'Artificial colourings as harmful as leaded petrol for children'
Extracts from the Telegraph:
"Artificial colourings could be removed from hundreds of food products after researchers found that they may be almost as harmful to children's development as leaded petrol.
The additives, found in a host of sweets and soft drinks, have been linked to behavioural problems. But a team at Southampton University, carrying out a £750,000 study for the Food Standards Agency, (FSA) suggested seven colourings, including tartrazine and sunset yellow, could also affect children's intelligence by up to five IQ points.
The board of the FSA, the industry's governing body, will meet on Thursday to consider recommendations from its officials that manufacturers should voluntarily remove six of the E numbers from their products while further research is carried out on the seventh, sodium benzoate. They would be urged to use natural replacements.
The Southampton study was published in September but the FSA ignored calls for swift action after the Committee on Toxicology said additives had only a moderate effect on some children.Claims that the colourings were virtually as damaging as lead emerged when the leader of the research, Professor Jim Stevenson, wrote to the FSA demanding immediate action."
"The additives linked to hyperactive behaviour are:
• Tartrazine (E102): Yellow food colouring found in mushy peas and candy floss, banned from all foods and drinks for under-threes.
• Quinoline yellow (E104): Food colouring found in squash, flu capsules
• Sunset yellow (E110): Orange yellow colouring found in bubble gum and jelly babies.
• Carmoisine (E122): Red food colouring found in throat lozenges
• Ponceau 4R (E124): Red food colouring found in pear drops and bombay mix
• Allura red (E129): Red food colouring found in fruit jelly sweets and lollipops.
• Sodium benzoate (E211): Artificial preservative found in squash, fizzy drinks and cough syrup"