Lose weight by eating less salt! - Go on! - Try it! - You will feel so much better!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Food companies should warn about dangers of additives in food.

Food companies are criticised for failing to warn about additives - Independent


"Concerns over the use of E-number additives in food heightened yesterday when it emerged that medicines containing additives were obliged to carry warnings of possible side effects such as skin allergies and breathing problems.

The Food Commission campaign group argued that if European Union guidelines on the warnings applied to medicines, they should also appear on food and drink products swallowed in greater quantities.

The additives have been linked with a variety of health problems in recent years and the Government has commissioned new research into a preliminary link between colourings and hyperactivity in children. Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury supermarkets are phasing out artificial colourings and flavourings from own-brand foods because of public concern.

But E-numbers are still widely used by manufacturers of sweets, crisps, cakes and soft drinks. In the latest stain on their safety, EU guidelines dating back to July 2003 say that medicines with specific additives should warn variously of "allergic reactions", "mild irritation to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes" and possible "severe hypersensitivity reactions".

Among medicines on sale, Calpol Paracetamol warns patients that its ingredient carmoisine (E122) "may cause allergic reactions", while the same warning accompanies E-numbers in Buttercup Infant cough syrup. The Food Commission found that 31 out of 41 medicines checked failed to warn of the "unwanted effect" of certain additives. Nonetheless, the EU states that medicine manufacturers using sodium benzoate - a preservative found in Vimto, Sprite, Pepsi Max and many other soft drinks - should warn of side effects.

Similarly, many sweets and crisps such as Starburst and Doritos do not carry warnings about their colourings but would have to do so if they were medicines. The EU guidelines state that six colourings - E102 tartrazine, E110 (sunset yellow), E122 (azorubine, carmoisine), E123 (amaranth), E124 (ponceau 4R red) and E151 (brilliant black BN) - "may cause allergic reactions". There are other problems with preservatives. E210 (benzoic acid), E211 (sodium benzoate) and E212 (potassium benzoate) are "mildly irritant to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes".

E220 (sulphur dioxide), E221 (sodium sulphite), E222 (sodium bisulphite); E223 (sodium metabisulphite), E224 (potassium metabisulphite) and E228 (potassium bisulphite) "may rarely cause severe hypersensitivity reactions and bronchospasm [difficulty in breathing]".

All the additives are approved by the EU but there are concerns that the tests missed some problems linked to their consumption. Ian Tokelove, of the Food Commission, a group of health professionals, said: "If medicines are supposed to display a warning for these additives then food and drink products should as well. We only take medicine occasionally, but we all need to consume food and drink on a long-term basis so our exposure to these additives will be greater.""

Many prescribed drugs/medications, particularly some steroids, HRT and other oestrogen-containings medications, several antidepressants and other antipsychotic drugs and several pain-killers, cause salt sensitivity leading to sodium and water retention and therefore to weight gain and obesity. Few, if any, of these drugs warn of this very common side-effect, and doctors rarely if ever mention it to the patients to whom they prescribe these drugs. Prescribed drugs may well be the main cause of morbid obesity in adults. - See http://www.wildeaboutsteroids.co.uk/steroids.html

Lose weight by eating less salt! Go on! - Try it! - You will feel so much better!
See my website www.wildeaboutsteroids.co.uk
(The site does not sell anything and has no banners or sponsors or adverts - just helpful information.)