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April 2013
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Welcome to the Autumn newsletter and a particular welcome to all new subscribers.

This year Action on Additives has re-established itself with a new website and other social media, and has started to re-invigorate calls for the removal of unnecessary additives from food, particularly food and drink for children. The three key areas that Action on Additives will focus on in the first instance are colourings, flavourings and artificial sweeteners and we have a range of projects in progress that we hope to report on in the next few months.

Call to remove unnecessary colourings in children's medicines

On October 22nd 2013 we launched our new report on parent’s guides highlighting those children’s medicines which still contain colourings which are associated with hyperactivity in children.


Both these reports are available on the website and we had significant media interest in the topic which we hope will stimulate pharmaceutical manufacturers to remove these colours as a matter of urgency. We have outlined some actions that people can take to support this campaign below and on our facebook page, and we will be reporting regularly on any changes in composition and the response of manufacturers to our call.

What will we do next?

  • Why have some food and drink manufacturer’s not taken out colourings from food and drink 5 years after the FSA made their request?

We will be chasing up those manufacturers, big and small, who still have work to do in removing colours linked to hyperactivity in children from food and drink.

  • Which retailers are still not ensuring any food and drink they sell which contains colours that are required under EU law to be labelled as a potential risk to children is labelled appropriately?

We will be reminding all retailers that they need to ensure that foods and drinks they sell which do contain restricted colours are clearly labelled, and this is particularly important for foods and drinks imported from outside the EU which will not be labelled at source.

  • Should loose and unpackaged foods and drinks be labelled if they contain colours?

We will be looking at the range of foods and drinks being sold loose, on stalls in shopping centres, in sweet machines aimed at children and in other settings where there is no packaging which must be currently labelled by law. If you see examples, post them on twitter or our facebook page.

  • What about the other azo-dyes still present in the food supply?

We will continue to review evidence on azo-dyes and the investigations being undertaken to assess their safety and use in food and drinks.

  • Artificial sweeteners review

Over the next 6 months we will be gathering evidence on the use of artificial sweeteners in food and drink and review research evidence on the impact of artificial sweeteners on health, weight gain and other health related concerns.

About us

The Action on Additives campaign is managed by the small public health nutrition charity First Steps Nutrition Trust. We hope that those of you interested in safe food and drink for children will also be interested in some of the other work we do at First Steps Nutrition Trust to support pregnant women and families with young children to eat well, and below you can sign-up to our main newsletter for updates on the free resources we produce.

Our Mission

The aim of this new campaign is to highlight the use of artificial colourings, flavourings and sweeteners in foods, drinks and medicines in the UK and act as a critical friend to regulatory bodies to remind them, and food manufacturers and retailers, of the need to be compliant with EU regulations. In addition, we will encourage those that produce and sell food and drink to reflect upon the use of artificial additives in foods and drinks they produce and sell and to be open and honest about why they are used, and provide consumers with clear, simple information on how to avoid excess amounts of artificial additives if they would like to do so.

Please encourage others to sign-up for the newsletter and remember that you can follow us on: 

Twitter @actionadditives and on facebook:

You can contact us at Lizzie:


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