When our 8-year-old daughter was a toddler she was on a gluten free diet for some months after reacting to antibiotics. She had biopsies to rule out coeliac disease and at that time I bought a bread maker which I used almost exclusively until about 2 years ago.

During the time she was eating almost 100% home made bread, she had a great attention span. Due to other Issues, our kindy recommended testing with the WPPSI – R, which we agreed to. I do not wish to go into the results here, only to say that this assessment now gives us a good indication that her later performance while on preserved bread was really poor.

We started using purchased bread over two years ago when I was having a very difficult pregnancy and needed to reduce my workload. Now I wish I had given up totally on the housework instead! The introduction of preservative 282 in purchased bread coincided with a decline in our daughter’s abilities. Her bread intake increased until she was eating about 8 or more slices/day and her performance decreased until we were able to get very little work out of her as she was unable to concentrate for more than about one minute at a time.

In desperation I called her teacher who mentioned the television report on 282. I did further investigation on the net, and read your site. The result was that we returned to using our bread maker after not having used it for nearly two years. After about ten days, we had a different child. She started concentrating! She finished in 10 minutes what she previously couldn’t finish in 4 hours. Her spelling started to improve as did her handwriting. She also finally learned to ride a two-wheeled bike!

As you can imagine, we were thrilled. After two years of under achieving and barely being grade level, our daughter is finally starting to accelerate and achieve some of that potential. I am grateful we had the assessment as it shows how much she was behind.

We have become very angry that this preservative is allowed. Even if it is just anecdotal evidence, I believe it validates the need for further research and a ban on 282. Our recent experience with [a particular supermarket] bread has shown how little we can trust labels. I also believe this could partly explain the increased rate of ADHD among lower income families. When Bilo bread is 1/3rd the price of Bakers Delight, what are most families going to use?

We are grateful for the work that you have done in researching this. I only wish we had known earlier. It makes us rather angry and frustrated at the lost potential and the damage it has done to our daughter. - reader, SA