Monday, July 11, 2005
Co-op Bans MSG and Artificial Food Colours:
The Co-op has become the first supermarket group to ban a range of commonly-used colours and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in all its own-label food, because of potential links to food intolerance* and fresh concerns about children's diets.
According to independent research carried out amongst parents on behalf of the Co-op**:
Six in 10 think that children's diets are worse than they were 10 years ago, with over a third (35 per cent) feeling that children's diets have got much worse in the last decade
A third (33 per cent) link their children's diet to hyperactivity, naughtiness, anger and lack of concentration
However, whilst 84 per cent of parents acknowledge that they are primarily responsible for ensuring the food children eat is healthy, followed by schools, government and manufacturers, less than half actually check the contents for sugar (45 per cent), artificial additives (43 per cent), fat (40 per cent) and salt (37 per cent), and a quarter (26 per cent) of all parents surveyed say they don't check the labels at all
Although over a third (37 per cent) have never heard of MSG, on learning of possible links between MSG and food intolerance, 75 per cent say that they may at least re-think their food purchasing for children. Nearly half (43 per cent) say it would definitely affect the food they bought for children.
"Sally Bunday, founder director of the Hyperactive Children's Support Group, said: ' The HACSG and the families whom they represent welcome the Co-op's decision to remove artificial colourings and MSG from its own-label products. Parents whose children are sensitive to these additives or who prefer alternatives will appreciate the changes made by the Co-op.'
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Notes to editors:
* The following colours, all of which should be avoided according to the HACSG, have been removed from Co-op brand products:
E120 Cochineal, Carmines and Carminic Acid
E102 Tartrazine � linked to intolerance/allergic reaction. Widely thought to cause hyperactivity
E110 Sunset Yellow � thought to cause allergic reaction, some evidence of gastric upset and some inference affects kidneys
E122 Carmoisine � linked to intolerance/allergic reaction
E124 Ponceau 4R � linked to intolerance/allergic reaction
E129 Allura Red AC � some evidence of hypersensitivity
E104 Quinoline Yellow
E127 Erythrosine � may affect thyroid hormone levels in children. Adverse effects on thyroid
E131 Patent Blue V � linked to intolerance/allergic reaction
E132 Indigo Carmine � linked to allergy/allergic reaction
E142 Green S � low incidence of testicular cancer has been reported in a study
E151 Brilliant Black (Black PN) "