)
  • STILL AVAILABLE in ebook only $A4.56 (ISBN: 978-0992320706 ASIN: B00I8D5DNU)

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

Look inside

Book cover: Fedup with Food Intolerance

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

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

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

© Sue Dengate 2024 (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 Rona, Teresa and Tracy for their help with recipes, 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