Food additives as damaging as lead in petrol

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London, Apr 5 (UNI) Artificial food colours do as much damage to children's brains as lead in petrol, a team of British university researchers warned.

Academics at Southampton University, who carried out an official study into seven additives for the Food Standards Agency (FSA), said children's intelligence was being significantly damaged by E-numbers.

Officials at the FSA advised their directors to call for the food industry to remove six additives named in the study by the end of next year.

Manufacturers would be expected by the regulator to remove the additives, replacing them with natural alternatives if possible.

The study found that seven additives such as sunset yellow (E110) and tartrazine (E102) were causing temper tantrums among normal children.

Prof Jim Stevenson and his team warned, ''We would argue that the findings from our own study reach the same conclusion as was reached by Prof Sir Michael Rutter in relation to lead in 1983. Namely that for food colours there is 'justification for action now'.'' They advised that there be more research on a seventh additive they studied-- the preservative sodium benzoate-- which stops mould growing in fizzy drinks such as Diet Coke, the Independent reported.

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