The head of the UK’s Food Standards Agency is to urge to the EU to “act swiftly” on the use of additives through Europe.

The FSA board met in London yesterday (20 September) to study the findings of UK research that suggested a link between certain artificial colours and preservatives and hyperactivity in children.

The European Food Safety Authority is also in the middle of analysing the research and FSA chair Dame Deirdre Hutton said she is to write to EU Commissioner for Health Markos Kyprianou to urge action.

Dame Deirdre said: “The Board expresses its astonishment that industry has not moved more quickly to remove these artificial colours from their products, in the light of serious concerns raised by consumers.

“The Agency recognises that it is not always easy for consumers to identify these colours and is urging industry to make it easier for people to know which products contain them.”