I am not game to even contemplate eating anything with 635, as once I knew what my reaction to MSG was like, I found out the hard way, and saw the flavour enhancer 635, so I thought it may be OK. My face swelled up, I developed a rash all over my face and neck, and consequently all the skin peeled off my tongue, inside of my lips and gums. You have never seen such a mess!! At least I didn't have to go through what these little kids had to suffer and their poor parents. I just couldn't eat anything much for a few days!! – reader by email.

Two months ago I too broke out in a rash covering at first my torso, which eventually spread partially down my legs. I found myself scratching uncontrollably and was so puzzled as to where this came from. I found the ACA story amazing. Then after the show I started going through my cupboards, and to my amazement I discovered a particular 'cup a soup' which contains the additive 635, that I have bought recently which is not a regular item on my shopping list. At present, the rash and welts have gone down, but I’m still scratching as a partial amount of the rash remains. How do these companies get away with it?????? – reader by email.

I am not sure whether I am a sure case, but your article on ACA definitely made me think about my problem and mysterious itching. I have been waking with welts on my body, not unlike mozzie bites, but extremely itchy, and quite hard. Thinking there was a spider or something similar in my bed, I changed the bedding, and spray my room before retiring to bed every night. But still they would mysteriously appear. I got them on my hips, breasts, legs and arms, not many, but enough to be worrisome.

Now I know more about 635, I am willing to put these itches down to the snack-sized packet of chips that I have been eating every day after work (I usually only have them once a week, but have been on teaching rounds and come home starving!) Add that to the Asian food I have eaten, plus the many gravies and sauces, I may have just found the cause of my problems. Now, I must leave you, to go and scratch my itches! – Fairlie by email.

I have been experiencing an unknown rash on and off for about 2 years now. I had the rash recently and this time it was severe and was all over my body. On other occasions it was only in small patches. Sometimes on my torso and other times on my back. I have an extremely healthy diet and eat fresh food everyday. I don't eat fast foods and rarely eat any form of junk food. The last rash was awful. Legs, feet, hips, torso, back and neck. Prior to the outbreak I had extremely hot skin and itchy arms. 24 hrs after the itching I noticed some spots on my stomach. By the time I arrived home the following day my body was covered. It has taken 7 weeks for the scarring to settle. This is the case every time the rash breaks out.

I went to the doctor on a couple of occasions. I was told it was pityriasis rosea and on another occasion I was told it was shingles. I studied my eating habits very closely until I worked out the cause. I have always had a suspicion that it was chicken stock. And now I am positive. After making my favourite Greek Lentil Soup the rash appeared. On this occasion I accidentally added extra chicken stock. I ate the soup for 2 days. This time with the extra stock the rash went crazy. My last outbreak had occurred after eating the soup also. I do not use any chicken stock at all now. I have been made aware of 635 by a mate who also experienced rashes from eating certain foods. His rashes are confined to his feet. Thanks for the story. I am not alone! – Luke, Melbourne.

I am now 58 yo, I came across your information by accident while looking for something else on the net. I was dumbfounded when I saw the pictures of the effects of food additives, this was what I had for nearly 3 years!

I could not believe it, mine too started in the early hours of the morning with dreadful itching, by the time I got up my thighs were black and bruised from rubbing them. Over time this went and the welts came all over my body. I looked like I had been beaten, I also had rashes, itchy and painful, the only part that was not affected was my face and head.

So many Doctors and tests, and so many creams and tablets. And nothing would stop it. I had tests that showed I was allergic to things I had never had (like horse hair and oysters). Eventually I was told "it’s emotional" or it could be change of life.

It never occurred to me that it was the food I was eating as I had changed very little in the way of diet. I would have meat pies or sausage rolls at least once a week. I still do not know which one started this torment off but I have thrown out everything in my pantry with 635/621 – Maree, NSW.

Over the past 2 years my husband has had a rash, which failed to be treated by the dozens of creams numerous specialists prescribed. Recently, when it reoccurred again, we thought to look at the label of the cheese and onion flavoured chips he had eaten the day before. Sure enough 635! We then looked at the foods he commonly eats, and sure enough 635. As a Dietitian I didn't even think of this until checking out your website. Thanks for your hard work over the years with food intolerance. It is certainly much appreciated by many clients who have benefited in my practice as a Dietitian - Frances from SA.

I started to react about 18 months ago. My skin felt like it was on fire and the itch was unbearable. The 'welts' that raised on my body, where any restrictive clothing touched my skin, including bras, panties, shirt stitching etc... would remain for days, even weeks depending on how severe the attack was. I tried everything to find the cause and find a cure. It was only when reading an article in the Herald Sun that I realised the woman was recanting exactly how I reacted. She told of her allergic reaction to 635. I used to have Continental chicken noodle soup every single day, at work. (Summer or winter). I loved the stuff. I also ate Lays flavoured chips, packet gravy.

I have since eliminated everything with 635 in it out of my diet. Although I still have 'flare' ups I can actually work these back to pre-prepared food...Dolmino spaghetti sauces etc...I found that I cannot have any food with 621, 625, 627 or 631. I react to all of these, and was wondering if any one who has had a severe reaction to 635 finds they react to these others as well. I have recently learned that 635 is a combination of 627 and 631. Foods to avoid like the plague are:

Red Rooster both chicken and chips

KFC both as above

Mac Donalds - I only ever ate their chips but flavour enhancer is in the salt.

All flavoured corn chips, CC's Doritos...Pretzels with added flavour. (Cracked pepper have no flavour enhancers listed)

Maggi packet gravy

San Remo pasta and sauce sachets

Continental chicken stock

All stock cubes

I have recently been told that some foods may have flavour enhancers added but do not have to list them because the percentage is so low.

In fact if the word flavour is on the label I will not purchase that product now for fear of it causing another reaction. My doctor did not know what was wrong with me when I saw him about my rash months ago. He gave me Periactin, an over-the-counter antihistamine that works well, although I have had to half the tablets because they also make me extremely drowsy.

If any one needs proof that these flavour 'enhancers' are reactionary I would be happy to prove it. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see the cause and affect of these additives. I have had to restrict my diet, to avoid coming into contact with these 'poisons', because that is what they are to me. I am basically going through detox/withdrawals at the moment, which are causing headaches etc...

If the Food Standards people want to try to 'fob' this off, perhaps we who are suffering should take them to court for compensation - you know pain and suffering - because believe me, we are suffering. At 38, and having suffered for almost 2years with this, I can't imagine what it must be like for the little kids who react as we have! – Melanie, email.

My son is 14 and has been diagnosed with having severe allergy reactions to 621 and 627 flavour enhancer. All the foods you list are foods that he also can’t eat. He can have very severe reactions to these where his throat swells and he can’t breath and other times where he comes up in welts all over his body and lips and eyes swell quite severely. I have four boys and it becomes very difficult to feed them with one being allergic to so much food – mother, Victoria.

I believe that I am yet another victim of flavour enhancer E635.

I had a strong allergic reaction to "something" in Early February of this year. At first I thought it was a prescription medicine that I have just started taking (again). I stopped taking my medicine but nothing improved. I was confused because this medicine had never caused a reaction before. My Doctor suspected food or some kind of virus.

I suffered the following reactions: (in order of appearance)

* Burning sensation to the skin

* Rash on my feet

* Raised rash on my chest and then sides

* Severe, raised, rash on my back and very itchy legs and arms

* Mild stomach upset

* Heavily swollen face and lips ( 3 occasions)

* Mild anxiety

The symptoms lasted for about 5 days and required 3 trips to the Emergency ward of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, seven days off work, a stay over night in Hospital and even a trip in an ambulance. Needless to say, my wife and I were greatly distressed during this ordeal. I then read about E635 and discovered that it was in a wider range of foods that I had expected. Tracing back through foods I don't normally consume I found that the probable culprits were either a seasoning mix for a popular Taco Dinner Kit OR two sausage rolls I had consumed. Both foods were consumed about 20-30 hours prior to the initial reaction. The long delay led me to blame the prescription medicine. I never knew that a reaction could take so long to appear. I am now loath to consume E635 in any form again in case I suffer an even worse reaction. Please feel free to use my account (less personal details) on your site, or, in your battle with the authorities that permit such chemical junk to enter the food chain. Keep up the good work – John, Melbourne

Recently I had my 13 year old son at the doctors for a facial rash that was preventing him from going to school. The rash was only on the face and neck and was beetroot red. The doctors told him that he was allergic to the sun. This is a child that you cannot keep inside. I have since found out about 635 and have taken him off all of the known products. (Which is difficult considering how a 13 year old growing boy eats.) His skin could not be better. We now watch everything that he eats. Thank you for all of your information. It is great to know that we are not alone – Jacqui by email

The rash is finally on its way out, I've had to eliminate lots of things, tomatoes, red wine amongst them and one that I only started to appreciate much later in life, garlic (sob, sob). Anything with 635 is an absolute no, no. Keep up the good work – Phil by email.

I have recently had my 2 year old daughter at the hospital for an ear and throat infection, while waiting for the doctor she had a packet of Smiths BBQ chips. Within 10mins the left half of her face started to swell then her right, within 7 mins her whole face was swollen. Luckily I was at the hospital when this happened as they thought they would have to give her adrenalin to help her breath, but because they were able to administer antihistamine and Ventolin straight away she was fine and we could take her home after a few hours. I think a warning of some kind would help, so if it happens to someone's child they may know what it is, or better still maybe they could change the additives to something else that can not harm or kill. If I had not been at the hospital it may have killed my daughter.

I would not like anyone to have to go through that, I was lucky to be in the hospital and have been told not to let her eat anything like that more than 5mins from a hospital – Rebecca, ACT.

I have had this allergy for three years and a month ago I found out why I get it, it’s the food additive 635. My hands burn, then I get a rash all over, very big welts that itch sometimes. I have swollen lips, even had it in the throat, on the ears, in the hair everywhere, what can I do about it. Thanks for letting us know all about 635 I have been worried what has caused it. Thank you – Ruby by email.

My son had been covered in a skin rash all over arms and legs for several weeks and I couldn’t seem to get rid of it. It seemed to be getting worse and more severe. He is susceptible to asthma, allergies and has had mild cases of eczemas - so after all attempts to clear it took him to doctor. She said it wasn’t any skin allergy and could possible be a viral or staph infection and gave him antibiotics. It really didn’t improve after medication.

My sister heard a radio interview on Adelaide 5AA talking about side effects of this food additive 635 - and thought it sounded very much like skin irritation of my son.

He loves flavoured chips and 2 minute noodles. So since hearing about 635 I have been religious about reading labels and have kept him off 635 to best of my ability. The skin irritation has gone and has not reoccurred again – Sally by email.

It started out as what I thought was a cold sore on my lower abdomen…It wasn't until the size of the rashes grew that I knew I wasn't dealing with cold sores. I now have three areas on my lower torso with a fourth area trying hard which are covered with this rash. The itch is unbearable at times. I try not to itch but sometimes I catch myself out and it's too late.

By this stage I was getting a bit worried as to what was the cause for the rash. I ruled out shingles because there was no pain as such just the itch. It wasn't until I saw the report on 635 on the website that I thought it was a food allergy. The description of the rash on the website was very close to my rash so I decided to look into any foods that had been eating and sure enough there they were.

In Lays Sour Cream and Chives and the new Spicy BBQ Kettle Chips I found they had the additive and it just so happened that there was a special on Kettle Chips so I purchased a couple of the large packets (200 or 250gm) and polished them off over the period of about 3 or 4 days. That was when the huge break out occurred. The initial outbreaks would have coincided with me trying the new Kettle Chips which would have been one packet a week which would account for them seeming to go away.

I now check every label when I purchase them because this rash has severely affected my quality of living. I am an aerobics instructor and the rash sits just under my leggings waistband and my microphone belt. I am extremely embarrassed and hanging out for the day I don't have this hideous itch.

(later) Since my initial e-mail I have discovered it was probably not just the chips which caused the rash. It was more likely the combination of a lot more foods than I thought. I went through my cupboards this evening and was horrified to find that most of the packaged pastas had either 635 or 627. The new Pasta stops which are heavily advertised on television at the moment, the macaroni and cheese has 635 and I was eating these at the time I was eating the chips.

Are you aware that 635 is in Greenseas Salsa Tuna. That really blew my mind. I was actually eating it when I read the label. I honestly did not expect it to be in Tuna but there it was.

It's quite disturbing to think we have to check every label when shopping. What is this world coming too? Here’s hoping for a 635 free world – Sharon, Melbourne.

I don’t suffer from rashes or food allergies normally, but tonight I made myself some popcorn, in the box was a smaller packet of salt and vinegar flavouring, I sprinkled this over the popcorn and ate it (Uncle Tobys salt and vinegar popcorn. It had a sachet of 635 in it to sprinkle on the popcorn after you had cooked it in its bag). Within minutes I started to get a prickly rash under my arm, near my bosom. The rash got worse and escalated to around my neck up my arms and right around my right bosom. Within 1 hour of eating the popcorn I have the rash up the inside of my arms, down my back and around the back of my neck, up into my hairline and into my ears.

Attached are some photos taken with my digital camera, due to the lighting it doesn’t show the rash in all its redness. As I am typing this it is slowly moving all over my torso and arms. I hadn’t eaten anything else that I don’t normally eat this evening. – reader, Victoria.

Recently I suffered an extremely itchy rash that kept me up at night and became very inflamed and sore from scratching. I consulted the doctor and all he could tell me was that it was a rash, and it could be a virus. That was all he could tell me. That and he asked if I'd ever had chicken pox ... this rash was nothing like a chicken pox rash. The rash itself lasted two weeks and was agony, to say the least. I still bear marks on my arms from scratching. I went through the usual what did you eat routine and nothing out of the ordinary - although I did have Hungry Jack’s in the 30 hour time frame.

(Later) As I tend to avoid most overprocessed foods, I can honestly say that my rash after 3 weeks is much better. The rash I developed was small, intensely itchy bumps over my stomach and back, and my arms. These bumps were constantly itchy, antihistamines helped but did not alleviate much. I couldn't sleep and felt irritable – although that had a lot to do with no sleep. However I still have some marks on my arms where I scratched too hard – reader by email.

Although an eczema sufferer most of my early life (now 50 years old) in the past 12 months I have on different occasions developed a rash worse than anything I have ever experienced with eczema. I have been to dermatologists and allergists and found that I was severely allergic to the dust mite. In the past couple of months I changed all my bedding etc and have been free of rash.

On Saturday night I cooked apricot chicken. The welts on my body stated to appear again on Sunday night. I finished the chicken for dinner on Monday evening not associating it with the rash. Last night I woke tearing my body to pieces. There were huge welts all over my torso, arms and upper legs. I was in a terrible state. It was 2 in the morning and I was sitting in my loungeroom sobbing and distressed. I thought I had found the problem with the dust mite. This was however was something far worse.

I went into the kitchen and checked what I had eaten. I had read the article a few months previously on food enhancer 635. I checked the Continental french onion soup packet that I had used in the casserole. There was no mention of 635. I was totally distressed and at my wit's end. I went back to the soup packet and checked again and saw - food enhancer - ribonucleotides. I had kept the article on 635. I rushed to my purse and took out the article. There was the chemical name for 635 - the same as on the soup packet.

This is nothing short of criminal that the Food and Health departments will not ban this additive. To tear yourself to pieces, with huge welts on your body is the most demoralising thing I have ever experienced. Obviously this had caused problems for me previously and had gone undetected. Not only do I now have to wait for the welts to die down, I have scratched up my skin so badly it will take weeks for that to heal.

I am writing this in the hope that it may help in having this additive banned. Surely big business should not come first over the health and well being of Australians – Suzanne, Victoria.

One of the pictures Today Tonight aired was of a person with a red rash on the body. I have been getting a rash like that, as well as swelling on the eyes and mouth for the past three years and doctors, allergists and skin doctors can not find the problem.

Could you please tell me what flavours are most likely to cause this reaction. I will be so thankful if you can help me stop scratching myself to bits – reader, email.

Over a month ago I developed an itchy skin rash which gradually got worse. The doctor could not say what it was even after blood tests. Approximately two years ago I told my husband that I would no longer eat flavoured cornchips (cheese or nacho cheese) because I felt strange after eating them an often woke the next morning with a "hangover" type feeling. Five weeks ago my daughter and I bought a large packet of nacho cheese cornchips and scoffed the lot, me eating the most. Almost immediately I regretted eating them.

Three days later my rash appeared and got progressively worse. I can only link it to 635. I feel I have it under control by taking Telfast and using Amcal 1 per cent cortisone cream however it is not yet gone and at times still drives me crazy. Previous to this I have been healthy and fit and my only other known allergy is to Penicillin. It’s getting on for 6 weeks now and if it is 635 afflicting me with this problem it makes me very angry to think that manufacturers knowingly subject us to
these health risks – Susan, Victoria.

I am writing to share my daughter Freda’s experience. I suspect she is currently recovering from an allergic reaction to 635. She is turning 2 next Saturday and we are hoping she will have recovered sufficiently to celebrate. I have a history of allergies and asthma in my family, so have always been careful when introducing Freda to new foods. However, until now she has appeared to have escaped the food (and other) allergies which were a problem throughout my childhood, but does have a Penicillin allergy (it gives her a rash).

Ten days ago (Friday) Freda woke with a rash all over her torso. By that evening it had spread all over her body, including face, hands and feet, and she had developed a fever. We took her to Box Hill Hospital, and the doctor advised us she had a virus and it was not contagious. He suggested we give her Panadol 4 hourly to reduce her temperature and give her Phenergan or Claratyne for the itch. During the next five days we gave Freda Claratyne but it did nothing to stop the itch. Her temperature remained up and we eventually gave up on the Panadol. We also found that her mood was deteriorating, particularly in the evening at this time, the rash (which had nearly cleared up) seemed to flare up again in certain trouble spots such as her back and around her nappy. Her glands were up. Her body was very warm. On Wednesday, after her evening bath, she went berserk when we tried to dress her. She was scratching madly and screaming non-stop it took two of us to hold her down and get a nappy on her, and we had to give up on the clothes as she was putting up such a fight. After an hour of distress, she fell asleep in our bed. We then dressed her. She had a terrible night, moaning in her sleep, and woke at 230am and screamed for half an hour, trying to pull her clothes and nappy off.

The next morning I took her to our GP and he was perplexed. He was trying to find some sign of infection to explain why her temperature was still up. He advised we switch to using Phenergan to try to control the itch. I gave her three doses of Phenergan - the maximum available - that day, and yet the itching continued. That evening we had a repeat of the screaming and scratching frenzy. We ended up calling an ambulance. By the time the paramedics arrived, Freda had stopped screaming and was quiet. They were very helpful; one paramedic raised the issue of this possibly being an allergic reaction but was wondering if it was something to do with clothes detergent.

They took us to Box Hill Hospital, and suggested to the nurse in Emergency that Freda might be a bit dehydrated and that she needed some medication to control the itch. The nurse checked Freda’s BP and temperature, looked at her skin, and commented that her temp was fine and that she was in good spirits. Indeed Freda was in a good mood by now and very interested in her surroundings. The nurse did not see Freda scratching in the few minutes she spent with us, so noted on the file that Freda did not appear to be itchy. And yet, Freda had new (bright red) and old (scabby) scratch marks all over her shoulders/back of neck and lower back. The nurse returned ten minutes later and saw Freda trying to scratch inside her ears and mouth, and noted on the file that Freda was scratching these areas. She then left again. Nobody else attended to us for the next hour. By this time, Freda was falling asleep (still giving the occasional scratch). She was still refusing clothes, and only had a nappy on. She fell asleep. We dressed her and took her home. We advised someone at the Nurses Station that we were leaving the nurse lifted Freda’s top to check her skin and advised that we bring her back during the night if there are any problems. I asked her if we could have medication to control the itch and she said no. Freda continued to sleep we took her home and put her in bed.

The following morning we took Freda to see an allergy specialist. He advised us the rash was urticaria, and his belief was that she did initially have a virus and her body had an allergic reaction in response. He advised it could take up to 2 weeks for the rash/itch to clear up completely. He said the only other explanation would be a food allergy and that if there was no improvement over the weekend we should bring her back this week and make changes to her diet. We are continuing to give Freda Phenergan to help ease the itch. The allergy specialist called me today to ask how Freda was, and I was happy to report that although she is still itchy, her mood has improved and the irritation seems to have decreased. He discounted Flavour Enhancer 635 as a possible cause for Freda’s reaction!!! He said food additives do not produce a long lasting reaction like this… Well, I am not taking any chances.

My mother (a very devoted grandmother) has already been to the supermarket today and spent some time compiling a list of biscuit/chip products that contain 635 so we will know what to avoid. Now aware that 635 can cause the exact symptoms I have seen my daughter suffer during the past few days, I have reflected on her diet. The day before Freda’s rash first appeared, she ate something she had never eaten before: flavoured chips. My apologies for such a long-winded letter, but these details are all too fresh in my mind and it has been an exhausting and distressing ten days for my family! – Tara, Victoria.

This afternoon I discovered the effects of 635. When I eat foods like chips and things that are very processed I find my throat feels 'thick'. It feels a bit lumpy and like I am getting a cold. Most times after friends parties I get this throat thing... after reading about the 635 I figured it could be related to the CC's etc I eat occasionally. Also I always get it after eating 'Arnotts Shapes' and '2 min noodles' – 14 yo girl, by email.

Just a quick note to say that after catching a small piece on ACA last night I think I'm also a victim. In the last year and a half on about 4 occasions I have broken out in an incredible rash with itching that almost drives me mad. The red lumps end up turning into sores before they finally heal and slowly get better, it takes weeks for it to go away. I get them all over including the palms of my hands, soles of my feet, inside my mouth, (therefore was told I had foot and mouth disease) I get a fever, filthy headaches and have no energy whatsoever. I actually have a mild case right now. The last 2 times I had it I was out of action, not able to work for a week at a time. Hope this will add to your effort to have something done about these shonky chemicals and the shonkier people who are responsible for their use – reader by email.

I have just been "poisoned" by a Coles Hot chicken. After eating it for lunch and dinner I got a terrible migraine with vomiting and nausea. The migraine was terrible and lasted for 5 days. I read the bag and found that it had it had at least 4 lots of flavour enhancers in it, including the stuffing, marinade and seasoning. Just another thing I can't eat out in case it came from Coles. Also Devondale now has flavour enhancer in their soft spread. Of course I wouldn't buy it but who knows what you get when you buy a sandwich out. Where will it end? Everyone is trying to poison me.

I was very angry at the time (and still am) that some people can poison my food and not care that I'm extremely sick and lose 5 days out of my life having to cancel all arrangements etc. I wrote to Coles …(and) Safeway…(and) Devondale… I will purposely avoid all their products. I also spoke to KFC and found there is nothing I can eat there except a dinner roll as everything has flavour enhancer in it. It is so difficult now going out to people homes or functions where you get served chicken and feel it's rude to ask where they bought it from but too scared to eat it. With the Devondale spread it's even worse; it could end up in cakes, scones, sandwiches from anywhere.

Now I have to ask “What brand of butter do you use in your cakes, sandwich etc" before I buy it or eat it. Life is getter harder with these additives. The food must be pretty tasteless if they have to use enhancers all the time. – Wendy.

I am a 25 yo man from Melbourne, with no history of allergies what so ever. After catching only the end of the Current Affair segment on 635 I felt not only anger (that they are putting this crap in food!) but a great sense of relief - as for 6 months now - I have been getting severe reactions - without being able to pinpoint the culprit. For 6 months I have been suffering from hives, itchiness, and severe swelling of the lips and tongue to the point where I couldn't talk properly. I have seen allergy specialists who charged me a couple of hundred dollars to tell me they have no idea! And so have been living on antihistamines to prevent the reactions.

Thank you for your exposé on this "poison". I believe many people out there are suffering - but are just taking antihistamines and living with the problem. If there's anything we can do to help your cause in getting this rubbish off the shelves - be sure to let us know!!!!!!! – Yianni, Victoria.

I have experienced a very severe reaction to Country Ladle soup a couple of weeks ago. I started taking Livatone and the rash started the next day, so naturally I thought it was the tablets. I contacted Dr Cabot's website and informed them of my symptoms. I ended up in hospital as I could not breathe and was administered an IV line. I had the same soup a week ago and had exactly the same symptoms and that was when I thought that it could be the soup, as I stopped taking the Livatone after the first rash appeared. Being diagnosed with Chronic Dermatitis, I was used to a bit of a rash when I come in contact with deodorants, but have never experienced anything like this before. Needless to say I was off work for a week and was given steroids and cortisone cream. I will definitely read ALL labels from now on. – Zonja, Perth.

A few weeks ago I started having a Continental Low Carb instant soup every day. I knew the 635 was in there, but thought I didn't react to it. BIG mistake. No doubt you're expecting a description of the rash and swelling. Yes, I did get those, but not until week 2.

In week 1 my stomach progressively got sicker and sicker. By the end of the week I could only lie on the lounge and visit the loo. The doctor diagnosed mild food poisoning that turned into a very nasty stomach bug. Antibiotics and no food for three days cleared the bug. So what did I do? I had a miso soup from a local Japanese restaurant. A few hours later my stomach started going odd again and I began to itch. By that night the typical 635 rash and unbearable itch had set in.
For some bizarre reason I didn't think of 635 with the miso. The next day I had one of those damn instant soups again and of course the same thing happened but worse.

Needless to say I have ditched the soup and banned 635. My son is actually quite pleased because one of the things that make him itch makes Mummy itch, so he feels a little less alone about it. The itch and rash have gone, but my lips are still very dry and cracked. But I have LEARNT MY LESSON! – Megan NSW.

I cried when I read the stories on breastfeeding babies because that's our world since my son was born 16 months ago - screaming and arching his back until sore big farts release all day and night. I thought we were low salicylate (citrus, broccoli, tomato...) but it turns out it's all the things we were eating - grapes, watermelon, spinach - a difference is already obvious since cutting out high salicylates. - Tasmania

Thanks for your Fed Up book which was recommended by the allergy clinic - we have been searching for years and getting nowhere but now it seems we have found a large part of the answer to our 6 year old son's behaviour problems. We are still working through the challenges, but to our surprise, the first challenge we did (dairy) was a definite FAIL! We almost didn't even eliminate dairy, because I was sure that was not a problem for him, however I decided to err on the side of caution and I'm glad I did! He became progressively grumpier, looked pale, seemed tired and complained of tummy aches. After a couple of months of beautiful behaviour and no tantrums, we were back to ‘Mr Revolting’. We are now dairy free again, and it has taken about 10 days for him to get back to normal. - NSW

I stopped wearing hairspray about 6 months ago when we went totally failsafe and saw great results with our children's behaviour. Two weeks ago I was going out without the kids, so after putting them to bed I sprayed on some Sunsilk hairspray and liked the way it looked. So the next day I did it again and within a couple of hours my 3 year old son's behaviour changed. He was overactive, very fidgety, hitting and kicking, and headbutted his sister hard enough to give her a blood nose. As time went on he was crying a lot with loud silly behaviour and wanting demands met immediately. That night he could not get to sleep. I wore the hairspray for three days not putting two and two together then we realized it must be the hairspray as their diet is so failsafe it couldn't be the food he was eating. I stopped wearing hairspray and his behaviour returned to normal. I have also noticed that when I visit my mum who uses airfreshener - lots of air freshener - my son's behaviour deteriorates after a few hours. - Vic

Recently I suffered an extremely itchy rash that kept me up at night and became very inflamed and sore from scratching. I consulted the doctor and all he could tell me was that it was a rash, and it could be a virus. That was all he could tell me. That and he asked if I'd ever had chicken pox ... this rash was nothing like a chicken pox rash. The rash itself lasted two weeks and was agony, to say the least. I still bear marks on my arms from scratching. I went through the usual what did you eat routine and nothing out of the ordinary - although I did have Hungry Jack’s in the 30 hour time frame.

(Later) As I tend to avoid most overprocessed foods, I can honestly say that my rash after 3 weeks is much better. The rash I developed was small, intensely itchy bumps over my stomach and back, and my arms. These bumps were constantly itchy, antihistamines helped but did not alleviate much. I couldn't sleep and felt irritable although that had a lot to do with no sleep. However I still have some marks on my arms where I scratched too hard - reader by email.

A big thank you for your recent informative and inspiring seminar, I bought your book ‘Fed Up with Asthma’ that night and have not been able to put it down - Qld

My son was a chronic biter and after seeing several shows on TV about the additive 282 I took him off that bread and he stopped biting. - by email

My little girl child is diagnosed with autism and in the last two weeks I've eliminated all of these numbers from her diet and she's already looking healthier. - WA

I am continuing to stick to low sals vegies and I think it has made a big difference for my son's sneaky poos, his stools are now firm and well formed and he has been going to the toilet everyday (finally!) - failsafer, Vic

Almost all the bread over here has 282 in it. They call it calcium propionate and everyone thinks it's calcium. Trickers!!! - failsafer, UK

Thanks for talking to my 8 yo daughter when she came to your presentation here last year. She still remembers being a ‘Star’ for a day and it helps with her acceptance of what we ask of her with diet. - failsafer, Vic

I got your book ‘fed up’ a few years ago and since then I have tried the diet off and on but never with much success due to a lack of commitment on my part. My sister had real success with her daughter on the diet. Having recently reevaluated how my children react to food chemicals, I am intending to do the diet again. - by email

When I read your book ‘Fed Up’ I wished that I had read it when my children were younger. I spent thousands of dollars and hours at doctors. In the end I worked everything out for myself and some doctors admitted that I knew more than they did (and some doctors did not admit they were wrong). - Qld

Some days my 16 month old daughter was very hyperactive, followed by a horrendous temper. Your books have saved me - she has been on the elimination diet for 3 weeks now, and I have fallen in love with her all over again, she’s the angel I always knew I had. - by email

My teenage daughter has slapped cheek syndrome, which leaves her with rough, dry skin on her cheeks, upper arms and inner thighs. After trying a variety of conventional and alternative treatments over many years, she has been religiously following your failsafe diet for about three weeks now. She chose to also eliminate all dairy foods. We have already noticed a huge improvement in her skin. So far she is very keen to stick with the diet and doesn't want to attempt any challenges yet! She must be feeling great! - email, ACT

I feel very comfortable with this diet and am not craving anything. Not even chocolate! I emptied the pantry and fridge of everything that wasn't failsafe and gave it all away. (it was heaps). I cook our biscuits and cakes and meals, of course, and it just feels right. Going to the supermarket feels good - 'no, nothing in this isle'....... 'no, nothing in this isle'...... and saving at the checkout! You didn't mention that the failsafe diet was also cheap! I 'd call it the poor mans diet. I think it is the simplicity that I like most, it's as if everything was just over the top and out of control. Food adverts on the TV make me really cranky now, it is similar to being a reformed smoker, I am now a reformed eater. I am not as conflicted as I was before regarding my son 'missing out’. It really is a lifestyle change and I think I've been wanting that for some years but just didn't have the will power to go 'healthy'. (Actually 'healthy' always made me sick). I have been saying to my partner for five years, if I could find a diet that was healthy and agreed with me, I would stick to it for life - I think I've found it!

After hearing about sodium benzoate in asthma medication at your presentation recently I was a bit shocked, and sure enough it was there in my son’s medication - standard Ventolin Sugar Free Oral Liquid used for under fives. I talked to my GP about my son’s asthma and that the preservative that can cause asthma was in the medication and he was extremely shocked.

My son had suddenly developed asthma when he was two months old, just after his first immunisation shot - although at that age they don't call it asthma. When the asthma finally went away we got the second shot. After that he frequently stopped breathing and was on so much medication we took turns at sitting up with him through the night. Finally we decided that the medication wasn't working constantly enough and took him off it without telling the doctor – and our son slowly got better. He would still have small attacks on occasions so after my husband read your book he decided we should try diet. We noticed there was a difference when we found some sultanas that didn't contain sulphites.  We were doing great and had almost six months free of any medication then last week our son developed an ear infection and was put on Amoxil antibiotics and Panadol for pain, both containing sodium benzoate. Within three days he had an asthma episode. After much enquiry I have found that sodium benzoate is in almost every single baby medication including pain medication (often along with artificial colours and flavours. Our pharmacist said that the small amount of sodium benzoate couldn't possibly create a reaction like asthma, it's unheard of, and as sodium benzoate is so effective as a preservative it is the most commonly used preservative in medication today and likely to be in the future.  God help us!! – mother from Qld.

[See the article Asthma worsened by benzoate contained in some antiasthmatic drugs, by Balatsinou L and others, Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol, 2004 ;17(2):225-6: "Drug and food additives are known to induce pseudo-allergic reactions such as urticaria, eczema, asthma and rhinitis. These reactions are often under-diagnosed, above all in allergic patients treated with additive containing drugs. On the contrary, attention to the additives present in some drug formulations and foods may often permit more correct diagnosis."]

I am a psychologist working with families who require help with their children’s behaviour. I have done a number of home visits with a particular family where the mother is honestly as close to the "perfect parent" as you will ever get. There is nothing I can offer her as a psych in terms of behaviour management, as she is doing everything exactly as I'd recommend. The child I am seeing is four and has Asperger's. His sister, who mum thinks is harder to cope with because she is more unpredictable, is 7ish and has ODD behaviours but not all the time - the kind of kid who goes from angel to nightmare "for no apparent reason". I recently did a home visit and I have never seen anything like it. The girl was sitting there with me chatting away happily, fantastic manners, considerate, playing with her younger brother which such patience etc. Mum fed her homebrand two minute noodles with chicken seasoning ... I kid you not, within 15 minutes, this little angel turned into a whining, defiant, out of it kid who was climbing on furniture, pushing and hitting her brother, screaming in frustration at absolutely nothing and demanding more noodles. She traced some numbers and mum was taken back by her carelessness and messy job, which she said occurs periodically. It was quite astounding, and I wish I had been able to get that on camera! - by email.

My seven year old so has been having behaviour problems since he started school. Earlier this year a child psychologist assessed him with a very high performance IQ but a much lower verbal IQ, so obviously there are learning difficulties although because of his high IQ these have not become apparent yet although there are some signs such as very poor spelling yet an excellent reader.

After some very long and exasperating conversations with the teacher and principal, I took Josh and his reports off to his paediatrician for help. The report explained that Josh doesn’t have ADHD but does display ADHD behaviour. Fifteen minutes later the paed prescribes Ritalin, a six week trial each school day, then see how we go! I am absolutely, to the core, dead set against this medication. In my heart of hearts I couldn’t give it to him. I was furious with the paed and decided to see our GP for further choices.

Next day, I spent one hour in the room with GP. I explained my feelings toward medication for what I truly believe is unnecessary for him and asked about diet. Same answer: six weeks Ritalin then take it from there.

Well, the day before this I came across your book Fed Up with ADHD at our local Big W. At the time I thought "interesting" but let’s see what the doctors say. Well, needless to say that evening after two doctors, and two "not happy with that” solutions, I called my husband and asked him to pick it up on the way home and read it in three days. But first thing next day skipped to the diet section and immediately introduced our family to failsafe foods.

We have been all five on the diet for the last twelve days and all five of us are seeing/feeling results. Some I didn’t even realise how bad they were pre failsafe. But -Joshua’s behaviour has improved so much! He is more compliant at school. He is getting his school work done with far less opposition. The changes in him are definitely due to the diet. The general disposition of everyone in the house is much calmer. It is actually OK for all of us to go out in public and not be constantly at the boys to calm down, behave, and stop fighting. I discovered that Josh can actually sit at the table and eat dinner like the rest of the human race, not with head, feet, knees anything but his bottom, on the chair. I have to agree with one case in "Fed Up" that I am spending an awful lot of time in the kitchen, but the kids are really adapting well to the food even the nightly meal. They are eating stuff they wouldn’t have touched before, even thought they were on very healthy limited processed foods. I just wanted to tell you that your books have been a light at the end of a very long windy tunnel and that your thoughts in the book give us hope that our square peg may not have to be shoved in the round hole after all. Thanks you again so much. - by email

I bought a copy of "Fed Up With Asthma" about 10 months ago. Since then I have been avoiding the food additives highlighted on your card and have had no significant asthma.

You argument seems to fit in perfectly with my history. I grew up in England and developed mild asthma as an adult. This was generally triggered by cats, house dust or overexertion. I moved to New Zealand, where my asthma got much worse. My doctor told me that this was due to the cold, damp Wellington climate.

I moved to Belgium in 2000. Despite living in a colder and damper climate I had no asthma in Belgium. During this time I drank very little wine, preferring the traditional local beers. I also consumed far fewer food additives just by being there. For example bread lasts less than a day as the bakers are fiercely traditional in their methods. The same is true of most other food providers.

On returning to New Zealand in 2004, the asthma started to return. This was despite living in sunny Nelson. I knew that it must have been caused by something regional. Your book helped me to identify the problem as bad food additives.

This afternoon I was shocked to hear an expert on asthma and allergies on Radio New Zealand re-iterating the old message about kids not eating enough dirt. I must have eaten loads as a kid. When I called in he insisted that there was no link to food additives, except perhaps sulphite in wine as a trigger. There is obviously still some way to go. Please keep up the good work! - by email from NZ

NOTE: Fed Up with Asthma is now out-of-print but updated but summarised in Fed Up, see chapter 7 And the asthma went away https://store16061019.ecwid.com/Fed-Up-p128364127

 

My 8 yr old son Jack, who is the failsafer in our house, watched you on a Current Affair on Monday night 4/6/05.

He said, “Is that the lady whose food I eat? The one that wrote the book?"

I told him yes, that's her, why?

He answered, “I’d like to met her!'

"Why?" I asked.

"To thank her for helping me".

It bought a tear to my eye. I said I'd let you know. It's great to know that the hard work, consistency and the occasional battles have been won and he now acknowledges the change himself. So thank you Sue from Jack and the rest of the family.

Your work has changed my son’s life – I know you probably hear it from everyone, but please keep doing what you're doing, it's such important work, and the fruits of your labor are starting to pay off!

I saw you on A Current Affair last week and started my son on failsafe foods on Monday -the transformation is amazing - he is so calm!

Going to the supermarket feels good - 'no, nothing in this aisle'... and saving at the checkout - you didn't mention that the failsafe diet was also cheap! I think it is the simplicity that I like most, everything used to be over the top and out of control.

I was searching the internet for bad behaviour when your report came up and every single symptom you listed described my daughter - I immediately cut 282 out of her diet and the difference in her was almost instant - I am sure that if I hadn't come across this, the doctors would have labelled her ADHD and I would be none the wiser.

My son’s eczema started when we introduced solids – having started reading your book I can see all kinds of foods he currently eats which may be causing a reaction so we’re about to try the elimination diet.

After seven weeks on the failsafe diet, we are much improved - I feel great, my 7 year old no longer wets the bed or has accidents, my 9 year old is no longer depressed and I can actually read his hand writing!!!

My son is the original sticky-pooh boy since introduction of solids and I have never understood why until now so thank you.

I have taken my son to psychologists, school counsellors, child nurse, hearing and ENT specialists, optometrists, etc, been through the ‘why is our son the naughtiest and roughest in school?’, ‘why is our son so defiant and angry?’ then I saw A Current Affair and followed the link to your site - bought the book the next day, read it, totally gobsmacked that there was a name for my son's behaviour, glad it wasn't ADD, and now am compiling my shopping list to try and start a new eating habit for him. Maybe I won't have to sell him after all!

We have been on the failsafe diet for nearly three and have had excellent results for the whole family - I have had no pre-menstrual migraines, my 18 month old’s eczema all but disappeared and my three year old's behaviour has changed dramatically.

44megan

I put my nearly two year old daughter on the failsafe diet about 18 months ago for her severe eczema. Since her symptoms were so bad we went gluten free as well but she actually got worse. It wasn’t until she improved on the wheat challenge that I realized the sulphites in the gluten free flours had been affecting her. She still didn’t come completely right and eventually we realized she was affected by sulphites in our bore water (we live on a farm). Then about three weeks ago I gave her a Pascall's white marshmallow and after a two hour sleep she woke with a very itchy rash covering a large part of her body. I believe it was caused by the sulphites in the gelatine in that one marshmallow. Since then we have stopped her sago and soy icecream (due to the sulphites in sago and gelatine) and I believe she is now completely sulphite free. Her skin is now perfect. – reader, Qld

I put my nearly two year old daughter on the failsafe diet about 18 months ago for her severe eczema. Since her symptoms were so bad we went gluten free as well but she actually got worse. It wasn’t until she improved on the wheat challenge that I realized the sulphites in the gluten free flours had been affecting her. She still didn’t come completely right and eventually we realized she was affected by sulphites in our bore water (we live on a farm). Then about three weeks ago I gave her a Pascall's white marshmallow and after a two hour sleep she woke with a very itchy rash covering a large part of her body. I believe it was caused by the sulphites in the gelatine in that one marshmallow. Since then we have stopped her sago and soy icecream (due to the sulphites in sago and gelatine) and I believe she is now completely sulphite free. Her skin is now perfect. – reader, Qld

I got asthma for the first time four years ago. At that time, I didn't know what was happening and it took me about two hours to breathe properly again. After my second asthma attack I went to the doctor and my peakflow reading was only 160 - anything under 200, you should be in hospital. I spent about $3000 trying to find out was wrong. I went to ear, nose and throat specialists, respiratory specialists etc. Finally I got the diagnosis of asthma, chronic allergic rhinosinusitis and I found out later by a blood test that I had alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (A1AD) – a genetic enzyme deficiency that can cause lung disease.

I have your books Fed Up, Fed Up with Asthma and the Failsafe Cookbook - all brilliant!!!! And I I have not been sick since I started the elimination diet. The only doctors’ visits I have needed have been to get approval to reduce the medication. When I first developed asthma, I was put on a preventer which I took 4 times a day. Later they put me on a stronger preventer (Symbicort 200/6 turbohaler). After the diet, when I cut down my preventer medication to half (2 puffs a day) my
peakflow readings never went below 400. When I had a peakflow reading of 500, I decided to reduce it again with the approval of my doctor. I felt so good the next day I decided not to take the preventer medication at night, I now only take the 1 puff of preventer in the morning.

Through the diet, I have found that I react to all the food you say sensitive people might react to: MSG, nitrates, salicylates, amines, colours, preservatives and dairy foods, although MSG is the worst. I do gluten free, egg free baking because I found out my 5 year old is dairy/gluten intolerant and my 6 year old reacts to eggs - they are affected by everything else like me and my 7 year old is also affected by antioxidants. I am also intolerant to chemicals and had very bad side effects from the contraceptive pill. I hope that other people will achieve the results I have as it has made a huge change in my life, and as a bonus, I have lost 15 kg! – Tracy Grove, NZ

I am a retired RN and I have three daughters and three young granddaughters. Throughout my life I have visited many doctors complaining of bowel problems, nausea, vomiting and feeling generally unwell, only to be told on frequent occasions and after many investigations, that it was all in my head. As a child I can recall frequently feeling very unwell and being diagnosed as having had "bilious attacks', however I can now attribute the cause of these episodes to an intolerance to natural food chemicals.

Because I enjoy cooking I often browse through recipe books in the shops and this is how, some years ago, I came across a copy of 'Friendly Food'. After browsing through it I realised that this book described symptoms which sounded very like mine. Maybe it wasn't in my head after all! I requested a referral from my GP to RPAH Allergy Clinic and after undertaking the elimination diet, my dietician at the clinic concluded that I was very sensitive to salicylates and I also had some milder reactions to quite a few other substances but not amines.

It is now quite a few years since I was diagnosed and I am delighted that there is now a website and also your great Failsafe Cookbook for guidance. The oldest of my granddaughters has recently been "tamed" from oppositional defiance disorder by using the Failsafe Diet. She is now quite a different child, no longer having restless legs, eczema, or being uncontrollable or defiant. Although she is only five years old she is quite happy to comply with the failsafe food because she now feels so much better. My three daughters all recognise that they do have problems with some foods so it appears that I have unfortunately handed down the problem to both generations.

I am now without too many problems although trying to modify my diet when I attended Weight Watchers was a bit of challenge. However, I did eventually manage to lose 10kg. When travelling to UK and the States I have always come home feeling very much the worse for wear due to food intolerances so I am delighted to see that there are now failsafe contacts overseas should I venture forth again one day. Getting people to understand food intolerances is always a problem and I am now quite used to being asked to say exactly what food items I am allergic to and then I try, often without success, to explain the difference between food intolerances and allergy. I am sure that your glossy brochures will be very useful for this. - Jane NSW

Before the diet, my son presented with headaches, itchy skin (in elbows, on legs, usually scratching until it bleeds), black circles under his eyes, "jumpy" behaviour, irritability, day and night pants wetting, pains in the tummy and awful loose bowel motions, blocked ears and sleep apnoea as well as incessant snorting and inability to breathe at night. As a baby he had eczema, colic, could not sleep and fussed with breast milk from 4 months ... somebody needs to support vulnerable new mothers to help their fussy kids, not make it worse by shoving disguised dairy foods (or whatever the particular issue is) down their throats, and then advise the mother to let them scream it out because they obviously have us fooled with sleeping and behaviour problems! – by email

My 9 year old son started on the failsafe diet 3 months ago and his is teacher this year said it is like having a totally different child in the class. Before the diet it was impossible to live peacefully. He would have uncontrollable tantrums that would last hours where he would scream, cry, kick, headbang etc and we didn't know what would set him off. When he was going through these rages he would constantly try to hurt himself and kept screaming at me that he was no good, he was a bad boy and I'd be better off with another little boy - it broke my heart every time it happened. I think the longest both of us went without any sleep because of a 'rage' was three days.

The crunch came when he went off at school after lunch one day and it took me hours to calm him down and then time to pacify the school. We were both at our wits end. When I decided that we needed to go failsafe I totally cleaned out my pantry and freezer of everything that wasn't 'safe' and went shopping. My son has adapted really well to the new foods and never complains about it. Because I had no angry foods in the house neither of us looked for them and my son was content to eat what was available. He now sticks strictly to the diet and will not eat anything unless he reads the label first and if he doesn't understand the label he says no because mum hasn't said he could have it and he doesn't know if it's 'safe'.

I am so proud of him today. From a child who was on the verge of being expelled from Year 3 to a happy one in just over 3 months is amazing. It is a joy to get him from school each day as he always comes out skipping/running and grinning like a busted watermelon - no more tears. He has told me more than once he is feeling better now he is not so angry all the time. We are one very grateful household. – by email

The symptom first appeared when I had taken my eight year old son to KFC. There was chicken salt on the chips. 48 hours later, he had woken with extremely swollen lips, they had peeled, split and were bleeding. He had obviously been bleeding in his sleep as well. I freaked at the thought of what could have happened that night.

After the process of "what did we have in the past couple of day”, I narrowed it down to the chicken salt. I warned my family, close friends and even my neighbours of what I believed to be an allergic reaction and purchased the Food Additives booklet from a health food store.

I came across this problem again with Kraft BBQ shapes, we used to eat these all time as a snack instead of lollies etc. I don't know whether or not they have changed their contents but we now can't eat them. His reaction time was again 48 hours.

However, the next time it happened, his reaction time had reduced to 1 - 2 hours. He was at a neighbour’s son's birthday party, and I warned the mother of my son’s possible allergic reaction. The party lasted for roughly 2 hours. When my son came home, I could see his lips growing as he walked towards me. They were blistering on the inside and bleeding. I immediately asked the mother what she had at the party and found that the cheese sticks she had given them had 635 in
it. I immediately gave him some Polaramine Syrup and his Seretide Puffer and drove him straight to the doctors, amazingly the polaramine had seemed to somewhat control the reaction.

The doctor could see his reaction. His fingers also started to pimple and blister. It was then that I was given a referral to a paediatrician. The doctor was also concerned that my son might be suffering from Stevens Johnson Syndrome [a severe adverse skin reaction to drugs].

By this time my head is spinning. I believe that I could lose my son at the drop of a hat due to the powers that be allowing these chemicals into our foods. – by email

A friend gave me your book "Fed up" to read and I simply can't believe the difference it has made to our lives. I have four children. Three of them have been terrible sleepers right from birth. I have spent a week at Tresillian house with my 3rd child, where he was handed back to me at the end of the week unchanged. My babies all woke up on average 8 times every night and I have been so sleep deprived over the past 8 years that I became postnatal.  I have a Degree in Early Childhood and have worked as a Director in a Pre-School for many years, and thought that I could control their behaviour by employing techniques acquired through professional training. It was frustrating to find that I couldn't cope. My first child was such a shock! I simply couldn't leave the house with him.

This book came in time for my 4th and final child. My daughter fell into the same terrible broken night sleep pattern as the others. After struggling for 8 months, she did start to settle down, waking perhaps once a night.  This was great until I started her, at age 10 months, on bread. She immediately returned to night waking - for no apparent reason - and also had a clear runny nose.  I found that the bread she was having had 282 in it. SO we stopped feeding it to her. Within a couple of nights she again settled down to a peaceful nights' sleep! AND her nose cleared up! I can't believe that it could have been that simple!

My question to you regards my children when they were babies, constantly struggling to sleep - could this additive (calcium propionate, 282) have been passed on to the baby through my breastmilk, causing a similar reaction??? [The answer is of course, YES, food chemicals are passed through breastmilk – Sue] – by email

I scheduled a meeting with my kids last night and we made up a temptations bag and a truth bag with non food goodies inside e.g. 1/2 hour extra bed time, 1/2 hour extra computer time, game of bowling. They all responded very well and the confessions came out, they were similar to what I thought. Just before bed I reaffirmed how proud of my son I was for his honesty and he got a massive case of the guilts and fessed up to lots more sneaks, redskin, food on excursion from other kids such as salad wrap, black jelly beans, chocolates etc. He said all the kids love my FS muffins and were happy to swap. – by email

My husband has severe and crippling arthritis - the failsafe diet has given him relief and mobility. – by email, NZ

For nearly two years I was being pushed to medicate my child, then I went to a dietitian and got the elimination diet and we found the answer - by email

Regarding flavour enhancer 635, I have had three reactions to this substance, it is in Lays Flamin’ Hot Chips and Flamin’ Hot Munchies, it caused me within minutes to break out in a rash on my face, neck, and anywhere else I had touched on my body. It went away the next day but really scared me this time. – by email

It'll be nice to talk to someone who doesn't think I am being a rigid wowser bent on making my children’s life difficult! – by email, about meeting another failsafer

We could not believe the change in my 11 year old son’s mood as a result of the diet – he was suffering from frequent feelings of depression, accompanied by episodes of weeping and rage at the same time and an anti-depressant was a disaster. After six months, depression is a thing of the past. – by email

My dad sent me Fed up with ADHD from Australia and I have read it again and again. With the exception of the sleeping difficulties it was like reading a biography of my 8 year old son – by email, UK

Until I read your excellent book Fed Up with Asthma I had no idea food additives could trigger asthma, even as a sufferer all my life. The guidance of my invaluable local GP and your exceptional book have helped me to bring my asthma under control. – by email When we went to see a paediatrician 18 months ago she wanted to give us two types of drugs for both kids. If she had mentioned diet I wouldn't have been calling you people with such desperation now. – by email

On two occasions I have been admitted to hospital with breathlessness and suspected symptoms of heart attack - on both occasions, after extensive tests, no abnormalities were found. I was quite surprised to read in your book the instance of the doctor who had a similar experience. – failsafer, by email

My 7 year old has gotten two merit awards in two weeks and I have nothing but praise about her from her teachers. She has been following the diet since December and although she still needs the Ritalin I find she is much better than last year. - email

I have osteo-arthritis which is much less painful if I adhere to the diet – if I inadvertently eat something that upsets me, I become overwhelmingly weary, my arthritis flares up and I can get bloating and irritable bowel symptoms. l often say in jest, " I cheat! I pay!" – by email

I have had unexplained nausea for years now, foggy brain so bad that I would forget what I was saying, and felt really tired all the time, sometimes needing two sleeps a day. After one month on the diet all this has gone, I expected it to improve on the diet but never thought it would stop completely. – by email

Thanks to your work and for your ongoing support, life at our house has improved enormously. – by email

As for convincing my family that diet is important, we would show them the eczema the day it looked the worst, and they would be convinced! – by email, Sydney

My cousin is 4 weeks into the failsafe diet and is reporting great effects for herself and two daughters (one with ASD) – by email.

My husband said that your book has helped us more than any doctor ever has. – by email

I have taken my 3yo son off all commercial bread products (it's become quite a crusade for me!) with marvellous results.

When my son was 18 months he was only just babbling. He was considered to have the language skills of a 9 month old.

After 6 months of speech therapy he was starting to mimic animal noises with prompting.

By 27 months he had 2 words - mummy and no.

At 30 months I took him off commercial bread and at 34 months, he just started talking one day.

At 36 months (last week) he now has the normal vocabulary of a 3 - 3.5 year old, and the understanding of language of a 4 year old.

He is still having problems with actual speech, he only uses 2 word phrases most of the time and stutters occasionally, but the change in him in 4 months was amazing. He also has less tantrums, sleeps better and is generally easier to get along with. He was going to be assessed for autistic disorders in a few weeks, but since taking him off 282 he has changed (he talks now! and his behaviour is so much better) and I know that his paediatrician will be amazed at his progress.

Occasionally, (about once every second month) we travel to the city and Hungry Jacks is a real treat for us. Unfortunately, he likes the plain burger (just meat and sauce) but we pay for it for the next 24 hours - tantrums, inability to sit still, argumentative, aggressive and generally hard to get along with.

My son has quite an interesting medical history as he was diagnosed at 7 months with Failure to Thrive and at 10 months with maternal induced Vitamin B12 deficiency (he was totally breast fed and it was discovered that I had Pernicious Anaemia). - Naomi, South Australia

'I read as much as I could on the internet site and ordered your books after a very very BAD Christmas Day with my son Nathan (not his real name). Although we really don't eat that much junk, I was surprised at the number of bad additives in ordinary food. In particular, Christmas goodies are laden with additives!'

As well as additives, Christmas treats of dried fruit and seasonal summer fruits are high in natural food chemicals called salicylates, likely to be a big problem for oppositional kids. I asked Nathan's mother for more details. Luckily, there's a happy ending. Here's her fascinating story:

'On Christmas morning, Nathan (12) was in already in a bad mood. The day before, he had pigged out on grapes and plums - but I didn't really think at that time that that could have been the issue - I mean they were healthy!!! We also had Grandma staying with us, and I think she probably spoiled them a little during her stay with lollies and soft drinks.

On Christmas Day, we were at the other grandparents' place and Nathan's behaviour was getting worse. He was eating the normal Christmas food - chips (BBQ and Sour Cream and Chives), mixed lollies, but particularly red and green M&Ms, rumballs with lots of raisins and dried fruit, plum pudding, custard (artificial colours 110 & 102), sausages, and drinking cans of soft drink one after the other.

Nathan was egging the other boys on to create havoc. After a couple of time outs things seemed to be OK.We were ignoring the bad and hoping that he would come to his senses and enjoy the day.When he sat next to me to look at some old photos, I suggested to him that he needed to apologise (BAD MISTAKE!!). He didn't think he had to and threw a temper tantrum and a chair to the ground. Poppy decided that enough was enough and proceeded to smack him (BIGGER
MISTAKE!!).Needless to say the smacking did nothing but fire poor Nathan up and he decided to run away.

The last time he ran away, it took me nearly 3 hours to find him and he had travelled nearly 15kms. This time luckily it didn't take that long. We had a cool down time together and I managed to get him back to Grandma's in a quiet, subdued mood.

It was Christmas Eve that I ordered your books, after crying out of frustration and despair. They arrived in the new year, and after reading the books, I think that there were two things that triggered it off - one was the pigging out on that fruit and the other was all that junk food.

We didn't go the whole hog with elimination diet - at this stage - but what we have done is followed the 'additives to avoid' card and also limited the types of fruit, sticking mainly with red delicious apples, pears and Cavendish bananas. For the last four weeks of the school holidays, all 4 of our boys (and us) enjoyed a peaceful school holidays. They still argue like boys do, but are not spiteful or aggressive - they're more likely to settle it peacefully.

So now I make bikkies, sausage rolls (which all the boys and hubby love) and I even make my own cordial. Generally if they have something with additives we can see the difference the next day ... Nathan develops a 'hard done by' attitude, and starts yelling at his brothers. He was probably the worst of the four boys, but all had their bad days.

Best of all is that Nathan is smiling more now - he used to be such a misery guts. We've also switched to A2 milk as both the boys had to have soy formula milk when they were little. I noticed the difference in one of the others when we didn't bother to get it one week - he was cranky and irritable. As well, their asthma seems to have disappeared.

I am now convinced of the diet. Even hubby who was initially sceptical but supportive - he knew that something needed to be done - is convinced, and happy to eat his 'bad' food away from home.' - by email