Food and drinks containing certain artificial colourings will have to carry warnings, under a proposed EU deal.

The six colourings, tartrazine (E102), quinoline yellow (E104), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124) and allura red (E129), may be linked to hyperactive behaviour in children and already have to be listed on products.

The Food Standards Agency's (FSA), which is calling for a voluntary ban on their use in food products, told just-food: "There is a proposal currently going through the European Union but this has to be voted on by the Committee and nothing has been decided on yet."

The requirement would apply to imports as well as those made in the EU.

Products containing the colourings are expected to disappear from shops over the next year and the likes of Cadbury Trebor Basset, Nestlé UK and Unilever have already said they either don't use them or will have removed them by the end of the year, before the UK's voluntary ban in 2009.