01.Aldi bans food colourings
CHOICE welcomes the decision by supermarket chain ALDI to remove six artificial colours from its branded food items in Australia.
Group managing director of the ALDI stores, Michael Kloeters, says the company decided not to wait for them to be banned in Australia because they felt the findings from a recent UK study published in The Lancet confirmed it was the right thing to do.
Researchers at the University of Southampton say their study provides a clear demonstration that changes in behaviour can be detected in three- and eight-year-old children after consumption of certain food colours and preservatives.
The research, which was funded by the UK food regulator, involved studying levels of hyperactivity in 153 three-year-olds and 144 eight-year-olds.
The UK has since called for a voluntary ban on the six food colours identified in the study, and many European manufacturers have already begun the process of reformulating products containing them.
In recent articles on supermarket cakes and food additives CHOICE called on Food Standards Australia New Zealand to follow the lead of British and European food regulators and work with manufacturers to remove the six colours from the food supply, or at least alert consumers when they are present.
“Australian parents have every right to ask why our food regulator is not taking similar action to British and European regulators when these colours are there purely for cosmetic reasons,” says CHOICE Senior Policy Officer (Food), Clare Hughes.
“We are pleased that some retailers and manufacturers are already taking steps to remove these colours and hope that other companies will follow ALDI’s lead.”
The six food colours ALDI will remove are:
- Tartrazine (102)
- Quinoline Yellow (104)
- Sunset Yellow (110)
- Carmoisine (122)
- Ponceau (124)
- Allura Red (129)
“Parents who want to avoid these colours in other foods should continue to check ingredients lists,” says Hughes.