Artificial food colourings 'should go'

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to advise UK ministers to phase out six commonly used food colourings by 2009.

The move follows research from the University of Southampton, published last September, which linked the colourings to hyperactivity in children.

However, the FSA has stopped short of calling for an outright ban, instead proposing that food manufacturers voluntarily phase out use of sunset yellow (E110), quinoline yellow (E104), carmoisine (E122), allura red (E129), tartrazine (E102) and Ponceau 4R (E124).

FSA chairwoman Dame Deirdre Hutton said: ‘These additives give colour to foods but nothing else. It would therefore be sensible, in the light of the findings of the Southampton study, to remove them from food and drink products.'

Parents of children showing signs of hyperactivity should consider cutting foods containing the additives from their diet, added the FSA.

But it emphasised that genetic factors, premature birth, environment and upbringing had also been shown to contribute to hyperactivity.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

FSA

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