Food campaigners are up in arms following the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ruling against Food Commission’s calls for a complete ban on food additives.
The call for a complete ban was made last week (mw.co.uk March 10) when the Food Commission identified Cadbury as having the most products that contain one or more of the seven food additives that contribute to increased hyperactivity in children. This includes products such as Cadbury CrËme Egg, which is coloured with Sunset Yellow (E110), one of the additives that the Action on Additives says should be banned from children’s food.
The EFSA says that the UK study provides limited evidence that the additives “had a small and statistically significant effect on activity and attention in some children selected from the general population.”
However, Anna Glayzer, coordinator of the Action on Additives campaign, says: “Where is the public interest in keeping these additives in our food? EFSA has backed up the FSA’s research which shows that these additives can have an affect on some children, but the limited nature of the study means that EFSA is unable to recommend robust action to remove them from our food and drink.
“The public should be aware that six of the seven tested additives are artificial colourings which are totally unnecessary ingredients in the first place. We do not need them in our food and we would urge the European Commission to pursue a ban. Further testing would cost millions and take years, and is simply not a viable option. In the meantime, the Action on Additives campaign calls on responsible food manufacturers to take steps to remove these food additives as soon they can.”
The UK list also includes 15 different products made by confectionery giant Haribo, but in Denmark, where Haribo is also widely sold, no artificial colours have been found by campaigners in their products. Glayzer adds: “This is further demonstration that these colourings are unnecessary. Manufacturers can remove them, but will not do so if they think they can get away with it.”