For those of you with young children, I highly recommend reading the book Additive Alert by Julie Eady which contains a lot of information about the additives in our food, and the adverse effects that some of them can have on our children. What I really like about this book is that the information is very balanced – it is not a “no additives whatsoever and lets ban all processed foods while we are at it” kind of book, it is about making informed choices, and choosing the best options. I thought I would include an excerpt from her latest newsletter about developments regarding the banning of certain additives in the UK, as well as a yummy colour and artificial flavour free berry cordial recipe. For those of you who are interested, you can sign up for her newsletter at http://www.additivealert.com.au/
UK Calls For Additive Ban – FSANZ Do Nothing
Following on from the publication of the Southhampton study in September 2007, the UK FSA has completed a detailed review of the study findings, and has called for 6 of the colour additives in the study to be phased out of use by the end of 2009.
The Southhampton study looked at the effect of a combination of food colours and the preservative sodium benzoate, and found that these additives in combination had a definite adverse effect in relation to hyperactivity and behaviour in children generally, not just in those with a history of ADHD.
The Chairperson of the UK Food Standards Agency, Dame Deirdre Hutton, said that it was the duty of the FSA to put the consumers first , and called for the additives to be phased out of all foods, not just those targeted at children.
The UK FSA will recommend that the European Food Standards Agency follow up this action with a legislative ban, but this is a process which could take some years to finalise. The colours to be banned are tartrazine (102), quinoline yellow( 104) sunset yellow (110), carmoisine (122), ponceau red (124) and allura red (129).
In Australia, FSANZ have no plans to follow the precautionary lead of the UK FSA. FSANZ have dismissed the study findings as “interesting” and claim that the evidence provided in the study was “not strong.”
It is hard to understand how there can be such disparity between the 2 agencies, and this placating response from FSANZ demonstrates just how out of touch our regulator is with consumer sentiment.
We will be launching a campaign calling for these additives to be removed from our foods also in the near future,so please stay tuned for that one as we will need full lobbying power when the campaign is launched.
Click here to view story about the UK decision.
Whilst we are waiting for a good product to hit the supermarket shelves, here is an easy, yummy was to make cordial at home.
500gm frozen mixed berries , thawed
2 teaspoons of tartaric acid
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
1 cup boiling water
Place berries, tartaric acid, lemon juice and sugar in heat proof bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Strain through a seive, pressing with the back of a spoon, into a large heatproof jug. Pour into hot sterilised bottles and seal.
Refrigerate until chilled.
To Use: Use 1/3 cup cordial to 2/3 cup chilled sparkling mineral water or iced water.
To make it look pretty , serve in a jug and float some frozen raspberries on top