Cadbury and Mars have come under fire from industry watchdog The Food Commission (FC) for not removing certain colouring additives from products.
The FC’s Action on Additives campaign says both companies agreed to stop using six colouring additives in products including Cadbury’s Creme Egg and Mini Eggs and Mars’ Revels and Starburst Choozers and set themselves deadlines of the end of 2008 to make the change
This was after the Southampton Study found evidence that the six colourings, along with the preservative Sodium Benzoate (E211), increased hyperactivity in children.
However the FC says the companies are still using the contentious additives in their recipes.
“To make these pledges at times of high media attention and then quietly neglect to honour them is simply cynical PR opportunism. It is highly irresponsible behaviour from major multinational confectioners, especially when many other companies have reformulated,” said Anna Glayzer, an Action on Additives co-ordinator.
Last year the Food Standards Agency advised a voluntary ban on the ‘Southampton Six’ while The European Parliament voted in favour of labelling foods and drinks containing them with the message: “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
Mars told foodnavigator.com that it will now remove the colourings by the end of 2009.
The ‘Southampton Six’ are:
• E102 Tartrazine
• E104 Quinoline Yellow
• E110 Sunset Yellow
• E122 Carmoisine
• E124 Ponceau 4R
• E129 Allura Red