Failsafe 74 April - September 2013
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.
Research: Medical U-turn on acne-diet link; Gut bacteria affect brain function; Immunologists' knickers in a twist about salicylate elimination diets for children; 19% of Australians report diagnosed food intolerance
In brief: Angel Maker Challenge on again in August 2013; Food ranked as highest concern for consumers in CFA survey; MSG booster products - watch the show!; The new SAFE Product List; For those who are highly sensitive to sulphites; Reading and Dyslexia Clinic; Kids Helpline
Questions: I am very confused about vanilla. Is it failsafe or not?; I’m a wine-taster which means that I must taste usually up to 4-5 wines; Is there is some information available for eating out with food intolerance?
Now targeting : Success with Vaalia yoghurt - no more 160b annatto!
Success stories: -
Shopping list : new products, warnings
Support community: meet our members, updated factsheets and story collections, support
Cooks Corner: Hint: Make the magic cordial fancier; Naan bread (can be Thermomix); Vegetarian combo; That cheese sauce (Thermomix or traditional); Failsafe sausages; Carob tofu mousse or sauce
Congratulations to dietitian Joy Anderson who was made a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2013 for significant service to community health and education, particularly through the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Many of you met Joy answering questions after the talks during our roadshow in WA last year and she has helped heaps of failsafers over the years. You can also see her excellent comment, published recently in the Medical Journal of Australia fedup.com.au/news/breaking-news/immunologists-knickers-in-a-twist-about-salicylate-elimination-diets-for-children
Newsletter 74 is finally here. Reader stories are everyone’s favourites and there are some doozies this time. Don’t miss the Courage Award winner – the chilling story of runaway brain due to salicylates ("a brush with insanity - I felt that I was close to going crazy or was I crazy already?”) as well as a report on speech and diet from a speech pathologist, severe racing heart from NO ADDED MSG chips, and many more …
I’m pleased to announce an exciting new product for those of us who suffer from fragrance sensitivity: a failsafe nun who is exposed to incense and other fragrances as part of her daily work has trialled the new nasal screens for us. See her report in Product Updates.
“I’m on the pear diet” one failsafer commented recently. I’m sure we all feel like that sometimes. See the photo of me embracing the National Gallery’s pears in Canberra – and don’t miss our wonderful poached pear in carob sauce recipe in Cooks’ Corner, plus our interesting vegetarian combo meal.
It’s less than 3 weeks to the start of our annual Fed Up roadshow, see schedule below. I’m looking forward to meeting many of you at the talks – if you’re early please feel welcome to come and chat with me then, I love meeting fellow failsafers and you may have to wait in line if you want to ask questions afterwards.
Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate
Since 2008, Europeans have been required to display the warning may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children on foods containing any of the Southampton Six artificial colours (E102, E104, E110, E122, E124, E129). So on our recent trip to Germany and Spain to walk the 800km Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail, I was keen to see this warning with my own eyes. What a surprise! I couldn’t find any of those colours at all in German supermarkets.
I had expected traditional village cooking in Spain, but Spain appears to be happily adopting the use of food additives and processed convenience foods. I found the Southampton Six warning on a bottle of artificial orange food colouring powder with names tartrazina and amarillo anaranjado instead of numbers E102 and E110. It is intended to be used in paella – we were outraged one night when a coloured packet paella was served up to us – and there are more foods containing artificial colours available.
Fedup Roadshow 2013 consists of 11 talks between Brisbane QLD and Clare SA from August 21 to September 16.
Book now at http://fedup2013.events-made-easy.com/ to avoid disappointment but there are tickets for all talks at the door still.
Coffs Harbour NSW Wednesday 21 August
Brisbane (Beenleigh) QLD Monday 26 August
Lismore NSW Tuesday 27 August
Sydney (St Leonards) NSW Thursday 29 August
Canberra (Gordon) ACT Tuesday 3 September
Albury NSW Wednesday 4 September
Melbourne (Essendon) VIC Thursday 5 September
Clare SA Monday 9 September
Barossa SA Wednesday 11 September
Adelaide SA Thursday 12 September
Mildura VIC Monday 16 September
Books, DVD, Failsafe magnifying card and sulphite test strips now available through www.fedup.com.au
Special offer for USA and Canada: Random House has taken over distribution of Sue's books in the USA and Canada, so our current warehouse in update New York has surplus stock which we offer at these special prices until all gone: Go to http://www.bookch.com and search for "Sue Dengate"
45 copies Fed Up Revised and updated at $12.50
20 copies Failsafe Cookbook Updated at $22.00
20 copies Fed Up With Children' Behaviour (NTSC format) - DVD at $15.50
Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook are now available as an ebook: www.amazon.com for Kindle, www.dymocks.com.au in ePub version suitable for Tablet PCs, PCs, Macs, Laptops, www.ebooks.com in ePub for digital and iPhone/iPad. One reader reports that if you go to amazon.com, and do a 'preview' then 'decline' to buy.. they then offer it cheaper... my e reader (you can download free) copy was going to cost 29.95, then they offered it to me for 12.95!
Medical U-turn on acne-diet link
After decades of denial, medical researchers now say that acne is linked to the Western diet. It has been found that nearly all adolescents and an increasing number of young adults are affected by acne in westernised countries whereas acne is virtually unknown in nonwesternised populations such as the Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea.
Several studies have implicated dairy products and processed foods. Since processed foods, takeaways and in some cases all dairy foods are avoided during failsafe eating, this could account for why some failsafers report an improvement in their acne.
Further reading: Roseacea and acne factsheet
Cordain L and others Acne vulgaris: a disease of Western civilization.Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(12):1584-90. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12472346
Gut bacteria affect brain function
For years, those of us who react to foods have been told that there is no realistic mechanism - thus implying that it is not real.
But research just published provides sound evidence that changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function. The study, conducted at the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, and the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA, appears in the current online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology.
In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task.
By demonstrating the brain effects of probiotics, the study also raises the question of whether repeated courses of antibiotics can affect the brain, as some have speculated. Antibiotics are used extensively in neonatal intensive care units and in childhood respiratory tract infections, and such suppression of the normal microbiota may have long-term consequences on brain development.
What is obvious to food intolerant people, of course, is that preservative food additives, put into food specifically to kill bacteria, will be having effects on health, behaviour and learning by altering the balance of gut bacteria. How long will it take for good research on this?
Immunologists' knickers in a twist about salicylate elimination diets for children
In the current issue of the Medical Journal of Australia, a group of paediatric immunologists say, based on people attending an allergy clinic, that low salicylate diets are not supported by evidence and may be harmful. Their evidence is no better than the science they are attacking as they acknowledge "our cohort has an inherent selection bias and ... without a control group".
The Food Intolerance Network strongly supports the peer-reviewed publication of evidence regarding the effects of salicylates on health, behaviour and learning and acknowledges that more research needs to be published, particularly using dietary salicylates.
19% of Australians report diagnosed food intolerance
A survey of food intolerance in an Australian population reported an incidence rate for diagnosed food intolerance of 19% of households. Further, because diagnoses of food intolerances may not be conclusively made until adulthood, many individuals may suffer the adverse effects of this chronic condition for years prior to diagnosis.
Burke, K 2008, 'The effects of food allergy and food intolerance on the development of concepts of healthy eating and nutrition: incidence rates in an Australian population' in Allan, A, Bell, C, Cross, D, Devine, A, Martins, R, McGuigan, M, Newton, R & Rudd, C (eds.) 2008, VARIO Health Conference: physical and mental wellness - integrative approaches to Health. Conference proceedings, 1st and 2nd December, 2008. Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, pp. 32-39.
Angel Maker Challenge on again in August 2013
Do you see people all around you unintentionally consuming additive-laden food or who know of its effects but think it’s too hard to change? Now the Angel Maker Challenge, inspired by the Food Intolerance Network’s ‘Eating for Success’ program, provides online support for families, schools and childcare centres to easily eliminate potentially harmful food additives for two weeks from 26 August to 7 September 2013, if not forever.
The website has many resources including:
- an animation to encourage children to eat additive free
- a message board with additive, nutritional and parenting experts to answer any questions during the challenge
- wonderful recipes (many failsafe) from amazing bloggers Cooking for Oscar, Real Meals, Domestic Diva Unleashed and Failsafe Foodie; Tanya Winfield from Additive Free Pantry and Collette White from Cut out the Crap
- Sticker chart, meal planner, diary, user guide and parenting strategies booklet
- Teachers section: Activity sheets, Additive Bingo, Information for schools
Food ranked as highest concern for consumers in CFA survey
Food was the highest ranked area of concern overall in a recent Consumers Federation of Australia survey of 591 people. "Food labelling reform" received the second highest number of respondents overall in response to the question about support for current consumer campaigns:
- 75% of respondents identified misleading information about food production as a 'very important' issue.
- 74% of respondents identified misleading claims about health benefits of food as a 'very important' issue.
Each of the five individual food issues nominated in the survey (misleading claims about health benefits, simple and reliable nutrition labelling, unit pricing, misleading production information, lack of competition between the major retailers) were ranked important or very important by 92% or more of the respondents. See more
MSG booster products - watch the show! Today Tonight (Channel 7) did a great story tonight on MSG and the flavour enhancer boosters. http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/latest/article/-/17570134/msg-booster-products/
The new SAFE Product List is a shopping guide for additive free products found in most local supermarkets in a handy well-laid out 10 page booklet available for purchase from www.additiveeducation.com.au. This list also notes where very high levels of natural chemicals are likely to be found.
For those who are highly sensitive to sulphites author Paul Barratt-Hassett’s book “The Sulphite Connection – A hidden pandemic revealed” is being given away free during his sulphite awareness month www.thesulphiteconnection.com/freebook.html. This information is not necessarily failsafe.
Reading and Dyslexia Clinic run by Heather Rawlins in supports failsafe as part of the process http://www.reading-dyslexia.com.au/ 07 4157 1031.
Kids Helpline “We care and we listen, any time and for any reason” 1800 55 1800 (in Australia) if your kids need help with emotional and other issues beyond failsafe.
Thanks to Sonia Gulwardi for the following marvellous graphics (two examples given) that answer many common questions. Sonia runs a facebook page that is additive-free
Q: I am very confused about vanilla. Is it failsafe or not?
A: Failsafers are best avoiding all except vanilla flavoured products, and even then the amount is limited. Synthetic vanilla, called vanillin or vanilla flavouring, is made in a factory and is cheap, so more of it is used in some foods causing reactions. Vanilla essence is made by soaking the vanilla beans in alcohol and so is more expensive. This is what most people call vanilla.
Small amounts of vanilla can be tolerated by most but not all people; if suspicious, use it as a challenge. For more information see flavours factsheet.
Q: I’m a wine-taster which means that I must taste usually up to 4-5 wines, at least three times per week. It is policy that we must spit the wine out and not swallow it, but my question is - could this still alter the effectiveness of getting to baseline and when doing challenges? – Sarah
A: The short answer is yes, if you are sensitive to salicylates then, as with toothpaste, you may be affected by tasting wines. Inhaling salicylates can have the same effect (see factsheet on our website) as eating them on those who are sensitive and of course most of the "tasting" of wine means smelling it before putting it in your mouth to add to the volatility of the flavour substances so that you can smell them fully.
So you can use it as a challenge and please let us know if you are affected so we can warn others. Some ideas to help
- take only the smallest of sips, spit it out quickly and rinse out with water
- avoid inhaling while tasting
- take some plain Enos after every tasting session
Q: Is there is some information available for eating out with food intolerance? I’m in the middle of the elimination phase and react to salicylates and amines. I have a work conference where we will be eating out most nights.
A: Work is hard and often you have to dine out and suffer the consequences, particularly withdrawal several days later.
- Here is a link to what one person used: http://www.zipworld.com.au/~ataraxy/ALLER_01h.html
- Don't forget to take Enos (plain) afterwards to speed excretion of salicylates
- You might also want to consider using capsaicin beforehand, mixed in a little yoghurt
- Amines can be harder to deal with, so try hard to avoid.
Note: Some of the FAQ 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. Many more questions are answered by knowledgeable failsafers in the Failsafe forum, which you are free to join. See all FAQs at http://fedup.com.au/information/frequently-asked-questions
A Vaalia win! Due to so many requests (thanks failsafers) Vaalia will be using failsafe 160a in all yoghurts, replacing 160b, from end June. CHECK LABELS TO MAKE SURE AS USUAL and please thank them at http://www.vaalia.com.au/contact-us/enquiry-form/
You can scroll through the full text of all stories: for every story we report, there are probably another 10 which cover similar issues. And these are just the ones we get to hear about. Names have been changed to protect privacy.
Success story collections: organised by symptom or by additive keywords are proving the most popular downloads from the website. They'll be added to as time permits.
 One-liners (July 2013)
Thank you for your web page, it has been a glowing light in a dark room – Judith
Totally unprompted our 4 year old said this about "testing the foods on his red list" (salicylate challenge) "they make me feel angry!" - think we will stop the challenge there then :) We had not explained to our son we were doing the elimination diet for his behaviour, he thought it was so he didn't get tummy ache as he knows cheese and chocolate give him a headache and make him sick, so I was astounded when he came out with that! – Kate
My 3 year old son suffered badly from 'toddler diarrhoea' and after paying a fortune on a medical run-around, I fortunately found this diet which has transformed our lives. I am truly grateful – Selena
My second son had IBS all his life, we started FS in Feb and amines were found to be the problem! 4 days on FS and his IBS disappeared; 24 hours on amine challenge and he was screaming in pain! - Tanja
The incredibly positive feedback I am getting from parents is what keeps me handing out your brochures – speech pathologist
It is so good to finally have answers to things that have been plaguing me for years and to be able to help my 2 year old daughter so she doesn't have to suffer any longer – Ruth
Please thank Sue for the life-changing work she does, for sharing your family’s struggle to inspire other families and for the support and education the website provides. It has certainly opened my eyes and helped me to point other parents in the right direction. I can’t believe that western medicos are still not being educated or considering the impact of food on our health - Natalie (www.sleepandsettle.com.au)
The website that you and your wife have created is a wonderful resource for people like me who are struggling to make sense of which foods they can eat and those they cannot. It has been a long arduous journey but l sense that the end is in sight. It is a wonderful feeling - almost of freedom – Cathy by email.
Thank you for your amine and salicylate information sheets. I am working with a dietician who is fantastic however I feel better being armed with as much information as possible. I find all of your information so very helpful to support the RPAH diet for myself and my two children aged 4 & 14 months. - Jennah, by email
Took our own failsafe treats to a wedding that had a lolly bar... My son was by far the best behaved child there ;) - Emma
 FODMAPs not enough for my IBS (July 2013)
I was diagnosed with IBS about 2 years ago and told to follow the FODMAP diet to reduce symptoms. The last few months my symptoms flared right up again and so I dragged myself back to the doctors and a dietician and I have now been told I have to cut out salicylates and amines (at least initially) as that is likely to be my problem. After one week on the elimination diet I have noticed a huge improvement, apart from the fact I am missing all my usual fare like spinach, coconut, berries, tomato and the list goes on! I am so grateful though for the relief, I actually feel normal again. Thanks! – Lisa
 Failsafe travelling: fantastic 6 months in a caravan around Australia (July 2013)
I have been going along quite well on a fairly strict version of failsafe eating and was feeling pretty confident in my body - which made for a nice change. Last year I even felt confident enough to plan a 6 month trip around Australia with my husband...read more
 3 days into failsafe and 10 yr old with oppositional defiance is an angel! (July 2013)
Husband is gobsmacked! 3 days into failsafe and 10 yr old with oppositional defiance is an angel! Best behaved of all 6 boys!!!!! Too hard to do elimination with 50% custody so have done the maximum changes I can. He's converted to fs bread sambos with nuttelex and golden syrup. All boys are happy with dinners and lunch boxes. We may never know what his intolerances are but even hubby agrees we can live with feeding the boys this way. (We eat later) soo happy WOOHOO!!! Going to start keeping a food and behaviour diary to give to ex wife (most likely to ignore but you never know!!!) – grateful husband, by email
 To do the diet or not, a facebook thread (July 2013)
A lovely lady directed me here. I am desperate really. To the point of waiting for a paeds appointment in Sept so they can put my lovely 7.5yr old son on Ritalin. I'm not anti-ritalin but I want to know that I have tried EVERYTHING first before we get to that point. His behaviour is really bad at school and he just isn't coping with life. I am really hoping that a change in diet can go some way to help him control his behaviour – Sarah
Please, please try this diet first before meds. My 7yo teacher thought I had put him on meds within 2 weeks of diet. Not easy, but worth it for no meds - Jenni
I don't do failsafe but cut out additives ie preservatives, colours and flavours, as a way of managing my daughter asthma. When I did it I noticed a great change in my son’s behaviour, he's in kindergarten this year and doing really well, with the occasional down days (usually my fault for slipping with food)...read more
 Bedwetting thread from facebook group (July 2013)
My 5.5 year old still wets the bed (and has anger issues and self control problems etc) so we are setting up to start the diet. But could I expect the possibility of him stopping wetting the bed in the process. Is that normal thing to expect? - Bree (Later: diet was not enough, as Bree said “we have a bed wetting alarm but he is too immature to use it, he undoes it and pulls his pants down”)
Within a week, my little one stopped bedwetting and stopped having night terrors. For years, both would only happen as part of a reaction. It can happen - Tracy
I don't know when he stopped because I wasn't expecting it...read more
 Withdrawals thread from facebook group (July 2013)
I'd be really interested to hear people's experience with withdrawals in relation to behaviour, eg timing of it, how long it latest etc. also, if a high chem food is eaten in error, does it take weeks to get back to baseline again? Thanks – Rebecca
My son’s withdrawals initially were day 5-7 then again at the end of week 2. Depending on the slipup it reactions can last a week, especially if there's a few slipups together - Vanessa
I find it's bad for about four days, then day 4 or 5 is a revelation...read more
 Nasal screens work for fragrance sensitivity (July 2013)
A dietitian put me on a simplified version of the RPAH diet 9 months ago. I'm fine on a very restricted diet, but am finding that fumes (strong flowers and incense) are immediately producing the same symptoms. As a nun, there are times when I can't avoid them. Do you have any experience with nose filters...read more
 635: shingles – or ribo rash? - exacerbated or caused by club gravy (July 2013)
I recently took my 97 year old aunt out for dinner at her local bowling club. About half an hour after eating, she suffered an attack of a severely itchy rash that comes and goes and was diagnosed a year ago as shingles. I checked with the club and sure enough there was 635 in the gravy she had eaten (in a catering flavour base called beef booster). I also found out that she regularly eats canned soups with 635. It seems to me that the 'shingles' could be ribo rash, but trying to explain that to her is difficult. When she was born in 1916, canned soups and gravy were safe to eat and doctors were gods whose wisdom was not questioned. – Sue, NSW
 'Feeling like a drunken sailor is not just "the way I am" - it is possible to have a fog-free brain and a calm, happy life!' (July 2013)
I'm 22 years old and have always had issues with anxiety, and since I was in my early teens I've suffered from bowel problems. I saw a doctor about it a few years ago who diagnosed me with IBS and said there wasn't much I could do. I was put on the fodmap diet and saw some improvement, but my anxiety seemed to get worse. Then my Mum told me about you because she had some kids at school trialling the diet to treat their ADHD.
I bought your book and I felt like you were writing about me and my family! ...read more
 Failsafe has completely changed our family for the better (July 2013)
We were previously struggling with our eldest daughter, she was five at the time and we were concerned about her difficulties sleeping and her behaviour. As a baby she was quite unsettled, something we didn't realise until our second daughter was born and actually settled and slept well, showing us it was possible! Due to family history of depression I was also worried about my daughters' future ...read more
Our family had a brief encounter with the elimination diet in the mid nineties and then another longer one some time after 2000. Never supervised. We considered ourselves to be living a healthy lifestyle, eating lots of fruit and vegies, enjoying an alcoholic drink at times but not excessively and we all exercised regularly. Food additives ended up on the forbidden list. Energy levels were really on the low side for our age but that only made us try harder to live the way we thought health should be achieved. Of course there were some other problems too but they weren't very big or we just never got to the bottom of them and had given up really. Yes, we had eliminated salicylates from the diet at some stage but it looks like we missed the changes in ourselves. Perhaps a supervising dietician would have been able to keep us on track.
More than ten years after the first attempt at the diet, in order to cope with the stresses of my job, I decided that I would eat only fruit at lunch times, lots of healthy oranges and other fruit. A fair bit of fruit really because I was exercising about 2 hours every day as well. In the evening I cooked heaps of tasty vegies (taste means often high in salicylates) ...
A week later, I happened to meet a young lady and we had a chat. Later on in the week I met her again, just before she headed off to live 600km in one direction. At the end of the week I was off to live similar distance in the opposite direction. Again we had a chat.
A few days after the last encounter with the young lady I kept thinking about her. On the first day this seemed a bit amusing, like being in love but it was getting stronger and stronger and soon a reality check happened. What the hell am I doing?
1. I am a married man with children, I don't need this.
2. I hardly know anything about her, we had two brief chats and at the time I wasn't really terribly interested. Nothing happened between us.
3. She never showed an interest in me, this is just fantasy.
It got worse and worse. My thoughts came back to her all the time. Every 5 minutes of every day for the next 15 days. I saw her face, went back to the relatively few sentences we exchanged, went over them time and time again. Going around in circles. It happened during the day, when going to bed and it was also the first thing I thought of when waking up in the morning. Everything reminded me of her. Strong feelings were boiling up in me, automatic and unstoppable. Emotionally I was on edge. It was hard to concentrate at work, it was hard to listen in meetings. It was getting between my family and me.
There seemed to be no end to it. I had lost control but I could not explain why, which of course made it worse because I could not do anything about it. I was eating healthy food, exercising heaps, cut out the last alcohol because life was troubling me already as it was. No coffee, no tea, no additives, no smokes. I felt that I was close to going crazy or was I crazy already? I used to pride myself on thinking logically and having a very practical outlook on life. What had happened to me?
The move at the end of the week to another town brought a change in diet with it. Still a fair bit of fruit, but less. My brain got marginally better but would still be bad for another 12 days. By that time Sue's DVD "Fed Up with Children's Behaviour: how food and additives affect behaviour" had come in and I watched it several times. Then the penny dropped, perhaps it was salicylates? Perhaps we had missed salicylates the first two times playing with the elimination diet. I cut fruit out of my diet immediately since I was desperate to get back to normal. It took another 2 plus weeks before I started to consider myself normal again. Other things improved too: singing voice better and more consistent than ever, sticky poos less of a problem, sleep improved, bloating reduced, feeling of incomplete evacuation reduced.
This was the closest encounter I've ever had with a run-away brain. Needless to say, it was not a constructive part of our marriage, however, we have survived. This story embarrasses me extremely but perhaps others can benefit from it ... - by email
 635: very unpleasant headache from Campbell's "Chicken & Corn" soup (July 2013)
I am reporting a reaction to a can of Campbell's "Chicken & Corn" condensed soup. The flavour was very pleasant, but an hour or so after consuming it, I developed a very unpleasant headache ...read more
 635: Related to eczema (July 2013)
Both of my children both suffered from eczema. My son was diagnosed as infantile eczema at 10weeks old. I had discovered that before failsafe ...read more
 This diet is truly life changing (July 2013)
I would like to say a very big thank you for helping change not only my son's life dramatically but in turn the whole family.
Last year I put my eight year old boy onto your elimination diet. Before the diet my son was in trouble at school every day, he was argumentative, angry, hyperactive and overall his behaviour was negative and every day was a huge struggle.
After discovering that he reacts severely to preservatives, colours, salicylates and amines, his overall well being has completely changed.
Not only is the household a much more calmer place now, also so is his class room. He would of been considered to be one of the naughtiest children in the class but now he is achieving amazing results at school. He competed in the National Maths Competition and got a distinction (finished in the top 11 % in all of Australia), he also achieved very highly in the Naplan and has amazed his music teacher by performing songs that are way above his year level.
Not only is he a much happier boy, so are his siblings and both my husband and I. Not only has this diet given him a much better chance for a successful future he is living testimony that this diet is truly life changing. - Paula
 Yay! Have a win to report! (June 2013)
We are on day 13 of our elimination (not GF or DF) and we have definitely noticed wonderful behavioural differences in our 3 boys ...read more
 Some reports on low salicylates (June 2013)
Some of these reports came from readers after a Medical Journal of Australia article questioning the value to low salicylate diets. Details of the article can be seen at http://fedup.com.au/news/breaking-news/immunologists-knickers-in-a-twist-about-salicylate-elimination-diets-for-children
• We've noticed a HUGE difference in our son's temper tantrums and violent tendencies! - Julie, NSW
• We have been really pleased by the change in behaviour of our 8 year old son who is diagnosed with Aspergers (and ADHD). His oppositional tendencies in particular have markedly reduced - Marg, by email
• We've been on a low Salicylate diet for only a couple of weeks now and the change in my son is absolutely remarkable. For the first time this year he is having his first full day at school today. His attention-span and distractedness is still an issue, but to a lesser degree - Jo from facebook group
• The proof is in the pudding so they say and [my son] is the pudding! - Amy
• Low sals diet is "harmful"?? Who on earth did they pick for their sample? It certainly wasn't any of us! Nor any other of the thousands of very healthy, happy failsafers out there - Naomi
• No one asked me here in NZ. I've been nearly 60 yrs trying to find out what was wrong with me. Even the immunologist couldn't help. Now I have energy to burn! - Di
• Hmm bubble and squeak with rice popped chicken and pear crumble, for pudding . Philli and pear mountain wraps and boiled egg for lunch. Shocking diet. I would much rather eat processed ready meal with chips, coke and lcm bars for lunch. Ah throw a slush puppy in as well. Insert sarcasm. Yes this diet is limited but it is short term. Surely all of us are a diverse sample group with no bias other than wanting the best for our loved ones. You can keep your 5 veg 2 fruit wheat and processed marg. I will stick to my butter, pears, and cabbage – Carrie
• Just skimmed their article now, it's HIGH time there was some decent clinical studies put forward, particularly in the light of these criticisms (can lead to eating disorders?!) and the emphasis on NSW being "where these diets happen" ie a stab at the RPAH. I wish the RPAH would do their own retrospective study. Why don't they??? It's been years since they published anything at all on their work and what they do is positively life changing, not "harmful" in the slightest. I must say this study has made me extremely angry - Naomi
• They can come and study my violently sal intolerant kids. At 6 months, one of my sons cried for 8 hours after eating a small serve of mashed pumpkin. Even tiny amounts of mod sal foods like carrots and sweet potato brought on massive rashes and stomach aches. Wish sceptical people could see this stuff - Veronica
• Google "PubMed urticaria salicylates" and there is actually quite a bit there - some is food intolerance and exclusion diet but not specifically food salicylates, some is specifically aspirin, but urticaria from food salicylates is there too eg http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6148685?report=abstract - Tracy
• There are a few things that jump off the page to me, the definition of "harmful" is one and also the insinuation that elimination diets are linked to eating disorders. Do these "doctors" have any idea about the causative issues relating to eating disorders? Because from what I recall from the Mental Health side to my (nursing) degree, the evidence base clearly stated that they are very much linked to a myriad of non-food related issues – Naomi
• Diet success stories include recovery from eating disorders after going failsafe. http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/eating-disorders-and-food-intolerance. I can see how an elimination diet done incorrectly or handled badly could trigger eating disorders in those at risk - Tracy
• When faced with the alternative of taking mind altering drugs long term, I'll live with the small chance of minor nutrient deficiencies from a limited diet thanks. The failsafe diet as far as I know is actually quite a balanced diet if done properly - Lydia
• This is the best thing I have done for my son . He is a new man. All I can say is that he eats 100% better and a well balanced diet than most kids I know – Tanya
 Speech pathologist reports on diet (June 2013)
Two stories that readily come to mind about food and speech are:
First, a new client, 4 year old boy. When I was assessing his language comprehension, which involved him looking at 4 pictures on a page, and pointing to the picture I was speaking about, this young boy merely pointed to all 4 pictures on each page, counting "1, 2, 3, 4". I honestly thought he had huge cognitive issues...read more
 635: Severe racing heart from "NO ADDED MSG" chips (June 2013)
I have severe racing heart after consumption of MSG or free glutamic acid. Last year I put in a complaint to Qld Health who then went to Vic Health re Coles chicken flavoured chips, with no success. The chip packet boldly stated NO ADDED MSG.
I knew MSG was in the chips (due to my heart racing over 200 bpm) ...read more
(Comment from Sue Dengate: in this case, the food manufacturers are being deliberately ingenuous. Of course they know they are adding MSG in the form of hydrolysed vegetable protein rather than flavour enhancer 621. The other 600-number flavour enhancers - 627, 631, 635 - are MSG-boosters designed to boost the effects of any MSG up to 10 or 15 times, so you are much more likely to be affected by those than 621. Anyone who wants to avoid MSG should avoid any flavour enhancers e.g. 620-635. This pretty much means sticking to plain healthy food and cooking for yourself, which of course is now recommended for weight loss, cancer prevention and a whole host of other health problems.)
 Happy 21st for failsafe – two (March 2013)
This week our son turns 21 and starts his 4th year of a BE(Hons) Bachelor of Engineering Degree.
We have come so far from when he was 8years old and I was reading the Fed Up Book and thinking this is us....
The teachers had mentioned ADHD and Learning Issues ... in my heart I knew he was not any of these, in fact I believed him to be very smart.
A month after starting the diet without mentioning it to the school, they asked what had changed and we never looked back. He was now able to show the true little lad he was ... bright, happy and friendly. Thanks Sue and Howard- you have always been there for us. We are so proud of our son and so pleased we found Failsafe. Yes at times it was a challenge, but wow look where we are now. It was worth everything it took to achieve what we and our son have.
We are very proud. We as a family know for sure that our son would have had quite a different life without FAILSAFE. His oppositional behaviour alone would have changed that. Let alone the learning issues - Linda
 Happy 21st for failsafe – one (March 2013)
In a little over two weeks, my daughter is turning 21. And I have to say a big huge THANK YOU to Sue and Howard - without your first book "Different Kids" I doubt my daughter would have made it this far. Your friendship, information, help and most of all, support, have been invaluable in keeping my beautiful daughter alive. Thank you both so very, very much – Sharon
 One-liners (March 2013)
I have to tell you your books and DVD have been a Godsend! We've noticed a HUGE difference in our son's temper tantrums and violent tendencies! We have told everyone we know about you and your research. Thank you! - Julie, NSW
We have been really pleased by the change in behaviour of our 8 year old son who is diagnosed with Aspergers (and ADHD). His oppositional tendencies in particular have markedly reduced. My thinking is this is related to taking most salicylates out of his diet; however, I think I now need the help of a dietician to guide us through a more specific diet to ensure we are not excluding foods that are actually fine - Marg by email
Just wanted to say a huge THANKYOU to Sue & Howard! Have a daughter who has been failsafe for 5 years now. Though it is still really difficult @ times, she is massively improved since we discovered you by googling 'explosive diarrhoea.' Love your work, & our happier little girl!! Veronica from facebook group
Thank you for your continued referrals. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have heard of FAILSAFE and the elimination diet and are prepared to give it a go. I keep seeing fantastic results with it – from breastfeeding mothers finally getting a better night's sleep (due to more settled babies), to pre-schoolers behaving now as pre-schoolers should (rather than throwing un necessary tantrums), to adults finally feeling well and understanding what causes their symptoms after years of unanswered questions. And of course everything in between! – Dietitian by email
We are day 6 into the elimination diet, and having amazing results. My son (8yrs) was diagnosed with Aspergers a few weeks ago and within days a lot of his symptons are reducing. The meltdowns are nothing to what they were. Plus, the skin rashes are almost gone too, yet we are still working on the night time bed wetting – Nicole from facebook group
 Avoiding salicylates, amines and additives reduces rosacea symptoms (February 2013)
I wrote to you quite some time ago regarding rosacea. My skin is still not 100% right, although avoiding salicylates, amines, preservatives and additives certainly reduces the symptoms of flushing, itching, and red pimples. - Lyn, NSW See Acne and rosacea factsheet
Don’t forget, you can scroll through all current stories
The Failsafe shopping list is updated on an almost daily basis and is fully searchable. Look there in the first instance. Here are some updates since the last newsletter:
New Product: First Defense Nasal screens For those who suffer from fragrance sensitivity: a failsafe nun who is exposed to incense and other fragrances as part of her daily work has trialled the new nasal screens for us. See her report below. http://www.filteryourlife.com/
I’ve been on the RPAH diet for 9 months, and I find that exposure to fumes (strong flowers and incense) produces the same symptoms as breaking my diet. As a nun, there are times when I can't avoid them. I wondered if nose filters (First Defense Nasal Screens) would enable me to be exposed to some fumes without being hit by the ghastly symptoms. It would be great if they work, as I’m currently having to sit outside our part of our Chapel for Mass when the priest uses incense, and I’d much rather be inside. (Even so, I can still smell the fumes in the room almost 24 hours later, and it is affecting my health for the rest of the week brain fog, fatigue and sometimes a migraine too.)
Two months later ... Good news! The nasal screens have worked really well for me. Ive been able to try them 5 days in the past week. It took some getting used to putting them on correctly so my breathing wasn’t impeded, but I’ve improved with practice. I have been able to remain at least an hour in a room with incense, strong solvent glue, and even clean the brass with Brasso, all with no ill effects. During that week I had one day when I was exposed to Pledge furniture polish for about 5-10 minutes and didn’t have the nasal screens on. The result? Within minutes I was confused, unable to think clearly, rather irrational, and then wasn’t up to doing much for the next day or so.
I’m really delighted with the result. It means I should be able to safely make a trip to an important meeting in Australia, which I was a bit apprehensive about, as the thought of being in a planeload of perfumed bodies didn’t exactly please me. If anyone else has a really bad scent sensitivity that is preventing them from doing important things, I would recommend they give the nasal screens a try. The manufacturer said you can actually wear a pair for up to 24 hours I haven’t needed to try that, as I can usually control my exposure, but I did have them on for nearly 13 hours one day.
I eventually obtained mine through the US Company, as the Australian Distributor didn’t reply to any of my emails. They only took 5 days to get to me in NZ, so that was fine. – ..read more from story 
New Product: Azep Nasal Spray. Still on the subject of fragrance sensitivity, this is recommended in the RPAH handbook, see review
I have found Azep nasal spray very helpful in dealing with my sensitivity to fragrances and other smells. I’ve used it a few times when suddenly confronted with strong chemicals cleaner, solvent, after shave and incense. It made things much more manageable. – failsafer, NZ
Product warning: Chic nuts snack packs contains onion, while the ordinary ones only have Chick Peas, Canola Oil, Garlic Powder, Salt. Read the label! – thanks to Michelle.
Burgen Gluten Free bread is NOT failsafe as it contains vinegar (amines). Stocked by Safeways. Some people questioned the use of the ingredient Modified Tapioca Starch (1422) but that is failsafe. If you don’t react to amines: this bread is “SO DARN GOOD … so soft and tasty, like fresh, soft, white bread used to taste – thanks Kathleen.
Product warning: Parker Pretzels have changed their packaging! They now have Antioxidant 319 in them. “My 5 year old just got a tad upset when I told him he couldn't have them anymore. His little eyes filled with tears. Wish I could have sent them that picture” – thanks Donna. Register your disappointment at http://www.smiths.com.au/index.php/contact
Failsafe mattresses: www.blessedearth.com.au (10% discount if you use buying code FIN10)
“We have now had your wool mattress for more than two months and we must say that we have never slept so well or looked forward to going to bed so much. For those of us who are chemically sensitive, buying a new mattress without plasticisers, flame retardants and nasty smells is impossible, so we were SO pleased with your wool mattress: the two half-queensize mattresses fitted together well with a wool topper and are easy to turn and make, and comfortable even though firmer than many people think they want” – Howard and Sue.
Complaints about Crisco sunflower and sometimes canola oil - suggest avoid: The facebook group has carried many complaints about a recent change of labels, but Goodman Fielder tell us nothing else has changed: “The (sunflower) oil comes from Argentina in the crude form. We then refine it at our manufacturing plant. The refining process removes all the impurities that are present in the crude oil. It is then bleached to remove colour and finally deodorised to remove odours and flavours to produce a bland product. Under no circumstances is antioxidant added. The only antioxidant present is what's naturally occurring in the oil (alpha tocopherols) as it is not completely removed during the refining process.”
Yumarada - low salicylate foods - has Pear jam, Pear Vanilla Jam, Pear Sauce and Pear and Celery Chutney sold through http://www.allergytrain.com.au and more detail at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yumarada-Low-Salicylate-Foods/270316046325087 – thanks Selena.
The Carob Kitchen has failsafe products: Pure Carob Syrup (use for smoothies and in place of maple syrup on or ridge, yoghurt etc), Carob Kibble Nibbles (great snack), Roasted Carob Powder ( use in place of hot chocolate, use in cooking etc yum!) http://www.thecarobkitchen.com.au
Raffertys Garden after March 2013 no longer have 160b annatto in them http://www.raffertysgarden.com/index.php products (but note that most are not failsafe due to high salicylates). “As of March 2013, all Rafferty's Garden snack bars will no longer contain ingredient 160b. Although, initially, this will not be reflected on the packaging, any product with an expiry date of March 2014 onwards, DO NOT contain the ingredient 160b”
Soy icecream: So Good Vanilla Bliss from Sanitarium is low fat (2.9%) and gluten-free and preferred by many to dairy icecream.
Bulla icecream now failsafe as it no longer contains 160b. It is also gluten-free.
Thanks for your continuing support of each other!
Many people have chosen to switch from the current email support groups to the thriving 4,133 member Sue Dengate facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/128458328536/ and/or the Failsafe forum http://fedup.com.au/failsafe-forum/categories - you are welcome there too.
Food Intolerance Network now on Twitter as @failsafers (note the plural). We will mostly be using Twitter to join online Twitter conversations and encourage people to join our existing online communities.
Factsheets Factsheets are becoming our major way of making information available. They are continually updated.
New factsheets: Adults and food intolerance
Fedup Roadshow 2013
Nearly 5 million people have now visited www.fedup.com.au, between 3,000 and 4,000 visits per day. Over 9,000 families now receive this quarterly newsletter.
See local contacts 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.
For failsafe-friendly dietitians, see http://www.fedup.com.au/images/stories/archive/dietitians2012.pdf. For privacy reasons this file is password protected. The PASSWORD is failsafe. Please email
if there are any problems.
All Failsafe Newsletters can be searched and printed. There is a wealth of research, issue discussion, recipes, personal reports and recipes now available in one place. But some of the links are out of date and you must always check current products rather than relying on historical information.
Success story collections
These are the most popular downloads from the website.Here are some new ones.
Salicylates: a 71 page collection of readers' reports on their experiences with salicylate intolerance is now available.
The Food Intolerance Network strongly supports the peer-reviewed publication of evidence regarding the effects of salicylates on health, behaviour and learning and acknowledges that more research needs to be published, particularly using dietary salicylates. However the very foundation of science is observation and these observations over many years show an astonishing and convincing range of real symptoms. We hope that they may assist in stimulating further research publication.
635 the MSG booster: There's a new story collection on the daily human effects of the MSG booster called 635 ribonucleotide flavour enhancer, which consists of a mixture of 627 and 631.
These stories have been provided to Australia's food regulator FSANZ on two occasions, including once direct to the Chair of the Board, without any action whatsoever.
Ribonucleotides were approved for use in food in the mid 1990's without the scientific assesment required under the FSANZ Act, as documented in a long-drawn-out Freedom of Information process in 2003. FSANZ reported both that "that these documents do not exist" and then, later in the letter "currently available toxicological data supports the safe use of ...ribonucleotides". Apparently the toxicological data both exist and don't exist. Extraordinary!
Eczema: a 30 page collection of reports just released that show readers using diet with eczema, rash, psoriasis, and rosacea. Also links to four useful threads in the failsafe facebook page if you are a member (see at end of document). http://fedup.com.au/images/stories/SCeczema.pdf
Thank you so much for the new RPAH reintroduction recommendations. I now understand why when I tried to ascertain my tolerance levels and did as my dietician recommended (try 1/2 a cup of salicylates) that my symptoms returned very quickly. ½ a cup is 100 times ¼ of a teaspoon, and given my scent problems I’m probably highly sensitive. Now I can try again. - failsafer, NZ
Hint: Make the magic cordial fancier and more fun: before putting the cordial inside the glasses, you wet the rim of the glass (all around) with just a bit of water and dip the rim in white sugar. This creates a beautiful glazing. - Sivan
Naan bread (can be Thermomix)
This flat leavened bread is quick to make, takes 1-2hrs to rise, then is very quick to cook but it does contain amines. Adapted from an Indian Thermomix recipe.
100 ml water
200 g plain yoghurt
450 g bread flour (50% wholemeal is OK)
30g failsafe oil eg canola
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
Mix all ingredients and knead for 5 mins, adding a little more water if necessary. If using Thermomix, mix 20 secs/speed 3 to form a ball, then knead for 3 mins/Dough setting. The dough should be smooth and satiny. Put ¼ tsp oil in bowl, roll dough in oil, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, which takes 1-2 hrs depending on temperature. When nearly ready, preheat oven and a heavy baking tray as hot as you can (say 300°C) with the griller on as well if you can but this is not essential. Knead dough briefly, divide into 8 equal balls, roll each into a tear-shaped naan about 15 cm by 12 cm. Remove the hot baking tray from the oven and slap the naan into the tray, replace in oven near the top for 3 mins. Watch and don’t burn as the naan puffs up and browns very quickly. Remove and keep warm in a tea towel until all cooked. Serve with dips, bean paste and salad. Freezes and can be toasted.
This delicious meal is a failsafe version of the popular spread at the OR2K restaurant in Kathmandu, Nepal in which each diner is served with a range of dips and sauces in small bowls with plates of salad vegetables, falafels and flatbreads for dipping.
Dips: your choice of:
Ann's cashew sauce from the gado gado recipe http://fedup.com.au/recipes/lunches-and-snacks/gado-gado
Bread: your choice of 2 different shapes of fresh failsafe flatbreads for dipping e.g. homemade flour tortillas http://fedup.com.au/recipes/other-recipes-and-hints/homemade-flour-tortillas or mountain bread, naan bread, wraps http://fedup.com.au/information/shopping-list/bakery
Salad vegetables: your choice of chunks of any three or four vegetables on a plate, suitable for dipping e.g. celery, lettuce, cabbage (all low in salicylates), cucumber, carrot, beetroot, snow peas (all moderate in salicylates)
That cheese sauce (Thermomix or traditional)
Modified with permission to make it failsafe from 'Rainbow Recipes', by Aileen Sforcina. This is her popular 'Golden Sauce' to use over steamed veggies. The book has both traditional and Thermomix methods for every recipe, so perfect for every kitchen!
400g white potato peeled, 1cm cubes
80g carrot (moderate salicylates – leave out if on elimination diet; can colour with saffron instead), 1 cm cubes
60g celery, chopped
1 bunch of shallots, the white parts, chopped
100g raw cashews
1 tsp citric acid
2-3 tsp salt (this gives it the real cheesy kick, adjust to desired amount)
Thermomix Method: Place all ingredients in Thermomix. Cook 20 minutes, 100°C, reverse, speed 1. Pulverise speed 9 for 60 secs. Adjust consistency to taste by adding more water or salt if necessary.
Traditional Method: Chop all vegetables and place all ingredients in saucepan, boil until vegetables are tender. Pour in to blender, and blend until very smooth. Adjust consistency by adding water if necessary.
Serving suggestion: over pasta or rice, use instead of bechemal in a lasagna, over steamed vegies. Note that the peas in the photo are moderate in glutamates and so not suitable for your supervised elimination phase.
The facebook group is always alive with raves about failsafe sausages. Here’s how again:
Sausages e.g. beef, lamb or chicken, not pork - ask your specialist butcher if he will make up the Failsafe Sausages recipe in all my books or below.
Sausage casings are permitted to contain sulphite preservatives at the same level as sausages. Since sausage casings are such a small component of a sausage, and being on the outside of the sausage are subjected to the highest heat which will drive off sulphites, it is likely that these pose little risk to failsafers.
A recipe for your butcher for 10 kg of sausages:
650 g rice flour (2 kg for 30 kg)
3 leeks (10 leeks for 30 kg)
1 clove garlic (3 for 30 kg) or more to taste
½ cup salt (1½ cups for 30 kg)
Warning: NO other ingredients – ask your butcher to NOT add MSG, pepper, spices or flavours
Make up to 10 kg with fresh minced beef or chicken.
If your butcher won't make failsafe sausages, make your own with this simple recipe. (If you have a Thermomix you can use cubed meat and the Thermomix will quickly turn all the ingredients into sausage mince - we've just bought one, and my only regret is that I didn't buy it years ago, http://www.superliving.com.au/features/my-two-weeks-with-a-thermomix)
Carob tofu mousse or sauce
300g silken tofu (one pack)
½ cup carob powder
3 tbsp pure maple syrup or 2 tbsp white sugar, to taste
¼ cup milk or soymilk
Blend all ingredients (eg Thermomix 60secs, speed 4 or use wand blender). Pour into individual serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours before serving. Serves 4-6.
Serving suggestion: as carob mousse served with chopped permitted fresh fruit, as icecream topping, or as part of an elegant dessert such as poached pear with carob sauce (carefully core the pear from the bottom leaving the stem and microwave in a covered glass dish for 2mins).
thanks to Danielle and Suzie
© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to the many members who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter and particularly to Teresa and Tracy for their help with facebook and story collections. Further reading: Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate.