Food additives making kids crazy
HUNDREDS of popular Australian children's snack foods and sweets are laced with suspect additives which international researchers have linked to adverse behavioural reactions.
Food companies are using children's characters, including the new Bee Movie produced by Jerry Seinfeld, to push the additive-laden products in supermarkets.
Unsuspecting parents are buying their children food containing compounds, UK scientists identified, that cause adverse reactions such as allergies, asthma, hyperactivity and rashes.
Despite the findings - which were published in The Lancet - Food Standards Australia New Zealand is yet to consider banning or limiting the additives.
The Daily Telegraph's investigation has revealed some of the specific foods that contain the additives include items many parents pack into school lunch boxes.
In September a landmark study from Southampton University, UK, warned artificial colours had significant adverse effects on children. Scientists tested additives in sweets, ice cream and biscuits and found youngsters had difficulty sitting still and concentrating after eating.
The colours, tested on groups of three-year-olds and nine-year-olds, were tartazine (102), ponceau 4R ( 124), sunset yellow (110), carmoisine (122), quinoline yellow (104) and allura red AC (129) and preservative sodium benzoate (211).
Products found on our shelves include Juice Pops, mini Wagon Wheels, Shrek M&Ms, Green's Thomas and Friends cupcakes and Bee ice blocks.
Food Intolerance Network founder Sue Dengate said the additives could be the reason why some children suffer severe behavioural problems such as ADHD.
"There is no need for these additives," she said. "We have been calling for a long time for them to be removed.
"FSANZ said it would consider the study's findings in September but has done nothing since."
Not every child is susceptible to reactions, many are able to eat the sweets without suffering any symptoms.
But unruly children at a North Coast school have been transformed into tantrum-free model students after having additives removed from their diets.
In a radical experiment at Nana Glen Public School, on the North Coast, students' diets were overhauled for two weeks to alter their behaviour.
And the results have stunned teachers and prompted parents to push for a permanent change in school tuckshops.
As part of the trial held last month, children avoided about 50 preservatives, food colourings and enhancers.
About 60 per cent of the students - who participated in the trial - were given a free breakfast of toast with preservative free bread, eggs and cereal each morning.
Principal Lawrie Renshall said the school went from six detentions a week to none."We noticed a huge change. The kids were on task more and the work they were producing was a lot better."