The Food Commission is calling for food and soft drinks to carry health warnings because of the additives they contain. The food lobby body says that preservatives and colouring that must carry warnings if used in medicines, do not have to when used in food and drinks.
It says some such additives have been linked to behavioural problems in children. A spokesman says: “The Government and the food industry continue to assure us that all food additives are safe for us to eat, but here we have clear medical guidelines which state that over a dozen common additives should carry a health warning.”
He says that although the additives appear to pose no “immediate” risk for many people better labelling would ensure that susceptible adults and children would “at least have a chance” of identifying and avoiding those additives. He adds that they are used in a wide range of products, including cakes, sweets, fruit squashes and soft drinks.
When used in medicines warnings are given for artificial colourings including E102 (tartrazine), E110 (sunset yellow) and preservatives such as E211 (sodium benzoate), which is found in drinks brands including Dr Pepper, Fanta Orange, Vimto and Diet Coke.