Cadbury and Mars have been slammed by food watchdogs for “highly irresponsible behaviour” by breaking their promises to remove hyperactivity-inducing colours from some products.
The Food Commission says that popular Easter Cadbury’s products including Crème Eggs and Mini Eggs still contain the colours which may cause hyper behaviour in children despite it pledging to remove them by the end of 2008.
Two Mars products, Revels and Choozers, still contain some of the six so-called “Southampton Colours” despite pledging to remove them by the end of 2007.
The independent watchdog says that the two confectionery giant’s failure to comply with the Food Standard Agency’s voluntary ban means statutory rules must now be put in place.
The commission’s “Action on Additives” campaign co-ordinator Anna Glayzer accused the two companies of dishonesty: “To make these pledges at times of high media attention and then quietly neglect to honour them is simply cynical PR opportunism. It is highly irresponsible behaviour from major multinational confectioners, especially when many other companies have reformulated.”
At the moment, FSA efforts to enforce the voluntary ban consist of three very short lists hosted on a difficult to find area of the agency’s website. It is of little help to parents and it fails to give an accurate picture of the UK market. A mandatory ban would be simple, effective and would take the burden off the parents,” she adds.
A Mars spokesman says the company has been open and honest about its efforts to remove the additives, with all of its products bar Revels and Choozers, including Skittles and Starburst, now “free from artificial colours and flavourings.”