FSA News Item, 13 September 2007
The Agency met with food industry bodies today to establish what action is being taken following publication last week of the study looking at certain artificial colours and their effect on children's behaviour.
Three specific questions were raised by the Agency:
The industry bodies present stated that since 2003, there has been a widespread trend to move away from the use of artificial colours in food and drink products – especially those aimed at children. Industry representatives quoted data from market analysts, Mintel, showing that 24% of all new food and drink products launched onto the market contain no artificial additives and also claimed that many supermarket own brand products aimed at children are free from artificial colours.
The Food Additives and Ingredients Association reported that a major supplier of colours had seen a reduction of between 80 and 90% in sales of artificial colours to the food and drink industry since 2003.
Gill Fine, the Agency's Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health, said: 'It's quite clear that parents need more help to follow the FSA's advice on certain artificial food colours.
'That's why we have asked the food industry to provide more information about products containing these colours as soon as possible. They have agreed to do this and the FSA will be providing links to their information from a dedicated page on our website. This is a good first step but it's clear that more needs to be done to enable consumers to make informed choices.'
For previous news item, see: 7 September 2007 ADDITIVIES - Artificial colours research: FSA's call to industry