Recent discussions relating to the Southampton University study on food additives and hyperactivity, including the views of the European Food Safety Authority and the UK Committee on Toxicity (see Toxicology and Regulatory News 2008, 47, 63 and 2007, 46, 173), were summarized in a document presented to the FSA Board for consideration at its April meeting. Board members were asked to consider what advice they might give to parents regarding food colours and hyperactivity in children, and to UK Ministers regarding the future use of the preservative sodium benzoate and the artificial food colours sunset yellow, quinoline yellow, carmoisine, allura red, tartrazine and ponceau 4R in food and drink. Subsequently, the FSA Board agreed to recommend to UK Ministers the phasing out of the use of these six colours in food and drink in the EU over a specified period, with UK manufacturers encouraged to take similar (voluntary) action by 2009. In addition, the Board requested the simplification and strengthening of advice to parents of children suffering from hyperactivity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to avoid these food colours.

[UK Food Standards Agency. Board meeting discussion item: Food additives and hyperactivity. FSA 08/04/04, 10 April 2008 (available at Board discusses colours advice. News release, 11 April 2008 (available at] {175714}

The above item is taken from the May 2008 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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