Blog: Dean BestHow even the kids are aware of the row over additives

Dean Best | 14 April 2008

The row over food additives moved on last week with the UK’s Food Standards Agency standing by its study into a possible link between certain colourings and hyperactivity in kids.

And it seems the debate and subsequent media fall-out is even reaching the eyes and ears of the nation’s children.

On Thursday, the FSA called for a voluntary ban on the use of artificial colourings in the UK.

The move followed last month’s lukewarm response from Europe’s top food scientists to a report from the UK’s Southampton University – commissioned by the FSA – that claimed to show a link between food additives and children’s behaviour.

The UK food industry, predictably, cried foul and said the majority of food manufacturers here had phased out the use of the colourings that had been linked to hyperactivity.

However, the most interesting comment made on all this came from my nine-year-old brother.

He was on Easter holiday from school last week, and on a trip to the local newsagents, he was asked whether he wanted any sweets.

He had a browse along the shelf, plumped for a well-known confectionery brand – but then put them back.

“I can’t really have those Mum, can I. They’ll probably make me angry,” he said.

Those kids are more aware and more discerning over their food than we give them credit for.


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