Parents Say No to Artificial Food Colouring

smartiesAustralian parents are demanding the Government ban the use of artificial colouring in children’s foods and beverages.

The motherInc Food Colouring Poll run during February and March revealed that parents have serious concerns about the levels of artirficial food colouring their children are consuming.

Over 1000 readers took part with 95 per cent of pollsters saying yes to Government legislation phasing out the use of artificial food colouring.

The poll found that 60 percent of parents reported significant side effects when their children consumed artificial food colourings. The top three side effects included:

  • Impatience and irritability
  • Loss of concentration
  • Hyperactivity

Claudia Keech, founder of motherinc, is amazed that Australia seems to be lagging behind the rest of the world on the issue of artificial colouring in food.

“The poll was designed to gauge concern about the presence of artificial colouring in children’s food and showed that parents believe it seriously affects their children’s behaviour. When asked if they would like the Australian Government to follow the European model and phase out and eventually ban these additives, 994 participants polled yes”.

The poll also highlighted the confusion parents feel trying to decipher on pack labelling, with 510 respondents not sure how to interpret the numbers in the ingredients list.

It also revealed that 80 percent of respondents would be happy to pay more for products that do not contain artificial food colouring.

Natural alternatives are already in use with long time Australian favourites such as Cottees jellies, Paddle Pops, Fanta and Deep Spring Mineral Water already using natural colours in the manufacturing process. According to their own labelling, manufacturers of products such as Sunkist, Aeroplane jelly, Froot Loops, M&M’s and other confectionery are still using artificial colours.

One of the most exciting results of the poll was that it generated national media stories in newspapers and on television. Some stories even featured our pollsters, so a big thank you to them and to all of you for taking the time to complete the poll.

Five simple steps to help avoid artificial food colouring

  1. Avoid six of the most commonly used artificial food colourings. They will appear on the ingredients list as 102, 104, 110, 122, 124 and 129.
  2. Try to buy brands that use natural colours as outlined in the ingredients list.
  3. Encourage manufacturers to adopt natural colour alternatives by boycotting their brands.
  4. Email your local member for parliament or contact your State or Federal minister to tell them how you feel.
  5. Encourage your kids to read food labels.
  6. Talk to friends and share information about what brands use natural food colouring.