The FSA's Recommendations For 2009
In April 2008, following a study of the findings of a research project by Southampton University into the possible effects of certain colour additives on children’s behaviour which was carried out in 2007, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommended that UK food manufacturers should be encouraged to voluntarily remove six colour additives from their manufacturing process by 2009.
Colour Additives Involved And The Reasons For Recommending Their RemovalThe colour additives which the FSA would like to see removed from food and drink manufacture here in the UK are:
- Quinoline yellow (E104)
- Sunset Yellow (E110)
- Allura Red (E129)
- Tartrazine (E102)
- Carmoisine (E122)
- Ponceau 4R (E124)
The reasons cited by the FSA for their request in asking companies to voluntarily remove these additives are that they are all synthetic dyes which do not exist naturally and whose only purpose is to give colour to certain types of food and drink but, other than that, they have no intrinsic value.
The research has also indicated that if parents cut out these artificial colours from their children’s diets, there may be some beneficial effects on the behaviour of children who are susceptible to hyperactivity. However, the FSA were keen to point out that there can be many factors relating to a child’s hyperactivity levels which are not necessarily associated with diet such as genetic factors, environmental considerations, general upbringing and whether a child was born premature or not. It also emphasised the fact that these additives have all been passed and certified as safe in the past but they just wanted to make the point that safety guidelines which were published 20 years ago should be reviewed again in the wake of these findings and, therefore, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked by the EC to re-evaluate all additives which are used in food and drink production which they have done.