Failsafe65 July – December 2010
Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network
July – December 2010
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.
Additives and Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
Iodine deficiency due to salt restriction
Research: Diet and gout; 'Clean Room' Pittsburgh Study on autism
In brief: The new magnifying failsafe card; Fedup Roadshow 2010; Karitane colour survey; New CSPI report on colours; EU warning on colours; Phase-out of baby bottles containing Bisphenol A (BPA)
Now targeting: Pears in syrup SUCCESS!, Darrell Lea white jelly beans
Readers' stories: -
Product updates: new products, warnings, failsafe sausages
Questions: detailed help and information.
Cooks Corner: Hint: birthday cake icing, Hint: eggfree pancakes, Vegbake, Quick hollandaise sauce, Bron’s Mini Pizzas
Welcome to our last newsletter for 2010, especially to those who are joining us as a result of our recent FedUp Roadshow. Thank you for progress reports such as this one from a mother in Port Lincoln, SA: ‘Since your visit a lot of families have changed what we are giving our children and it’s wonderful to see the results - smiling mums!’
News in this issue: finally, a warning about artificial colours is now mandatory on foods in the EU; new report about colours and cancer; hospitalisations for Atrial Fibrillation increase but sufferers are ignored when they say their AF is due to additives; and what you should know about iodine.
In Research, an intriguing study about autism is now underway, and more about gout.
The Reader Stories section ‘is always my favourite bit’ writes one father. See social phobia, tantrums, breastfeeding, red ears, torso rash, irritable bowel symptoms transformed, why Australia has more preservatives than Britain and many more …
Don’t miss out on Product Updates with new foods, warnings, and the new ‘sausage bar’ - choose your ingredients and watch your sausages being made; and more yummy Recipes.
I’d also like to thank everyone who has helped to spread the word this year by buying additive-free foods, sharing your stories, joining our groups, attending talks, contacting manufacturers, lobbying or sending recipes. Howard and I wish you all a very happy holiday season.
Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate
Additives and Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
Further reading: Burkhart CG. 'Lone' atrial fibrillation precipitated by monosodium glutamate and aspartame. Int J Cardiol. 2009;137(3):307-8. http://www.mpwhi.com/ijc_atrial_fibrillation.pdf, Wong C, Sanders P. Increasing trend in hospital admissions due to atrial fibrillation, presented at the European Society of Cardiology's Scientific Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, 2010, Royal Adelaide Hospital http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/news41021.html.
Iodine deficiency due to salt restriction
A US study has found that salt restriction is associated with iodine deficiency among women but not men. In Australia, iodine deficiency is also increasing. If you are restricting your salt intake you may need to consult a dietitian. Failsafe sources of iodine include iodised salt, seafood and recommended multivitamin supplements but not seaweed which is rated very high in salicylates, amines and glutamates. Previous sources of iodine included some vegetables, eggs and dairy foods but experts think iodine levels are dropping due to soil depletion and in dairy products due to changes in processing. The value of dietary iodine can be reduced by certain foods including some failsafe vegetables (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, swedes and soy products). When large quantities of these foods are eaten, levels of dietary iodine need to be adequate. Signs of iodine deficiency in the long term include fatigue, dry skin, hair loss and slowed reflexes.
Further reading http://www.healthyeatingclub.org/info/articles/Minerals/iodine.htm, Declining iodine content of milk and re-emergence of iodine deficiency in Australia MJA 2006;184 (6): 307 http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/184_06_200306/letters_200306_fm-2.html, Tayie FA, Jourdan K. Hypertension, dietary salt restriction, and iodine deficiency among adults. Am J Hypertens. 2010;23(10):1095-102.
Books and DVD available through www.fedup.com.au
You can buy Sue’s books and DVD individually or as “the set” (Fed Up, the Failsafe Cookbook & the DVD Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour) at competitive prices.
Diet and gout: Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in men, affecting approximately 1-2% of adult men in Western countries. Prevalence of gout in the US has approximately doubled over the past two decades. Studies have observed an increased risk of gout among those who consumed the highest amounts of meat, seafood and alcohol. Lee SJ and others. Recent developments in diet and gout. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2006 ;18(2):193-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16462528. In our experience, when families go failsafe for a child’s behaviour, it is common for the father’s gout to improve, see our updated Arthritis factsheet.
'Clean Room' Pittsburgh Study on autism: a $US330,000 study to observe autistic children in a specially constructed room free of airborne toxins, pollution and allergens is currently underway in the US http://cleanroom.net/?p=7621 in an attempt to replicate the successful Slimak study. http://www.immuneweb.org/articles/slimak.html.
Diet not working as well as you'd hoped?
The new magnifying failsafe card with names and numbers of all 50 additives to avoid was very popular on the Fedup Roadshow 2010.
Now available through www.fedup.com.au at 10 cards for only $5.00 (post & GST incl).
Since some food manufacturers are switching to names to confuse consumers, this handy wallet card will help you and all your family at the supermarket.
26/9/2010 Karitane colour survey: Over 60% of Australian mothers have noticed behavioural changes in their children after eating food containing artificial colours and preservatives, according to a survey this month by family research and welfare group Karitane. http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/wellbeing/seeing-red-over-additives-20100925-15rkz.html
Artificial colours pose risks of cancer, hyperactivity in children, and allergies, and should be banned, according to a new report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. A top government scientist agrees, and says that food dyes present unnecessary risks to the public. See Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks http://www.cspinet.org/new/201006291.html.
From July 21st 2010, a warning about artificial colours: "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children" must be used on foods in the EU. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:354:0016:0033:en:PDF. This warning is not required in Australia where it is still up to parents to read labels. More information.
Baby bottles containing Bisphenol A (BPA) are being phased out voluntarily in Australia by the Wesfarmers group (Coles, K Mart and Target), and retailers Woolworths, Big W and Aldi, responding to consumer concern and the USFDA’s announcement about BPA. Withdrawal of BPA baby bottles from the market has occurred in the United States, Canada and a number of European countries. Our regulators, of course, continue to deny any issue: “Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has evaluated the safety of BPA and plasticisers in baby bottles and concluded that levels of intake of BPA or plasticisers are very low and do not pose a risk to babies health.” (30/06/2010)
Pears in syrup: thank you to Cara who organised the petition and to everyone who responded. It appears that we have been successful. Please let us know if you see pears in syrup disappear from the shelves.
Darrell Lea white jelly beans now contain orange oil. A reader writes: “I asked my hubby to buy a whole box of Darrell Lea white jelly beans for my daughter’s birthday party and had to take them all back after opening a packet and finding out they are very strong flavour and smell and now contain orange oil. My children are too sensitive for this as I am sure are a lot of others out there. Can you please let others know as when I spoke to Darrell Lea the lady said if more of us call in and make a complaint they would likely change the recipe back to a safer option. BUT WE NEED TO CALL AND SAY SOMETHING. Thanx heaps, Kate NSW” - you can phone 02 9529 3366 or email http://www.dlea.com.au/index.php?/Contact_us/Customer_Feedback_&_Enquiries/Feedback
You can see all Success stories.
 One-liners (October 2010)
Thanks for your newsletter - the Readers' Stories section is always my favourite bit. - Tony, by email
I had previously looked through your book and believed I already did 'all that' - I cook nearly everything from scratch for my children, it wasn’t until I sat down and read the book and realised that even the margarine I was using to cook my delicious home-made recipes was no good for my son! – by email, NSW
A week after starting failsafe my eldest (3 1/2yr old) stopped wetting her pants which was nothing short of a miracle and has now gone to bed two nights in a row without a nappy!! – Anna, Vic
We have been following Failsafe eating for three months and it has made an enormous change to our 5 year old boy. Pre-diet he was very aggressive and had developed a range of tics, now all the tics have gone and his lovely, funny nature is shining through. So far the challenges that have affected him have been dairy and salicylates – Karen, by email
My husband and I have been a convert to failsafe for 8 or 9 years - my husband heard Sue on radio late in the evening on his way home from work and from that night forward we read labels! Grand-daughter has survived to 13 years of age thanks to Sue – Kay, by email.
Thank you very much for the blood, sweat and tears you have exerted to make life so much easier for those of us who have food intolerances, or who have loved ones with food intolerances - in my case, my husband and daughter - Debra, by email
I am a coeliac, my two sons have coeliac indicators and one has marked behavioural allergic issues. Our home became a far calmer place within just two weeks of beginning the elimination diet. A full night’s sleep from our youngest after 3 1/5 years of multiple nightly wakings is such a gift to us all!! – Vincent, NSW
We are still having positive results on the diet ... it’s amazing, both kids have now added amine intolerant to the list & I am also, I would never have guessed I would have noticed a personal change but I feel great – Deb, by email.
All this just as she gets the bug to learn to cook (finally at 16) all those Masterchef episodes were wonderful. We shall now see if our creativity can extend to Failsafe recipes. - Jenny, Qld
Like the story in newsletter #64, my kids also have reactions to children’s paracetamol - the Panadol brand seems to be the worst for some reason - they become restless, and are then awake most of the night.- Jessica, by email
Please send your paracetamol recipe as our 18 month old daughter seems to get really upset after taking children’s Panadol syrup. – Helen, by email
When researching behavioural issues in my 2 yo daughter and 4 yo son, the information from your website helped me to work out that annatto in the Nestle brand yoghurt for kids was sending them off. – Rose, by email
I am reading your book 'Fed Up with Asthma' and finding it very enlightening. You have included so many alternatives to problematic chemicals and additives to make life liveable. – by email (Fed up with Asthma is out of print but available in libraries. Otherwise, see chapter 7 in the 2008 edition of Fed Up).
I had some bacon the other day and sure enough, the next day I had a migraine. First time in a long time. That has confirmed to me that this is definitely a trigger for my migraines. I also had pre-migraine thirst and a craving for sugary food. – by email
My husband is an amine responder and reacts to chocolate with gout like symptoms.- Rose, WA
My child (on coloured antibiotics) is like a kid on speed today - screaming and yelling, hitting her sister, breaking trees and generally being violent and frustrated at every little thing. I'm taking her off the medication in the hope she will get better on her own as the alternative is not pleasant for anyone, herself included. – by email
Unfortunately I was unable to attend your seminar in Port Lincoln. A few of my friends went and told me how wonderful you were. I borrowed your book Fed Up and read it in two days - unreal! It has been like a light switched on in my head! I also borrowed the DVD and watched it twice the same day!! We have made a few changes, and already I can see the change in my son! - Kylie, SA
 Depression and social phobia: diet a lifesaver (October 2010) COURAGE AWARD
I can't tell you how happy I am to have found out about FAILSAFE (by accident). It's only day three and I feel like a different person. However, I will be aware of any withdrawal symptoms over the next few days or weeks.
If this diet works, as I'm sure it will, you will have literally saved my life. I was on the brink of giving up. I felt my life was over. Words can't describe how ill and depressed I had become. Life was miserable. No doctor wanted to help, couldn't help or just didn't believe me. One doctor told me my symptoms were all psychosomatic.
I went to the shops today and didn't have social phobia. That in itself is a miracle. My depression has lifted. My nerves are calm and my tummy is happy. It's not a chore in any way to eat the foods recommended and avoid the others.
Update after one month - Overall, the depression is the best it's ever been. Of course, there have been days where I've felt down and discouraged. Even then, I handled a relapse of chronic fatigue more positively than I have ever done before. My daughter noticed this too and told me so. I just took one day at a time and listened to my body. Many days were spent flat on my back, which is the best thing I could have done anyway.
The social phobia is long standing (since about 8yrs old). Looking back at my childhood, I think that there were many foods that were affecting me. I had terrible shyness, was afraid of everything, had constipation, tummy aches, migraines, bad breath, heat intolerance, fluctuating weight and eating disorders (binges and starving).
Update after six months – I am happy to report ongoing improvements in overall mental, emotional and health conditions. I have had around 40 people now, tell me how amazing I am looking (I must have looked terrible before). They ask me what's my secret? I am happy to tell them- FAILSAFE!! I will never go back to eating the way I was. This diet is for life. - Liz, NSW
 Paediatrician impressed with improvement (October 2010)
When I first picked up the two books I chose only the "Fed Up", because "The Failsafe Cookbook" looked just like another recipe book to me. But I was back to the bookstore a few days later buying “The Failsafe Cookbook” and it has become our manual for living ever since, and a permanent fixture on the kitchen bench! PS - the pediatrician was very pleased with my daughter's improvement and asked about the book, he had heard of it but not known anyone who had tried to follow it, so was very impressed when he could see results - Teresa by email.
 Extraordinary tantrums (October 2010)
First of all thank you for being my saviour!! My 4 year old little boy had been getting increasingly worse in his behaviour and we had pretty much become isolated due to his extraordinary tantrums that lasted anything up to 2 hours 3 or 4 times a week. I never knew when they would happen and it was normally as soon as we met up with friends in a play centre he would become aggressive, loud, uncontrollable and impossible to calm. Many times I have left a shop or playcentre with him folded under my arm, kicking and screaming, biting anyone or anything that came in his way.
We had already been seeing a paediatrician as he was also under weight and under height for his age. They hadn't found anything wrong but his blood tests were not quite right either. I was getting desperate and he is starting school next Thursday and I couldn't imagine what they were going to say!!
Until 'Fed Up' ... We have been following the elimination diet (mostly) for the last 2 weeks with dramatic results. We have not had any tantrums for 10 days. He is a pleasure to be around and he is sleeping much better. We are not there yet, but so much better. I can't quite believe he's the same child!!
(2 months later) He is now a couple of months in and we are so lucky to have such a gorgeous child now. We have had the occasional bad mood or minor tantrum if we have strayed a little or if we have made a mistake but no major full blown ones since we started the elimination diet - Fay, UK.
 Breastfeeding: unsettled 6 mth old became a new baby after 3 days (October 2010)
I first had contact with Sue way back in 2001, when her article called ‘Restless Babies’ in Nursing Mothers magazine saved my life!! I went failsafe as I was breastfeeding our unsettled/ ratty 6 mth old baby. We were amazed after she became a new baby after 3 days of diet!! That baby is now 9, and very conscious of the additives that affect her, and knows that by avoiding them, she feels better.- by email. (You can read ‘Restless babies’)
 Unexplained diarrhoea & stomach pain (October 2010)
I am a frustrated mother of a beautiful 4 year old boy. I have taken my son to see numerous GPs, dietitians & gastroenterologists, all of who have told me that the Elimination Diet is too restrictive, too hard, not worth the effort or words to that effect. However, upon discovering The Failsafe Cookbook & Fed Up books and starting him on the diet by avoiding the artificial additives, we have noticed significant improvement in his symptoms. The initial symptoms were unexplained diarrhoea & stomach pain. However, an unexpected and exciting benefit of this diet is that his behaviour has dramatically improved. He isn't as irritable, more compliant and a lot more pleasant to be around - Anita by email.
 282: Mumbles and nosebleeds (October 2010)
About 4 weeks ago i removed 282 from my sons diet and he improved greatly, he would only speak in a mumble, he suffered from many nose bleeds in the week, was very negative about everything, not affectionate, didn't interact at preschool, would not co-operate at speech therapy. The change has been great he is talking so much more, he has not had a nose bleed since stopping 282, he is loving to everyone, he was great at speech did everything he was asked and sat still, interacts with others and notices things around him so much more - Reader by email.
 Failsafe yellow card results (October 2010)
I recently attended one of Sue's talks, and I have begun by just eliminating the additives on the yellow card I was given at the talk. While I have not weeded out all additives, I have seen a huge improvement in my son's behaviour, which I wasn't REALLY having too much of an issue with as a general rule, but I thought I would try it to see what happened. He has gone from a kid who wasn't getting in a lot of trouble at school, but only got 3 happy notes at school in two terms, to one who got a happy note about every 2 weeks from when I started eliminating the additives, as well as a merit award. While small compared to other people's results, I am really pleased with this, and he is generally calmer and easier to deal with. I never particularly noticed a link between what he ate and his behaviour, but now I see it! He had a lolly bag from a friend's birthday on Friday, and he was defiant and argumentative for 2 days after that. Fortunately, today it seems to be out of his system. – Alice, NSW
 Feedback after two years on failsafe (August 2010)
Our family have been following the Fed Up books for over 2 years now for a 5 year old daughter who was reacting severely with rashes on her face & body & a son whose doctor wanted to prescribe ADHD medication.
I can happily report that our daughter is rash-free and in fact after 7 years she doesn't even have eczema anymore. I believe her immune system has improved dramatically since being mostly failsafe. She is a healthy beautiful clear-skinned little girl with a good resistance to illnesses these days. My son is also progressing well with a mostly failsafe diet and fish oils to help with concentration. (our biggest problems - artificial colours & preservatives & in my daughter case - corn as well).
Just as an aside to this story - I put up with dreadful headaches every day for about 15 years, along with the headaches I got muscle cramps in my neck & shoulders. I was on a muscle relaxant for years until visiting a chiropractor. I went off the medication but after some weeks had a return of the problem after eating bacon & ham.....I am now convinced it was nitrates that were giving me the problem, and I have proven it a couple of times since. I have read about headaches & nitrates but can’t find anything on it affecting the muscles - for years I thought I was just being uptight!! - Julie by email
 A2: Irritable bowel symptoms transformed by A2 milk (July 2010)
For the past 18+ months my wife has suffered from an increasing problem with gut issues and chronic diarrhea and related symptoms. She has tried various milks and milk substitutes (soy, etc). None have made any difference to her gut problems. Her GP has not found any specific cause and has recommended a range of tests and indicated it was probably "irritable bowel syndrome" which I'm sure you know is one of the catch-all medical labels which basically means "we don't really know".
On pure chance my wife (who had seen your report a couple of years ago on A2) decided about 6 weeks ago she had nothing to lose by trying A2 milk.
Our life has been transformed and this happened literally overnight! Gut patterns are back to normal, a far far cry from many daily urgent dashes to the loo, usually immediately after eating or drinking almost anything but particularly things containing dairy products. Literally life became normal within 4 hours of her first bowl of oatmeal with A2 milk. Absolutely amazing. The transformation has been astounding and we are very grateful to the people that have figured out the A2 story - Russell by email.
 635: OMG! (May 2010)
I found your site quite by accident Googling and I had an 'OMG' moment - I have suffered from rashes on my torso for more years than I can count, also itchy dry skin and bowel upsets when I ate different things. I read about 635 and I was saved. I went through my pantry and was gobsmacked at how many items I was consuming with this additive in it. Since disposing of them all (and believe me there were many) and checking what I buy but mostly sticking to food that looks like food all my problems have disappeared. I cannot tell you, nor would I know myself, how much money I have spent on creams, lotions, powders and tablets, and the misery my life has been because of this -and how it is a different as night and day since I found out about it. Thank God for your site or I would still be oblivious to what was causing my suffering....who would have thought that I would still be learning at age 64!!!!!! - Maev by email
 Food on cruise (October 2010)
I recently went on a cruise for 9 nights on a P and O ship. When I booked it sounded like the chefs would be accommodating for any diet, but I found the food a bit difficult! They don’t seem to understand salicylates, even the cooks!! By the end of the trip I was hanging to get home to eat properly - the food was getting very boring. They didn’t make any special gluten-free food other than bread so I was thankful I had taken some cake and biscuits. When we visited a little island we weren’t allowed to take food with us and they were providing a bbq. Well the only thing I could find to eat there was a red delicious apple!!! - Rosemaree, SA
 Australia has more preservatives than Britain (October 2010)
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your guidance on food additives. I noticed a while back, when we were living in Scotland, that my daughter (aged 3) reacted to salicylates. I found some information about Dr Feingold's work and kept fruit etc to a minimum. It was only after we moved to Australia that I noticed a big change in her (anxiety, defiance, restlessness, night waking, loud silly noises, aggression towards her brother). We blamed it on the move, a new baby brother etc. But we had no real idea as to what was causing it until we found your website and realised both cream cheese and bread in Australia have preservatives! We never had this problem in the UK so I didn't realise dishing up cream cheese sandwiches (my daughter's favourite) would cause us all such bother! I do hope some changes can be made here in Australia. We are only two weeks into our changed diet and the difference is astounding! - Emma, WA (Australian regulators say we have a higher permitted level of preservatives because of our hot climate - S)
 Artificial colour challenge with Black & Gold ice cream cone (October 2010)
I did a colour challenge today with a Black & Gold Icecream cone (102, 110, 133, 155) on my 4 yr old son and within 20 minutes he was jumping around, making silly noises, laughing in a very silly fashion and unable to concentrate on a board game we usually play that he would normally focus on very well. My husband was there this time to witness it (I did it on purpose because the hubs is "cheating" a little with my son a bit too often now when it comes to "other foods"). I saw the look on my husband's face when the realisation hit. I got my point across without nagging. I even asked my son why he thought he was behaving the way he was because he does not usually act like that. I saw my son "try" to calm himself down and to his credit he was able to tone the behaviour down a little but it took over an hour and a half before he was able to settle back to what I would call normal behaviour. There was no anger or stern sounding instructions from me for his behaviour as I knew we had induced it. He was very clingy again too. He just wants a cuddle and tells me he loves me and once he is reassured he is off again bouncing around. Absolutely astonishing stuff. I only wish there had been more family and friends around to see it! – by email, WA
 Another dog with fits due to additives in dog food (October 2010)
I was particularly fascinated by the reader story on the dog with fits . One of our rescued dogs was adopted from the vet. She was doing very well on their dry food (additive free) and we decided to keep using this. OK so far. Then we adopted another dog -- this time a pure bred and we fed her the same food. But we decided this was getting very boring and in a creative (oh no!) moment, we decided to mix a bit of canned dog food just to give the dry food some taste variety. Although I was aware of failsafe food, I didn't think to read the labels -- given that the dogs would eat absolutely anything they can find (we live out bush) the last thing I thought of was food sensitivity. Kai started to fit in groups of three about every 2 weeks. Two vets encouraged us to put her on medication (would have been for life) but we instinctively felt we should wait a little longer before we did this. Our neighbour had been a vet nurse and casually remarked that they had found additives caused dog fitting. The tinned foods! We stopped them (have since added fresh dog food without additives to their diet). No more fits. We told the vet who was dubious about the cause of them. We had no doubts after one night when, after being fit free after we removed tinned food, she had three fits. I thought that our theory had been disproved until my husband realised that without thinking he had opened a tin I had neglected to throw away -- and had given her a small amount. No more fits ever since. – Jane, NT (see our Pets factsheet)
 319,320: Itchy red burning rash/eczema due to antioxidants in hot chips (October 2010)
My 14 month old ate some hot chips at a restaurant last weekend for lunch and two hours later she had a very bad red burning rash/ eczema all over her body. She has had eczema from a newborn relating to milk but has out grown this intolerance. I was surprised at how bad her reaction was; very red and angry looking all over her body, very irritable and would not leave my arms. I was also very surprised at how quick the rash came out!! I called the restaurant they said the chips come already cut and packaged with ingredients: Vegetable Oil, Soya bean, Cotton Seed, Sunflower and dextrose. Chips are then cooked in Vegetable Oil with antioxidant E900, E319 and E320. Do you think it might be the antioxidants or something else? The chips did not have chicken flavouring on them - I thought of that and asked them they said no seasoning at all.
Two weeks later: went to a McDonald's Birthday Party today and while I was taking one of my other children to the toilet a friend gave my daughter approximately 10 hot chips (ingredients include antioxidant 320). When I was putting her to bed tonight she had broken out in eczema on her face and body. Only small patches, nothing like when I first contacted you regarding a bad reaction to hot chips at a restaurant and she ate a lot more that day. I am thinking if she had eaten a lot more the reaction would have been worse! I presume I can now say she definitely has a food intolerance to antioxidants as she has now reacted twice to hot chips with antioxidants 319 (TBHQ) and/or 320 (BHA). - Breda, NSW
 Red ears in a baby a common sign of food intolerance (October 2010)
My first child was what some would call a colicky baby. There seemed no pattern, and sometimes nothing I did would settle him. When he was distressed nursing helped, but he was restless, pulling off the breast after a few minutes. In fact he snacked all day and night, rather than taking full feeds. My midwife suggested that something could be going through my milk which disagreed with him, and I stopped eating dairy, citrus and onions for a while, but to no effect. I asked many people about an odd thing – when he fed, he often got one red ear. No-one knew what it was or thought it important.
By six months his distress had settled down, though he remained an anxious baby and toddler (a friend described him as a ‘whiny baby’). At 18 months he became very ill with gastroenteritis. From this time on he was never the same. His anxiety increased, he’d have what seemed like panic attacks, clinging to me with a highpitched squeal and a bewildered little face. He kept getting red ears, one or the other or both, flushed cheeks, and red lips. Yet at other times he seemed fine. (It took another 3 years for this mother to discover that food intolerance was the cause of her baby’s problems…) His symptoms changed as he got older, but now we know his main triggers, he is well most of the time. Looking back, we could have been saved all of this if someone had been able to tell us that red ears are a common sign of food intolerance. So are colic, night restlessness, anxiety, panic attacks, mouth discomfort and the desire to suck vigorously and many more symptoms he displayed. – Jan, from http://www.lalecheleague.org.nz/template/articles__information/food_intolerances.pdf
 An open letter to the Health Commissioner in my state about pharmaceutical labeling (October 2010)
I'd like to bring to your attention the outcome of my 3 1/2 year old daughter after taking Cephalexin or commonly known as Keflex. My daughter is intolerant to artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. The reaction should she eat foods with them in is the following:
· Lots of violent anger, frustration, screaming, yelling, temper tantrums off the scale
· Throwing objects, hitting people, hitting herself
· Will not listen to otherwise normal instructions
· Sleeplessness, very unsettled at night
This is exactly what happened after 4 days of taking Cephalexin (chemart brand) of Keflex...... My problem is that because in Australia it isn't legal for pharmaceutical companies to list their ingredients on the bottle/box it is very hard for the consumer to know what they are feeding themselves and their families. I had to ask the pharmacist, who looked it up for me, but lo and behold no numbers just a bunch of foreign chemical names, some of which I was able to decipher and found them to be detrimental to my daughters intolerance.
How come a packet of lollies can manage to fit a list of ingredients on it, but a big bottle of medicine can't .... I find it negligent of the pharmaceutical companies and the Australian Government to not tell the consumers what they are taking.
Why does children's medication have artificial colours and preservatives in that aren't necessary in a bottle that has an expiry of only 30 days anyway - it's really really bad and something needs to be done..... I refer you to this page to see how many people are affected.....http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/support-factsheets/medication
Why doesn't Western Australia take a stand and enforce much needed changes on these pharmaceutical companies... some of the additives are banned in some countries - doesn't that tell us something? – thanks to Tiffany
 160b, 635: Poisoning my family with 635 and annatto (October 2010)
When I started to really read food labels, I was horrified by the fact that I was poisoning our whole family - especially with 635 and annatto. You asked me how we are affected by these additives.
635 - Myself (main symptom is migraines): dried, red lips. It looks like I have lipstick on. I feel dehydrated and get migraine style headaches. Photosensitivity in my sight. Lethargy. Unfulfilled feeling of thirst. Frequent urination that seems very diluted. Mmy 4 yo son (main symptom is defiance): dried, red lips also. Dehydration and thirst. Frequent urination. Sooky or whingy type of demeanor. My 2 yo daughter (main symptom is urticaria): After having a piece of bacon the size of a 10 cent piece, it sent her into massive hives. It seemed like she had a headache or faceache and she screamed at a high pitch and then cried for about 20 mins. I nearly called an ambulance. Very out of character for her and she barely cries for more than a minute normally. Our 635 foods were French Onion Soup Powder – I would use in casseroles, potato bake, soups - Smiths brand Crisps, sausages from the butcher, tinned soup such as Spring Lamb with Vegetables, and takeaway BBQ Chicken and chips.
Annatto (160b) - Myself: insomnia, anxiousness, a shaky type of sensation sometimes - a bit hard to articulate it but its sort of like I have a vibration or fluttering going on in my body. I "snap" easily and it does not take much to make me get angry. My son: Difficulty falling asleep. Disturbed night sleeps. Silly behaviour and noises like a monkey (jumps around, clumsy, unable to sit still and focus for longer than 5 mins). Sometimes aggressive with no apparent trigger. Unpredictable around other children. My daughter: disturbed sleep. She was a good sleeper but started to go away from her past pattern of falling asleep by herself and changed into shorter sleeps and waking often at night. Once we took it out of her diet she started to sleep through the night and sleeps for a solid 2 hour stint during her day nap. Our annatto foods were Kraft singles, yoghurts (with Bob the Builder) and ice cream. – Rose, by email
 Alopecia universalis in a family full of coeliacs (October 2010)
My family is full of coeliacs - I'm about the only one who can eat gluten. I've had the blood test and I don't have CD. My problem is alopecia universalis - for the last 18 years I haven't had a single hair on my entire body (I wear a wig). What is the most likely cause for that? Gluten!?! But I love bread - it’s my favourite food! It’s the only gluten I eat.
- from the Fed Up Roadshow 2010 (In my experience, relatives of coeliacs may pass the blood test but often do much better when avoiding gluten. It could be that they are not eating enough gluten when they do the test because the family diet is likely to be low in gluten to avoid contamination for the coeliacs – S)
 Coeliac, alopecia and Down syndrome (October 2010)
I was interested to read about gluten in your newsletter. I have a niece who is a coeliac, and one of my daughters has alopecia. She also has Down Syndrome. - by email (People with Down Syndrome have a higher prevalence of CD (7%) than the general population which some doctors think as high as 1%.)
 Completely bald from Alopecia Areata (October 2010)
Around the age of about 10 months, my daughter went completely bald from Alopecia Areata (she lost all hair on her head, eyebrows and eye lashes), but fortunately the hair started to grow back around 19 or 20 months. However, we are very disappointed to discover the alopecia appears to be returning as a bald patch has recently appeared on the top of her head. Are you aware of any foods or additives which may have triggered this condition? – by email, we are waiting for a progress report …
 621: Supraventricular Tachycardia (October 2010)
Over the past 15 years I have suffered from numerous things - CFS, IBS, Supraventricular Tachycardia, rosacea and itchiness. Post 2000, things were going along fairly okay CFS wise but I developed the SVT after the birth of my son in 2003. I had this corrected in 2007 (very long diagnosis!) but still continued to suffer the odd palpitation here and there. My IBS started in 1999 and I would swing from constipation to diarrhoea. My rosacea had been with me since 1997 and nothing would take it away. The itchiness started in 2008 and so did the headaches.
To cut a long story short, in January of last year I decided it was time to start looking into diet seeing no-one could work out what was wrong with me. So I went totally preservative, colour and sulphite free and purchased your book. Basically followed everything on the list of things to avoid. I did the same for my children. My rosacea disappeared! I also stopped itching and started to have less headaches and heart palpitations. I identified that sulphites affect my breathing, MSG affects my heart, something gives me headaches and 160b makes me itch. However, my diarrhoea and fatigue still remained. Eventually I looked more into salicylates (despite what the dietician thought!) and that was the final piece of the puzzle. - Rachel, NSW
 627: Chest pains from flavour enhancer (October 2010)
I am very food sensitive. Last week-end when I was entertaining I ate one ‘plain’ rice cracker. It was Fantastic brand and had Flavour Enhancer 627. After realising this I threw them out! But never thought about them again. That night I awoke at 2 am with mild chest pains which I had off and on through until 5 am - the pains were mild but enough to cause me grief and stop me from sleeping - I stayed up most of the night. I have no doubt the Flavour Enhancer in the biscuit caused my problem. - Di, Vic
 621: Fast and very irregular heart beats after Chinese meal (October 2010)
From time to time I notice an ectopic heart beat, Dr. tells me nothing unusual, most people get them. However last night after a couple of weeks eating really good and healthy natural foods we went out to a Chinese Restaurant. I like going there, but have not been there for a year or so I'd say. About an hour after I went to bed it began, I think you'd call it Tachycardia, a fast (100) and very irregular heartbeat. Some big strong thumping ones and then some feeble and fast ones. I got up, sat up for another 2 hours. Blood pressure had risen incredibly, and over the 2 hours settled down but the feeling on panic stayed. It's still here this morning actually and I didn't feel I could drive, so had to ask for a lift. Needless to say I am not having any of the left overs for lunch. Back to the straight and narrow. – Joy, NSW
 635: Tachycardia (October 2010)
If I have 635 I get Tachycardia, feel week and dizzy, and come down with flu like symptoms that last for around 2 to 3 days. Peter, by email
 220: Lying awake my heart pounding for hours (October 2010)
I was just reading your article about the link between sulphites and ventricular arrhythmia in the latest newsletter. I could relate to many of the symptoms experienced by Michiko. On several occasions (usually after a dinner party or night out at a restaurant), I've had a similar experience, lying awake that night unable to sleep and my heart pounding for hours. Just like Michiko I felt like I was 'buzzing' as though I'd had some hype-inducing drug. Sometimes I would also feel breathless and I noticed this often happened after drinking white wine or champagne. I'd never heard of anyone else having this experience and wondered what could be causing it. Thanks to this article I now have a good explanation, and will avoid preservative 220. - Michelle, by email
 635: Labile blood pressure & chest pain from weight loss products (October 2010)
I have been suffering from extremely labile blood pressure since 1995. The worst problem associated with this was raised BP within an hour or two of going to sleep. I wake feeling unwell, head hurting, cold extremities, always need to urinate, and at times, shivering uncontrollably. I used to suffer from palpitations with it - but in recent times this is rare. I've been investigated for everything possible over the years. I am inclined to eat organic food and always watch the labels on any packaged food.
About 5 weeks ago I decided to join Jenny Craig as I felt I needed to lose up to 10 kilos and have been struggling to get this weight off. In the first week I was appalled to see how many 'numbers' were listed in the food. I could not eat things like their packaged snacks - with colours, flavours etc in them. At this point I consulted with them and asked for the food to be adjusted to suit not eating some of the colours that I know are not good, any sweeteners and Nitrates/Nitrites. This gave me a very limited list - and I could not avoid some Sulphites and Flavour Enhancers. I began to notice 635 coming up in many of the foods - and even most of the dinners.
By about 3 weeks into the food I woke feeling really bad with the old symptoms - including a feeling of pressure in my chest (which had been vaguely there the night before) and blood pressure that measured 217/114. As it did not reduce after a short while of sitting up (my usual method of allowing my bp to lower) I went to the local hospital. They did an ECG and gave me 1/2 Anginine and O2 which eased the symptoms. When the doctor found that my mother had Angina he suggested a Thallium Stress Test. This has been completed and the results are normal.
I have often since '95 suffered from a slight 'pain' in the chest - once definitely after eating a very tasty bowl of Chinese soup. I lived in Singapore for almost 12 years - from 91, but it was not until 95 when I was home for a short while and working on a camp site - eating mass produced food that these symptoms started to occur regularly...hence the visits to many doctors and specialists - always with a negative result for whatever they tested for. Food additives simply did not occur to me.
A few days after my recent visit to hospital, I thought - how dumb can I be?! ...it's the food! I stopped the weight loss products and within 36 hours began to feel well again. When did they begin to put 635 in food? It keeps being called a 'newer' FE and I wonder if it appeared roughly in the mid nineties. I believe it may be a combination of 627 and 631. Some of the JC foods have these two listed together and some has 635 listed. Many of the foods also contain the hidden MSGs such as HVP.
I now have a letter from my doctor to say that there is evidence that I am highly sensitive to vaso-active food additives to request a refund. This has been an 'interesting' exercise that may finally give me the answer to my very labile BP and all the odd symptoms that seem to go with it.- Ros, by email (Yes, 635 appeared in the mid-nineties and is a combination of 627 and 631 - Sue)
 Teeth grinding and little monster behaviour after artificial colours (September 2010)
Most of the time my 5 year old daughter is a nice sweet girl but then sometimes this monster will emerge. When she is in one of these moods she will start grinding her teeth and make monkey type noises and get frustrated very quickly especially with her little brother who has to put up with a lot of punching and intimidation. We get an amount of this behaviour usually everyday but sometimes she will be worse than usual and be completely irrational with inconsolable crying and screaming. When we get one of these more severe episodes we can usually trace it back to something with bright colours like doughnuts with sprinkles etc. After reading your website I have realised that a lot of her staple snack foods have the food colours that have recently been banned in the UK in particular Arnotts country cheese crackers and the Quelch 99% fruit juice Super Doopers which I stupidly thought were healthy choices! - Lyndal, by email
 Teeth grinding and salicylates (September 2010)
Over the last week we have already seen some improvement (in behaviour, bed wetting and teeth grinding) over the last week just by changing fruits to pears and bananas, stopping vegemite and tomatoes and switching to low sal veges. - Karen, by email
 Teeth grinding in a 6 yo due to amines (September 2010)
My daughter has had migraines since the age of 3. She has always complained of ‘sore legs’. She has had problems with nasal congestion & had been using Rhinocourt nasal spray daily and has always been a nail biter & a teeth grinder at night. On day 2 of the Amine challenge, she got a migraine,droopy eyes,became listless,and a fever.
She stayed unwell for several days with the headache. During the challenge, she also got a blocked nose, sore tummy, sore nose, nightmares & was badly constipated. Since the end of the Amine challenge (nearly 3 months) we haven’t had one migraine! No more snotty nose or blocked nose, nasal sprays, nightmares, sore tummys, teeth grinding, nail biting - her nails are growing for the 1st time in her life - or sore legs. Soooooooo, No more Amines for my daughter! Since eating failsafe we have never looked back! - Tanya, by email
 635: AF (atrial fibrillation) due to flavour enhancers (July 2010)
I would like to relate my experience, which I consider was due to the ingestion of 635. I have in the past had episodes of AF (atrial fibrillation) which vary both in frequency - not thankfully very often - and severity. A couple of weeks ago I had such an attack and had that evening eaten a product called Borg's Chicken & Vegetable rolls. I did not associate these latter with the AF. However we had a few left in the freezer and late yesterday afternoon, I had another.
Last night having gone to bed I awoke about 9 p.m. realising I was having an attack. Various medication I have did not relieve it and the episode lasted for 3 hours. Next morning I examined the Borg's packet and found the 635 ingredient. I would be interested to know whether you have had similar complaints. - Brian, Qld (for similar reports see heart factsheet)
 Itchy terrier due to additives in dried dog food (July 2010)
Our Jack Russell terrier was a year old when we got him so I kept giving him the dry dog food his previous owner had used, and like many terriers he always had itchy skin. The vet thought it could be the salt water on his skin from our frequent beach walks. I experimented with rinsing him down in fresh water after a walk, different ointments, shampoos and anti-flea treatments, and changing his diet – everything except for the dry dog food he came with. I kept checking the label and it looked ok. Eventually after two years I removed the dry dog food from his diet and his itchy skin went away within two weeks. I suspect the ‘natural flavour’ in the dry dog food contained flavour enhancers but when I asked the pet food company they gave me a very confusing answer. – Sue, NSW
 duplicate deleted
 One-liners (July 2010)
’Before the diet, I wouldn’t have said my 2 yo had tantrums because his behaviour was more often than not terrible and constant - but I think I am seeing normal tantrums now’. by email, NSW
 Irritable bowel symptoms transformed by A2 milk (July 2010)
For the past 18+ months my wife has suffered from an increasing problem with gut issues and chronic diarrhea and related symptoms. She has tried various milks and milk substitutes (soy, etc). None have made any difference to her gut problems. Her GP has not found any specific cause and has recommended a range of tests and indicated it was probably "irritable bowel syndrome" which I'm sure you know is one of the catch-all medical labels which basically means "we don't really know".
On pure chance my wife (who had seen your report a couple of years ago on A2) decided about 6 weeks ago she had nothing to lose by trying A2 milk .
Our life has been transformed and this happened literally overnight! Gut patterns are back to normal, a far far cry from many daily urgent dashes to the loo, usually immediately after eating or drinking almost anything but particularly things containing dairy products. Literally life became normal within 4 hours of her first bowl of oatmeal with A2 milk. Absolutely amazing.
The transformation has been astounding and we are very grateful to the people that have figured out the A2 story - Russell by email.
 A2: Dairy free but now happy on a2 yoghurt (July 2010)
We were very excited to try A2 yogurt - our 6yo daughter developed stomach pains last year which we finally attributed to dairy, and were very pleased that she responded really well to A2. Our baby son was also super-sensitive to cow's milk, while breastfeeding I had to be on a strict dairy-free diet or he'd be in terrible pain. He's now 18 months and the Jalna A2 yoghurt is his favourite food - no tummy pain at all! We've had to be careful not to overdo it - forgot that it was moderate amines - and he can only have the natural because of the salicylate content in the flavoured ones, but he has it either plain or with maple syrup, and thinks it's the best food ever. - Megan, by email
 A2: Brief reports on A2 milk and rhinitis, autism and weight gain (March 2009)
My allergic rhinitis (stuffy and runny nose, chronic cough, congestion, hayfever during pollen season) appears to be entirely related to A1 but not A2 milk. For the last two years I have enjoyed unlimited A2 milk after 12 years on soymilk.
A failsafe-friendly dietitian reports the use of A2 milk during an elimination diet for a boy with autistic type behaviour: ‘I placed him on a milk-free elimination diet, but allowed A2 milk. He consumed several cups of this per day whilst on the diet. His behaviour, concentration and sense of humour all improved. However, when we challenged with normal milk, concentration etc deteriorated. So it is back to the A2 milk whilst we go through other challenges.'
The dietitian asked my skinny 7 year old son – who tested negative for coeliac disease - to go gluten free and he felt better but lost a lot of weight. Then three months ago we switched to A2 milk and now he is doing really well. He has even been able to go back on gluten.
 Didn’t realise my daughter was affected by salicylates (June 2010)
I am a primary teacher with 3 children of my own. I first heard about your book 'Fed Up' when a student in my class was diagnosed with ADHD and his mother decided to try changing his diet rather than medicating him. The change in this boy was amazing. I wrote down the details of your book to recommend it to other parents in the future, but ironically I now use your book myself as my six year old has just been diagnosed with ADHD. We had been eating a diet low in artificial additives for years after discovering that my children were reacting to the preservative 282 in bread but have just recently begun failsafe eating after my son's diagnosis. In doing so we discovered that all 3 of our children were reacting to salicylates. Even my 7 year old daughter who had been irritable all the time and difficult to get along with has changed into a happy, co-operative child since changing her diet. We hadn't even realised that she was affected by the natural food chemicals. Our son who was diagnosed with ADHD has changed so much that at a recent doctor's visit the GP looked at him sitting quietly and said, "He doesn't have ADHD!" The doctor prescribed antibiotics to clear his cough and after one dose of antibiotics (with preservative and flavour) all his symptoms returned. We are now more sure than ever that food is the cause of his behavioural problems.- Cara, NSW
Don’t forget, you can see all current stories
The full Failsafe Shopping List. Here are recent updates to that list:
USA shopping list is in the Failsafe Shopping List. Recently updated thanks to Moni.
Product update: Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese in tubs no longer contains sorbate preservative thanks to consumer resistance (except in the very low fat version)! - note that the blocks have never had this preservative added.
Product update: Jalna A2 plain low-fat yoghurt is now available in 1kg, following consumer requests! (note that yoghurt has been upgraded to moderate in amines) Warning: vanilla contains fruit juice sweetener so is not suitable for failsafers, natural is OK but all yoghurt is now classified as moderate in amines so suitable for the strict elimination diet. Thanks to Briony and Megan.
Icecream cones: Betta Icecream Gold cones are failsafe but their Kiddy cones contain 160b annatto. Altimate Waffle cones and Double cones are both failsafe. The Black & Gold cones have four (!) nasty colours (102, 110, 133, 155). Coles Icecream cones have been confirmed as containing no artificial colours or annatto, nor synthetic antioxidant and so are failsafe.
Failsafe sweets for Christmas: Sweet Treats and Smashi have gone out of business. However The Little Lolly Shop has expanded its range: see Butterscotch Drops, Butterpops, Star Pops, Pear Drops and Pops, White Musk Sticks, failsafe Plain Boiled Lollies, gf failsafe Citric Lollies and Lollipops, ‘Lemons’ and white Fairy Floss. New products appearing soon include small carob bars, fudge, plain white meringues and failsafe plain biscuits. Always read the ingredients list. Some of the products in the Failsafe & Friendlier category do not fit within RPAH guidelines due to natural fruit flavours such as lime and orange. http://littlelollyshop.com/oscatalog/index.php?cPath=25.
Additive-free Chocolate topping for non-amine responders: Alice Langton's Chocolate Rich Fudge Sauce. Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Cocoa, Condensed Milk, Vanilla and Cream. http://www.alicelangton.com.au/index.html - thanks to Rachel
Failsafe shortbreads: Unibic Shortbread Fingers – thanks to Tane
Failsafe meringues: The Tasmanian Meringue Co. Plain meringues, ingredients: sugar, egg white, flavour. Ph. 03-62251682. “Whilst flavour is listed, when I rang she said it was just egg white and sugar, and so far they are fine.” – thanks to Veronica
Gluten free pasta that tastes good: Ingredients: potato, quinoa, amaranth, bi carb and guar gum. Spiral, lily, shell, macaroni, cooks in 1-3 minutes from Gluten Grain Free online or specialty stores www.glutengrainfree.com – thanks to Leah
Sausage bar: the Eagle Farm Super Butcher has been running a very successful “choose your ingredients and watch your sausages being made” bar from Wednesday to Sunday, 6 Eagle View Place, Eagle Farm QLD. 1300 002 493 www.superbutcher.com.au. As the butcher said, “most of my regulars would know I have a real problem with preservatives and additives that are in food today, so my good wife came up with a plan to design a sausage counter the same way that the juice bars have evolved”.
Failsafe sausages: The Meat Boutique, 119b North Road, Ryde NSW 2112. 02 9878 3533 www.themeatboutique.com.au You can order from the website and they deliver in Sydney, but make sure they don’t contain pepper!
A Melbourne butcher that offers failsafe sausages & hamburgers, lamb, beef and chicken, and also does nitrite-free bacon and ham: Ozzies Gourmet Butchery, 55 Hamilton Place, Mount Waverley, VIC 3149 phone 03 9809 5208 fax 03 9809 5208 http://www.ozziesgourmetbutchery.elocal.com.au – thanks to Erika
Raymond Terrace Butcher update: The butcher we use in Raymond Terrace, you've already put it on the website, Stevo's Riverside Meats 9 Williams St, Raymond Terrace NSW 2324 has started making FAILSAFE CHICKEN SAUSAGES, not just the meat ones and they are FANTASTIC. Thanks to Kylie
Failsafe sausages in Coffin Bay SA: The local butcher in Coffin Bay is happy to make up sausages to the recipe in the Failsafe Cookbook for a minimum of 10 kg (if we supply all but the meat) unless demand grows and then he may take orders for smaller amounts. He also does not use any preservative in his normal sausages so if people were just cutting out additives only they would be suitable.
Online NSW compounding pharmacist with reasonable prices http://www.custommedicine.com.au/order/ - thanks to Liz
Amcal One-A-Day Multivitamins new: There have been no adverse reactions reported to the new formulation of these multivitamins - thanks to Natalie.
Moisturisers: In a recent UK trial of 13 moisturisers over six weeks, Simple Skincare’s ‘Kind To Skin’ Rich Moisturiser outperformed more expensive brands. Simple products never contain ‘harsh chemicals, colours or perfumes’ and are suitable for sensitive skin. At Big W, Priceline, Kmart and pharmacies www.simpleskincare.com.au.
Some of the information, particularly that about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe Shopping List for the latest information.
Q: Recently an article on amines in cooked red meat said that the amine content in 15% fat beef patties was much LOWER than the content of 5% fat beef patties. Can you confirm and offer an explanation for this? - Moni
A: Amines are usually water-soluble so they will be in the muscle or protein, not in the fat. They are formed by the breakdown (enzymatically, chemically or even mechanically) of the protein and tend to stay close to where they are formed. The lower amines in the higher fat meat might be simply proportional - if there is 15% fat then the protein content would be higher proportionately in the lower fat version, so protein might rise from say 35% of the total weight to 45% of the total weight, with an increase in amines proportionately. Or it might be that fat is a lubricant so there would be less mechanical shearing as the meat is ground up in the higher fat version, and so more amines formed mechanically in the low fat version.
Q: I seem to be reacting to Vegemite (Kraft Foods) as though it contains sulphites, to which I know I’m very sensitive, but there is no sulphite on the label. Why? - Yvette
A: Most people are likely to react to the very high level of glutamates, amines or salicylates in Vegemite. However 220 (sulphite), which was in colour 150d in Vegemite to prevent microbial growth, has been replaced with Colour 150c which still contains preservative 220 but at levels that no longer require labelling (less than 10mg/Kg). Sensitive people such as yourself can react to even this level.
Q: Why has HERRON Gold Paracetamol changed colour?
A: The gold colour of HERRON Gold Paracetamol tablets and tabsules is due to the titanium dioxide (171) and iron oxides (yellow, red and black (172) included in the coating. There is no artificial colour. HERRON Gold Paracetamol tablets are flavoured with vanilla. For those looking for an unflavoured option, HERRON Gold Paracetamol tabsules contain no flavouring.
Q. I have recently been introduced to your book and recipe book which has taken our family by storm. Thank you! I have a query about a cleaning product that I have been encouraged to buy. It is new to the market apparently and is supposed to be 100% natural, chemical free and non-hazardous, completely safe for your children etc. The brand is Nature Direct. Does this product fit with the failsafe lifestyle? - Lucy
A. I looked at the Nature Direct website under Products-Composition and found that SeeK cleaning products are a mixture of natural colloidal agents and plant based essential oils including Clove, Cypress, Savoury, Mint, Eucalyptus, Pine, Rosemary, and Thyme. Essential oils are NOT failsafe due to inhaled salicylates from the smell - see more in Fed Up page 156. You can clean your house with vinegar, soda bicarb, low fragrance dishwashing liquid, dishwashing powder and washing powder such as Omo Sensitive, see more in the shopping list or Product Updates on the website.
Q. My canteen insists on serving slushies to the children. I was looking for a safe alternative syrup mix but it has proven to be very hard. The best I have come up with so far is one with potassium sorbate (202) as preservative. Is it possible to have healthy slushie ?? - Linda
A. We haven’t found any additive-free slushies. The best are likely to contain potassium sorbate (202) which is sometimes described as a harmless additive by food manufacturers but we don’t agree, see our Sorbates factsheet. For children with salicylate sensitivity, strong fruit flavours and concentrated natural colours will be very high in salicylates. You can make your own slushies by using icypole mixes (see Fed Up or the Failsafe Cookbook) frozen in a baking tray then whizzed in your food processor for 30 seconds. Further reading: http://www.smh.com.au/news/lifeandstyle/health/diet-experts-go-cold-on-icy-canteen-treat/2008/11/14/1226318927579.html.
Q. I have one of your books and have had amazing results with my 9 year old son since putting him on a low chemical diet. My problem now is keeping him on it. At school he eats food from his friends every day, and says it is too hard to resist. I have spoken to his teachers, but they say there are too many children to watch and it is his responsibility not to eat food from his friends. His extremely difficult behaviour has returned and I am at a loss as to what I can do to keep him on his diet. Do you have any suggestions? - Alissah
A. The way to get children to stay on this diet is to offer them varied food and treats that they like, so it helps to have lots of recipes and hints to choose from. I recommend the Failsafe Cookbook. One mother wrote 'when I found out that he had been lunch swapping at school I reviewed his lunch box and bought your Cookbook - now he is getting enough interesting things and variety so he feels that he is not missing out!'
Q. I have a question about hair products - I have fine, curly hair that tends to turn to frizz and I haven't yet found a product that I can tolerate to tame my hair. Any suggestions in this department?
A. You could ask a compounding pharmacist, see under Compounding in the yellow pages.
Q. On a recent supermarket visit - as is so often the case - there were parents with young kids "acting up" in one way or another. On these I would dearly love to engage the parents in conversation and tell them about your discoveries but I know they’re stressed. So, it just occurred to me that if I had a few cards, or wallet-size fold-out things, giving a quick intro to food intolerance and the side-effects experienced by so many, and the address of your web site, it would be far easier to just accost parents and hand them one and say "Just read this when you've got some time, I think it might help you". - Tony
A. You could try our yellow magnifying cards with names and numbers of additives to avoid and the web address - the advantage is that they look like business cards. See photo on the front page of the website. Or if you’d like something free with more information, you are welcome to copy our blue brochures.
Around the groups
The failsafe groups are still buzzing with the implications of the many salicylate and amine updates in the new RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook 2009. These changes are based on clinical experience, not new analyses. For newbies, there are few changes to the strict elimination diet. People who have been living with the diet satisfactorily for years do not have to alter what they eat. However, for people who have been experiencing difficulties, fine-tuning may be easier knowing what you are most likely to tolerate. I’ve been enjoying a few slices of peeled cucumber now that it has been downgraded to the moderate category. If you are still using the charts in Friendly Food, you can ask for our updated Salicylate and Amine Mistakes information sheets 2010. Order forms for the new handbook are available from the RPA website http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/
New factsheets Factsheets are becoming our major way of making information available, now in printable format as well as online.
Can you help?
Thanks to the many who responded about a phone application for failsafers. This issue is being followed up.
Over 2 million people have now visited www.fedup.com.au. Over 7,700 families now receive this quarterly newsletter.
See Local contacts for failsafers who can generally answer some questions about failsafe eating - many have brochures and a copy of the DVD to lend out. They can also advise on supportive dietitians locally.
All Failsafe Newsletters from 1998-2008 inclusive. 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.
Hint: birthday cake icing in a failsafe, but exciting way - I used a tea strainer to sprinkle icing sugar all over a failsafe carob cake. I then dipped 2 different sized star cookie cutters in a bit of water and pressed them into the cake. The water dissolved the icing sugar and left star shapes all over the cake. You could do the same using a carob and icing sugar mix over a light coloured cake. The result was an impressive looking effect that had the kids wanting the star cake over the non-failsafe cake with green icing and flowers I had made for his cousin who was also turning two!! thanks to Pippa (see photo and other party food suggestions in our Parties Factsheet)
Hint: eggfree pancakes for people who are allergic to eggs but can tolerate amines, you can use 2 ripe bananas instead of eggs, combine with SR flour then stir in milk or milk substitute until you have a good pouring consistency - thanks to Nicole
1 cup self-raising flour (GF is OK)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large potato, peeled and thinly scalloped (cut into postage stamp sized pieces)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups failsafe vegetables, finely sliced and chopped (eg 1 small zucchini grated, 1 spring onion, choko peeled and grated, celery cut fine, cabbage cut fine, small tin asparagus if tolerated, etc)
small quantity of cheese, grated, as a topping if tolerated.
Preheat oven to 160'C. Beat the first three ingredients into a smooth batter, stir in all the vegetables thoroughly, pour into a 24cm glass pie dish. Smooth down and top with grated cheese. Bake for 90 minutes, slice and serve. Great with salad and rice or bread. Keeps well and even better the next day. Serves 6.
Quick hollandaise sauce
Goes well with many failsafe meals (like microwave vegetables, pasta, and the Veggie Bake) but does contain butter, egg and dairy.
1 tbsp failsafe butter
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp citric acid dissolved in 20mls water
Melt butter in a glass jug with 30 secs in microwave (1100W). Add milk, egg and cornflour and beat well. Microwave for 1.5 minutes, whisk, microwave again in 30 second bursts and whisk after each burst until thickened. Add citric, stirring all the time. Can be reheated after storing in fridge.
Bron’s Mini Pizzas
1 cup warm water
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tbsp canola oil
500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
The base is regular pizza dough. Mix water, yeast and oil, mix in flour and salt and knead well. Place in a floured bowl for 30+ minutes to double in size, punch down then rest for another 15 minutes.
1 leek, finely sliced
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 tbspn canola oil
1 kg minced chicken thighs
2 shallots, chopped
Pinch citric acid
Salt to taste
Cornflour for thickening if required.
Cook leeks and celery in the oil, add chicken and finally shallots, citric acid and salt. You can thicken it with a little cornflour mixed in cold water. This is a double recipe, and I usually make lots so I can have some in the freezer for another time.
Roll out walnut-sized chunks of dough to 8-10cm circle, add a thin layer of topping. Cook at 200-220`C on a baking paper lined tray until browned. Can add a thin layer of micro-waved potato (don’t overcook!) before the topping if the pizzas are served hot. Delicious cold, and great for a school lunchbox treat or for birthday parties. These pizzas freeze well.
© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to Robin, Michelle, Moni, Sandy, Tony, Liz, Sheryl, Bron from the Adelaide group and especially Kathleen Daalmeyer and Jenny Ravlic from the Melbourne group; and the many others who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, (Murdoch Books).