What’s ‘junky stuff’? I would have thought artificial colours but, as it turns out, no.
The product contains artificial colour tartrazine 102 and if that’s not junky I don’t know what is. In Europe, any product containing colour 102 must have a warning: ’may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children’.
In Australia, our regulators have decided not to protect our children and are leaving it up to parents – but we have found that parents can be confused by the labels.
As the popcorn label shows, some manufacturers are dealing with additive concerns by making their product sound healthy. Others are switching to alternatives that can cause as many problems as the original additive, and some are doing both.
At the Food Intolerance Network, we receive numerous complaints about what consumers see as misleading labelling. One mother wrote ‘it’s almost like they’re tricking you’ after she found that the ‘all natural’ vanilla yoghurt she had been feeding her young son contained an added colour listed by the name annatto rather than the number 160b.
Natural does not always mean safe. Annatto can affect some children and adults at least as badly as artificial colours, with a range of adverse reactions from tantrums and head banging in young children to headaches, stomach aches, itchy skin rashes, irritable bowel symptoms and even true allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
Similarly, natural colour cochineal 120 made from crushed beetles can cause allergic rashes, asthma or anaphylaxis in some people.
There are also continual complaints about the new flavour enhancers 627, 631 and 635. Developed to boost the effects of MSG, these additives seem to also boost adverse effects of MSG including rashes, heart palpitations and arrhythmia. Worse still, these additives can be used in products claiming ‘No added MSG’.
One woman wrote ‘I wish I’d found your website months ago when I was scratching myself until bleeding from the worst rash I’ve ever had. In case people think only children are affected by additives, I’m 56 and another victim of 635’.
Another described how her mother-in-law suffered from three years of intensely itchy rash, consulted numerous medical specialists and tried everything from lotions to laser treatment without success until she found the Ribo Rash factsheet on our website, removed all products with 600 number flavour enhancers – such as stock cubes, packet soups, instant gravy and sauces – from her pantry and her rash went away. When she confronted her doctor about it, he confessed he had never heard of 635.
It is time that food regulators took control of this area of misleading claims and mislabelling and paid more attention to protecting consumers.Contact details
- Food Intolerance Network - www.fedup.com.au
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