Fedup Newsletters


The Food Intolerance Network provides information and support for people worldwide using a low-chemical elimination diet free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers (FAILSAFE) for health, behaviour and learning problems.


Diet at school

Why can't my kids eat normal food? - guest article from psychologist Tracy Gaze

High blood pressure and food intolerance

Some food regulators act on hidden additives

Nitrates not on the label in Australia and NZ: another hidden additive


Recent A2 milk research provides digestive and cognitive evidence of harm in young children

Synthetic sources of fragrance

Lose energy after eating broccoli or taking aspirin? Mystery behind salicylate intolerance

In brief:

EU to ban colouring titanium dioxide E171 in 2022

Rosemary extract under question

Sue Dengate's famous presentation “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” is now available to view for free (1hr 12mins).

Your questions:

I seem to be affected by amines AND by histamine-releasing foods. Is this possible?

If I have an amine intolerance, wouldn't antihistamines be appropriate?

Why are nitrates and nitrites in processed meats harmful – but those in vegetables aren’t?

Why can I seem to tolerate some vanilla flavours but not vanilla extract?

Success stories: [1625] – [1633]

[1633] Amines: high blood pressure and cryovacced meat (January 2022)
[1632] Diet can be a life changer: encouragement from facebook thread (January 2022)
[1631] Fear of starting challenges – facebook thread (December 2021)
[1630] Salicylates, not FODMAPS (December 2021)
[1629] Dealing with Christmas – facebook thread (December 2021)
[1628] Severe salicylate intolerance (December 2021)
[1627] 160b: Annatto and extreme tiredness (November 2021)
[1626] 160b: A reminder that annatto can cause allergic reactions (November 2021)
[1625] My son has a future because of failsafe! (October 2021)

Failsafe shopping list:

**WARNING**: INGREDIENT CHANGE The Old El Paso tortillas

LYS (liberate your skin) moisturiser

Confused by sugars?

What is in your medicine or complementary medicine?

Food Intolerance Resources from RPAH; SPECIAL OFFER on Friendly Food

SPECIAL OFFER on Wein Personal ionizer rechargeable AS300R

Factsheets: over 100 science-based information sheets on symptoms and additives. See also video resources. See also story collections

Support community: Failsafers talking to each other. New and updated dietitians.

Cook's corner: latest At the Failsafe Table #69 - focusses on gluten-free with creative inspiring recipes - thanks Rona!

Thanks and admin:


Hello everyone

One of our favourite long term failsafers, Bernard Trudgett, has just died at age 84. His remarkable story started with painful and crippling arthritis for nearly 30 years until he opted to try the RPAH elimination diet against the recommendation of his specialist. He then spent the next 26 years active and virtually arthritis-free, after being warned in 1994 that he had 'only four or five years of active life left' without medication. See [601] with links to his amazing story.

Failsafe newsletter 103 below has a thought-provoking guest article from psychologist Tracy Gaze “Why can’t my kids eat normal food?”, more about hidden additives, food-induced high blood pressure and a study about A1 or A2 milk on preschoolers’ cognitive performance.

Reader stories - we were delighted to hear from some longterm failsafers

“As a naturopath and nutritionist I thought I was conscious of what was healthy ...My son is now 14 yrs of age and thriving academically and socially… I sing the praises of Failsafe to parents far and wide…My son has a future because of failsafe!” – Vicky from story [1625]

“Back in the late 80’s…I was found to have severe salicylate intolerance … After a decade of living abroad … I am absolutely OVER the MOON to see the leaps and bounds in the understanding of salicylate intolerance! … THANK you so much for your amazing work” – Marie from story [1628]

Some truly supportive facebook threads including Kirsty: “I’m overwhelmed by the support of this group. I was ready to give up after a few days but the encouragement, advice and suggestions have kept me going! It’s awesome”. And  answers to a question from Liz: “Did anyone else get a little anxious over starting the challenges? … life has been so nice and uncomplicated since we started failsafe eating”.

See also Product updates - Old El Paso tortillas now have preservatives (sadly!),  LYS skin moisturiser is very popular, how to find what’s in your medicine. And Cooks corner for superb gluten-free recipes
As always, thanks to everyone for your support and sharing, and special mention to Rona, Teresa and Tracy for their help with recipes, facebook and story collections.

Now read on - Sue Dengate


Diet at school


What the parents say

“My son has been on the diet since year 1 and he is now in year 12 and is the best thing we could have done for him” – Charlotte

“My failsafe son has gone from distracting others to being named student of the week for great work habits!"

“School principal took me aside and said how amazingly well my son is doing and that whatever I am doing to keep it up because it’s working” – Megan

“…3 weeks on the diet and I have a different kid!! The days when I mess up accidentally I can tell and so can the school” – Madonna

“As a naturopath and nutritionist I thought I was conscious of what was healthy ...My son is now 14 yrs of age and thriving academically and socially… I sing the praises of Failsafe to parents far and wide…My son has a future because of failsafe!” – Vicky

What the teachers say

“I work as a teachers’ aide in special schools …  the child that has a strict diet … the child is a great deal calmer and easier for us to manage” – Sheree

“I am a teacher … I now recommend fedup to as many people who will listen…” – Penelope

“I am one of the …principals that actually recommend this diet ALL the time. I truly believe it makes such a difference for kids’ ability to focus, to persevere without too much frustration and emotional outbursts…” – Jen

What the students say

“I am 18… I’m currently in university… I have ASD (Autism), GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder), ADHD and Depression…  I have struggled all my life with food intolerances… I recently went back on failsafe because my symptoms were getting out of hand. I have found massive improvements…” Jemma COURAGE AWARD

BlogteenJ 9min 25secs

“I am becoming progressively more organised… At uni I have been doing a lot more work than usual. I am feeling a lot more settled and focused, and I am able to memorise things a lot easier than before the diet” – Ellas


Why can't my kids eat normal food? - guest article from psychologist Tracy Gaze

My thought for today: we so often think "why can't my kids eat normal food?", but perhaps we should reframe our perception from a change in our children to that of a change in our food ... "why should our kids be able to eat all of this abnormal food?"

To be fair, some have very severe restrictions. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the many who need to stay moderate-high Failsafe and so can't eat 'normally' with 'everyone else'.

Most of us have probably got the "additive-laden food is not normal food" thing sorted by now. When I was a child in the 1970s, many of these additives had not even been invented or were at least not widely used. Having a low tolerance for things not previously in our food, or at least not in high amounts since some have been around in one form or another for centuries (eg saltpetre), doesn't seem odd at all.

But what about the rest of it?

Ethnicity and traditional foods is a factor, but again, if I think back to my childhood:

  • breakfast was eggs or oats, not fruit loops
  • all our meat, from chicken to beef, was butchered at home and either eaten or frozen fresh; others got theirs fresh from the butcher
  • fish was only if Dad went fishing; seafood was unavailable
  • bread was from the bakery unless made by Nanna
  • sauces were rare, perhaps the odd splash of Worcestershire on Dad's steak but soy sauce and miso and fish paste were unheard of, and tomato sauce was recent and used only occasionally
  • mince meals were common, but tomato-based bolognese was not; nor was pizza
  • tomatoes were limited to a slice on a sandwich, not a concentrate of many whole tomatoes in a puree
  • fruits that didn't travel well weren't available; we had apples and oranges from time to time, the odd banana, small serves of relatively expensive tinned peaches, but that's about it (hey, we survived without multiple serves of the rainbow a day)
  • vegetables were potatoes (low), pumpkin (moderate), carrot (moderate), green peas (moderate) and not much else; my Dad loved choko, and would get very excited when he got his hands on an avocado (I remember twice in a decade)
  • cakes, biscuits, and slices were mostly the same ones I made for elimination, although sometimes with some cocoa
  • lollies and chocolates and soft drink and treats were very rare, mostly small amounts at Easter and Christmas; there was not a birthday party every other week, nor was every birthday celebrated 3 times
  • and none of us had access to any of the non-Failsafe superfoods that we have been told we need in order to be healthy and that it's so easy to be concerned about missing out on (e.g. coconut, agave, chia, stevia, kale, acai, fish oil, etc.).

Normal for everybody I grew up with was very nearly Failsafe.

Why should we be surprised that we haven't managed to develop a tolerance for a 10-100 fold increase in food chemicals in the space of one or two generations? - Tracy www.tgazepsychology.com

High blood pressure and food intolerance


High blood pressure is considered the number one risk for death and disability. It affects about one in three adults in Australia and the UK, and more in the US. Food intolerance is rarely mentioned.

1. Effects of amines

“... I stopped the kefir after the 198/102 episode on Saturday and my blood pressure today (Monday) is perfect – 125/70” – Lorraine

“...My problems were all related to eating supermarket meats, which I found were all at least a month old. Once I went back to eating (fresh) plain beef and chicken … my symptoms all cleared up" - Bradley

“… I have since stayed away from anything chocolate and seem to be fine” – Sally

2. Effects of MSG

“...I now have a letter from my doctor to say that there is evidence that I am highly sensitive to vaso-active food additives“ - Roslyn

“… I've gone from having 2-3 cardiac episodes a day … to NOT ONE EPISODE IN MORE THAN A WEEK...” - Shannon

“… I have stopped eating 635 + 621 (in chips and crackers... I FEEL LIKE A NEW MAN” – Wayne


Some food regulators act on hidden additives

Consumers want to avoid ADDITIVES, so food manufacturers have switched to adding innocent-sounding INGREDIENTS which contain these same additives, often claiming ‘no added whatever’.

Now the Netherlands has committed to enforcement action on such unauthorised additives in clean label ingredients.

In October 2021 the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) stated that it will be taking enforcement action if it finds that a clean label ingredient is an unauthorised use of a food additive. This is centred on borderline ingredients with a technological function as opposed to food additives. An exemption will apply where an application has been submitted to the European Commission seeking permission to use a particular food additive in a clean label ingredient, but certain conditions must be met to be eligible for the exemption.

This is good news for scammed consumers, but no action is taking place in Australia/New Zealand.

It really is a sick joke that

  • of 19 ways to add propionate preservatives (280-283) to foods, only 8 are regulated by FSANZ
  • of 131 ways to add MSG-type glutamates (620-625) to foods, only 12 are regulated
  • of 14 ways to add nitrates/nitrites (249-252) to foods, only 8 are regulated.

Why bother regulating any if they are more often hidden? Consumer protection and choice has been lost.


Nitrates not on the label in Australia and NZ: another hidden additive


Nitrates and nitrites, used in cured meats like ham and bacon, can cause a wide range of symptoms like headaches, stutter, eczema, mania and depression.

Yet while nitrates and nitrites can be legally added in 14 ways, just 8 of them are regulated by FSANZ. The USDA has cracked down on “no nitrate” claims, but in Australia NO ACTION as usual.

Look out for these ways to add nitrates and nitrites as INGREDIENTS: celery powder, celery salt, vegetable extract, beetroot powder, fruit extract, grape extract.

I put up with dreadful headaches every day for about 15 years, along with muscle cramps in my neck & shoulders … I have proven it was nitrates in ham and bacon that were giving me the problem"

We removed all nitrates from our son's diet and within about a week the stuttering was gone… it returned full-force today…  what he had eaten yesterday? … a HOTDOG"



Recent A2 milk research provides digestive and cognitive evidence of harm in young children

The trial with 80 pre-school-age children compared ordinary milk containing a mix of A1 and A2 beta casein (hereafter called ‘A1’) with a milk product where all of the beta-casein was A2.  Most of the children were showing early signs of intolerance to conventional milk prior to the study.  It was a crossover trial, with all of the children having five days of consuming one milk product and then, following a nine-day washout, another five days of the other milk. The children, their parents, and the supervising staff were all blinded as to which milk was which. Half the children had the A1 milk first and the other half had the A2 milk first. This is a strong research design.

There was exceptionally strong evidence across a wide range of measures using this excellent research design. When the children were consuming the A1 milk, they had more digestive discomfort, their faeces were of a different consistency, they produced less of the desirable fatty acids in their digestive system, they had elevated  beta-casomorphin in their blood, they had increased inflammatory markers in their blood, and their cognitive performance on a  standardised computerised test of response times was inferior. Readable version: https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/new-a2-milk-research-provides-digestive-and-cognitive-evidence-in-young-children/; original paper: https://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltext/2019/09000/Effects_of_Conventional_Milk_Versus_Milk.23.aspx

Synthetic sources of fragrance

Professor Anne Steinemann at Melbourne University has written extensively on multiple chemical sensitivity and effects of fragrances on asthma, autism, migraines etc.

Two new papers just released show that synthetic sources of a fragrance chemical can cause higher rates of adverse biological effects than natural sources: Limonene Emissions: Do Different Types Have Different Biological Effects? https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/19/10505 and Differential toxicological effects of natural and synthetic sources and enantiomeric forms of limonene on mosquito larvae https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-021-01106-7

Access past papers at https://www.drsteinemann.com/publications.html

Lose energy after eating broccoli or taking aspirin? Mystery behind salicylate intolerance

This well-written 2017 article takes an American perspective and is plain wrong in some aspects, like “rarely seen in children”, but links to interesting science on “Polymorphisms of Aspirin-Metabolizing Enzymes CYP2C9, NAT2 and UGT1A6 in Aspirin-Intolerant Urticaria” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178826/. The author said “within a few days of following a low salicylate diet, I felt like a new person. And within a couple of weeks, my energy levels were off the charts, as all of my symptoms had disappeared”. https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2017/05/24/lose-energy-eating-brussels-sprouts-taking-aspirin-mystery-behind-salicylate-intolerance/


EU to ban colouring titanium dioxide E171 in 2022

In October 2021 the EU approved the European Commission’s proposal to ban the use of titanium dioxide (E171) as a food additive. E171 is currently used in several food products such as chewing gum, pastries, food supplements, soups and broths as a colorant. It is no longer considered safe for consumption due to genotoxicity concerns. The ban will come into effect in 2022 with a six-month transition period.

Rosemary extract under question

Failsafers avoid rosemary extracts, increasingly used as another hidden additive (antioxidant), due to high levels of salicylates. Turns out that there are now questions being addressed by Codex (the international food regulatory body) about developmental toxicity effects on rodent pup thyroid hormone levels. Looks like it was inadequately tested originally...(JECFA 2021(CCFA52)) https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b77942ef-1fd5-48d3-ace9-40705e0ed040

Sue Dengate's famous presentation “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” is now available to view for free (1hr 12mins).

Subtitled version in 6 languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish) can also be viewed for free.

The Bonus material (interviews with parents) can only be seen in purchased version



Q: I seem to be affected by amines AND by histamine-releasing foods. Is this possible? - Janelle

We don't have a lot of information on the cross-over, but recognise that there are some unfortunate people who have both amine intolerances and genuine allergic responses to histamine releasing chemicals in some foods. We earlier asked a dietitian to help us with a short response:

Is histamine intolerance the same as being an amine-responder or is it a form of allergy?

Much of the confusion between histamine and amine intolerance is actually the poorly understood mechanisms behind each condition. The lack of simple, accurate diagnostic tests for either condition is also frustrating. A carefully conducted, well supervised elimination diet is recognised as the best method of diagnosis for both conditions.  In theory histamine intolerance occurs when histamine degrading enzymes are unable to function normally. The mechanism of amine intolerance is still unknown. Neither condition could be considered a true allergy.

If a person tolerates salicylates and egg white they are less likely to be histamine intolerant as the research suggests that many foods classified as being either high in histamine or having histamine-releasing capacities contain salicylates (e.g. strawberries). If an individual reacts to both amines and salicylates and they suspect histamine intolerance or mast cell activation disorder then careful and well supervised testing with certain anti-histamines, mast cell stabilisers, and foods thought to be low in histamine may allow the diet to be expanded in some circumstances.

There is much confusion between which foods are considered to be high in histamine and/or possessing histamine releasing capacities. The lists of foods which fall into each category are not clear at present, leading to many inaccurate diagnoses. It is possible for a person to have both forms of reaction, to further complicate the issue. RPAH's elimination diet and challenges, preferably with an experienced and supportive dietitian, is the best place to start. (Thanks very much to dietitian Marie Hazelwood APD for this response.)

This story is about histamines [672] Profound migraine, trigeminal neuralgia and the cream cheese diet

Awareness of amine intolerance is increasing. This article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition refers to both histamines and other biogenic amines. Commenting on the interplay of amines and hormones, the authors note that histamine-intolerant women often suffer from headache that is dependent on their menstrual cycle and also from dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Histamine may worsen period pain by increasing oestrogen concentrations, and in reverse, oestrogen can influence histamine action. During pregnancy there is a marked increase in the production of diamine oxidase - the enzyme that detoxifies histamine - which may be the reason why, in women with food intolerance due to low diamine oxidase levels, remissions frequently occur during pregnancy. http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/85/5/1185 .

Q: If I have an amine intolerance, wouldn't antihistamines be appropriate?

A: No, amines of concern to food intolerant people are what are called biogenic amines, that is, they are in food and have pharmacological effects. Antihistamines work on liberated histamines, typically from an allergic reaction.

Histamine is one of many different types of amine. Histamine liberators, however, are different group of foods entirely, with lists often causing concern to failsafers because they sound like amine foods to be avoided but aren't.  Here's a good sciencey review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986471/

Q: Why are nitrates and nitrites in processed meats harmful – but those in vegetables aren’t?

A: The chemistry is complicated but logical. The harm from nitrates comes from their conversion into nitrites, in the food and in the gut.This nitrite then reacts with protein fragments which are plentiful in meat, activated by haem which is also prevalent in meat. Vegetables contain many natural antioxidants which suppress formation of the nitrite-protein complex that causes cancer. Much more detail https://theconversation.com/why-nitrates-and-nitrites-in-processed-meats-are-harmful-but-those-in-vegetables-arent-170974

Q: Why can I seem to tolerate some vanilla flavours but not vanilla extract?

A: The synthetic flavour chemical vanillin is probably better tolerated because it consists of just the one chemical that is made synthetically but accounts for most of genuine vanilla flavour. Vanilla essence is an alcohol extract from the fermented vanilla bean and so contains hundreds of different chemicals, increasing your risk of reacting. But even with vanillin, limit it to a few drops a day.

You can scroll through the full text of all stories: for every story we report, there are probably another 10 that cover similar issues. And these are just the ones we get to hear about. Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Success story collections: organised by symptom or by additive keywords are proving the most popular downloads from the website. They'll be added to as time permits.

People tell us that stories are so useful and positive!

[1633] Amines: high blood pressure and cryovacced meat (January 2022)

I am in day 4 of my elimination diet… my blood pressure has gone up to 160/95 … normally my BP is about 138/90. Borderline high.

Day 9 - My blood pressure is actually better than before the diet ... Now it is averaging 125/80.

Day 14 - big news! …I was buying my chicken and beef at my local grocery store and it must all have been cryo vacuum packed. Everyday I got sicker and sicker … I am obviously a big, big amine reactor. I had chicken twice yesterday, so today is my first day off of cryo-vacced meats, yet I am already a little better.

13 months later -My blood pressure is fine. I am fine. My problems were all related to eating supermarket meats, which I found were all at least a month old. Once I went back to eating (fresh) plain beef and chicken … my symptoms all cleared up - Bradley (from 2007)

[1632] Diet can be a life changer: encouragement from facebook thread (January 2022)

Ok so it’s only day 3 and I feel like giving up - that must be a record, right?  My son 7’s behaviour has gone through the roof since starting and I’ve no idea why. My 4yr old who doesn’t have to be on this diet (but is because there would be no stopping my son if there were foods in the house he couldn’t have) hasn’t eaten a proper meal in 3 days. She is fussy at the best of times but eats well enough. She is absolutely refusing any of the dinners I’ve cooked. Every spare second is spent on food prep while wrangling a busy toddler only for no one to eat what I’ve made. The kids are living off pear muffins but I’m freaking out. Should I keep going? - Kirsty


In response, among a lot of great practical advice, were these encouraging comments:

It's really tough at first but if it works, it can be a life changer. Seriously. I'm not exaggerating – Terry

We found that the foods our kids were super keen to eat (i.e. your toddler with tomato dishes) were the ones they shouldn't have. Fed Up talks about this, it's like an addiction. Our two kids of similar ages to yours didn't want anything we fed them except the sugary things to begin with, and we'd come from a very nutritious whole foods diet before that. We stuck with it, and they are different, more composed, happier little people now that we have their food sorted out. Stick with it, it is so worth it - Sara

Weeks 2-3 were a nightmare for us ... totally worth the persistence though and ended up being more important that they ate something rather than what they ate for those few weeks until they got past withdrawals (lots of homemade nuggets and chips) and then had a complete change in behaviour 😊 Hang in there - Kerry

They’ll get more adventurous once you get through the withdrawals, but I found behaviour during the first week or two of elimination was far worse than whatever was going on beforehand xx - Helen

Good luck keep at it, it's totally worth it - Sharn

I got told withdrawals are usually day 3-7 and it would be hard and to push through and we were better off the next week. My Bub was falling through the percentiles and I was terrified when she wouldn’t eat anything other than pear for days but now she eats all of it and is climbing through the percentiles - Eli

I had terrible symptoms at first and it took me a long time to get to baseline but it’s so worth it to find out what the culprits are - it could be just one food group! - Kath

Just keep at it. I cried a lot at the beginning and it felt like all I did was cook and a lot of the time it didn't feel successful. We had horrendous withdrawals with our oldest son. But it was wonderful to get through that and have him hear me and for the first time say 'what did you say?' – Sue

FINAL WORD from Kirsty again: “I’m overwhelmed by the support of this group. I was ready to give up after a few days but the encouragement, advice and suggestions have kept me going! It’s awesome.”

See withdrawals factsheet

See how to start failsafe eating

[1631] Fear of starting challenges – facebook thread (December 2021)

Liz asked “Did anyone else get a little anxious over starting the challenges? My daughter starts the salicylates challenge today and life has been so nice and uncomplicated since we started failsafe eating”.


Yes! I really don't like it when I feel sick again while doing a challenge! But I guess it helps me remember how far I've come - Dea

I think anybody who does the diet gets nervous when they do the challenges - Melissa

Yes! I like the accidental challenges better – Amy

I was after the sals challenge - big reaction from that (hives, congestion and reflux for sals. Rash over my face for amines. Pretty sure my main triggers are processed tomato and capsicum generally, but starting reintroduction phase now). I didn’t want to start another challenge - Val

I was nervous to but in the end my son got through Sals and Amines then had a massive Behavioural reaction to glutamate, so in the end we could add back in lots of stuff and be really targeted on what we avoid, definitely worth doing. And helped us in the long run. Good luck! - Anne

Yes it’s a horrible feeling. I struggle with this with my son but the joy when you can add more foods in is worth it - Helen

Yes, I had a reaction from a challenge on the weekend and had forgotten how rotten it felt – Lee

I did the big food groups with my son but then stopped as it was horrible for everyone when he had a negative reaction. Good luck - Nickie

[1630] Salicylates, not FODMAPS (December 2021)

I had IBS (lots of other issues, too) and my Dr. put me on the FODMAP diet. I didn't find it to be helpful for me. But posted on the FODMAP Facebook and a wonderful Dietician told me that I probably had an issue with "naturally occurring food chemicals". I asked him what food chemicals did he think as I was going to my own doctor. I had posted what I was eating and my issues and he said Salicylates, I hurried and printed out the food list and WOW! What a great change in my life!! So lucky to be pointed to the issue that I had - life was not good before I knew about Sals! Diet helped me to get back to normal. I blame my Cancer on all the issues that I had being Sals Intolerant! So very thankful for finding this wonderful site for all the help! - Karen

[1629] Dealing with Christmas – facebook thread (December 2021)


Help! request from Liz:

We have been failsafe for about 8 weeks and my daughter is doing amazing. She has lost over 10cm in bloating on her waist and can finally sleep through the night without constant sinus problems. She passed the sals challenge no problems and we are waiting until after Christmas to do the next one.

The problem is school holidays 😩 we are going away with 4 other families for over a week. I definitely don’t want her to miss out on what all the other children will be having (ice creams, trips to the bakery, restaurants, popcorn at the movies….) but I also don’t want her to miss out because she is feeling sick. I guess I’m struggling to get me head around how I can find balance.

Do I throw caution to the wind because it’s only a week or do I try to stay on track and help her make the best of the situation? What is everyone doing over this crazy period?

Supportive answers:

We stay on track. It’s not worth it for us. We have failsafe treats available etc - Carie

I'd stick to it and keep going with the challenges rather than having to go back to elimination for another 3 weeks. If she passed sals may pass another one easily. Just have lots of Failsafe treats available and give her those instead – Brin

Keep with it. Have plenty of alternatives on hand. Explain to her that even though she can't eat everything they do she can participate and that is so much more fun than being unwell and left out. Good luck 🍀 – Karen

I'd keep at it, but perhaps there are sals treats she can have? Eg new fruits and gelato, or naturally coloured jelly snakes? - Celia

At the movies she might be able to have plain chips depending on what ones they sell. If the others are getting icecreams get her a lemonade icypole (some non-strict fs ingredients but not too bad) or a dixie cup. Schweppes lemonade for soft drink. Maybe make some fs treats you can share with the other kids. Buy fs pre-packaged biscuits, lollies – Angie

Easier to keep going. If you make it ok to eat the wrong foods, why would she avoid them later, if it is something she really can’t have. Even the adult in our house, when on fs elimination, kept saying ‘can I have this’, so often, trying to push the boundaries, it nearly drove me crazy - Lisa

I would just keep going. It took my son up to 6 weeks to be back to baseline after some mistakes and challenges – Steph

We just bring FS treats wherever we go that I know my youngest can tolerate. He’s been strict to moderate for 4.5 years - Maria

We always stick to it. My kids still bring up the times their dad said have whatever and that was several years ago! They push boundaries. But I always have our treats etc made up to go away – Mollie

I try to find a new treat or two, or even stop using one now so it's more exciting in a couple of weeks when we start using it again. Treats that she can share with others are a big hit, because then others are eating what she is. Current go-tos for that are milk bottles, Pascal marshmallows, French fries chips and Parkers pretzels. I always have mini packets of foods, as then it feels the same if other people have packets, and the packets add colour. All the best! – Amy (more below)

  • Homemade icypoles (I just bought the Cherub Baby reusable icepole pouchs to use since they have coloured prints), while on holidays you can water down Heinz pear jar and freeze that.
  • Choosing the right dinners I find more important than lunches/breakfasts for my daughter. Chips and bring homemade nuggets or just poach chicken pieces, served with Heinz pear as dipping sauce. Current favourite is self serve meals, e.g. wraps and toppings, rice bowls etc. She doesn't mind missing some choices if she can make her own from 4-5 of the available toppings (though we never put her old favs up like pineapple).
  • In terms of treats, like if the others are sharing lollies or chocolates, I have her lollipops or the milk bottles, but I also have a swap box that has stationery, little cars, balls, mini lego sets etc. So she accepts the food that's handed out, excitedly gifts it to her dad and then gets to choose and item or two from the swap box. I'll be packing the box for our camping holiday.
  • Just be aware that if you choose not to stick 100% and stray too far, it might take you weeks to hit baseline again and therefore longer to be able to do another challenge (speaking from experience!) so I'd stick as close as possible to it, and choose treats wisely, e.g. only every second or third day, from the next column up, but definitely avoid anything in "very high" category.
  • Only other piece of advice is be pre-emptive. See or hear other people getting food ready? Offer to add something to their Platter so she has something she could have. Or if it's something she'll struggle knowing she can't have, then it's the perfect time for you guys to have some family time and go for a walk or something so she doesn't know what she's missing out on. Also making sure they aren't hungry means less likely to be tempted to eat stuff or get caught out and have them eat a big serve of risky food. So we make sure any meal we have control over is full failsafe and filling, so that her bucket is as empty as possible so other things *hopefully* don't fill her bucket up.
  • Also make sure all meals and snacks are done on time, and offered even if she doesn't ask (e.g. busy playing with cousins) means she won't be hungry plus higher chance I can offer the rest of the kids what she's eating.

See also blog Holidays are a good time to do the elimination diet

[1628] Severe salicylate intolerance (December 2021)

Back in the late 80’s I was dashed to RPAH after I over-indulged on cinnamon candies. I was found to have severe salicylate intolerance and have pretty much remained on a very restricted diet for decades. Dr Swain was just beginning to put out recipes. After a decade of living abroad and recently returning to Australia, I am absolutely OVER the MOON to see the leaps and bounds in the understanding of salicylate intolerance! There’s so much more understanding, information, education! In the last few years, I have also been diagnosed with several auto-immune disorders and wonder if there is any research connecting the two. THANK you so much for your amazing work. So many more people are now aware of the dietary restrictions of salicylate intolerance - Marie

[1627] 160b: Annatto and extreme tiredness (November 2021)


I found recently that I am definitely intolerant to annatto in cheese, I normally buy white cheddar. But for the second time in six months I bought Red cheddar by mistake and both times became extremely tired to the extreme that I could not stay awake and completely exhausted for 24 hours. But luckily no long term effects - Ron from Ireland

[1626] 160b: A reminder that annatto can cause allergic reactions (November 2021)

My daughter has an intolerance to 160b. If she ingests even the smallest amount she will get severe stomach pain and constant vomiting for around 6 hours. She has not had an attack since we removed it from her diet - Sarah

See factsheet that reminds us that you can get intolerance and allergic reactions from this natural colour

[1625] My son has a future because of failsafe! (October 2021)

As a naturopath and nutritionist I thought I was as conscious as I could be in terms of what was healthy and what was not around food. But then my youngest child was unable to be enrolled in school and exhibited severe behavioural disorder and emotional dysregulation and the only thing that kept him settled and life somewhat normal was the "failsafe diet".

Between 2012-2016 we worked hard on sticking to failsafe foods for the whole family and it was the best decision I ever made. I fought the school system and three schools later, was able to have my child enrolled in a regular class without any need for formal diagnosis (which I flat out refused). He is now 14 yrs of age and thriving academically and socially.

We transitioned to regular style of eating (minimal processed of course) around 2017 and haven't looked back. I believe the strict break healed his gut completely without intense gut healing protocols and tonnes of supplements.

By contrast many families I know who wouldn't touch a diet like this with a barge pole have children who still have high needs and require special classes and schooling and are years behind my son in mental cognition. I sing the praises of Failsafe to parents far and wide.

My son has a future because of failsafe! – Vicky

Don’t forget, you can search for stories/symptoms or scroll through all current stories 


**WARNING**: INGREDIENT CHANGE The Old El Paso tortillas that were once preservative-free now contain potassium sorbate (202). Other products have also changed so check carefully - thanks Rebecca.

LYS (liberate your skin) moisturiser was formulated by a paediatric allergist and an experienced compounding pharmacist (coconut oil, glycerol, white soft paraffin, emulsifying wax, water. No preservatives, perfumes, soaps or parabens). $20 for 200ml with 15% off first order, much praised https://liberateyourskin.com.au


Other than being fragrance free, I did not have any expectations of this product. The first night I used it on a patch of dry skin and was surprised at the quick improvement. Two weeks later, I am most impressed - LYS moisturiser is very effective, feels good to use and makes my skin look fresh and healthy. Highly recommended - Sue

Finally a skin care product that felt like a moisturiser without any nasty ingredients.  I liked that it wasn’t overly powerful smelling of coconut as I’m not a fan - Jan

I found a little bit greasy at first, but it was very light on my skin once it was rubbed in. Where I had dry patches they seemed to recover fast, especially if I used it several times a day. It is better than the sorbolene I am using currently, in this regard. I had none of the flare-up that I have after many supposedly suitable emollients, which I believe I can attribute to certain preservatives found in many of them. I addition, when I applied it to skin with weeping patches or the little bubbles I sometimes get, there was no stinging or burning either. I would certainly buy it if it was in my price range – Sharon

I found it a little thicker than I’d expected, almost like a salve, but as soon as it hit the skin it softened and was very easy to apply. It rubs in nicely and doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky residue. I found it very moisturising, even on hard skin like elbows. I didn’t detect any fragrance and I don’t believe I had any kind of adverse reaction. It’s definitely something I’d buy – Jane

Confused by sugars?


Here is an accurate article about cane sugars (Australia and Asia) – thanks to Ag Nes https://www.whatsugar.com/post/unrefined-vs-raw-vs-refined-cane-sugar?fbclid=IwAR34d-47QdSldwDdBM0fT9hNoHvKRW5SreFPeX2fIsMC4zTLjFYeR8mSHk8 see also https://www.fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/sugar-and-hyperactivity

**REMINDER*** Many gluten-free breads and breadmixes, such as Lauckes which we recommend, do contain sulphite preservatives 220-228. The potato and tapioca starches common in GF breads are purchased overseas, not manufactured in Australia and always contain sulphites from their method of preparation. Most report that they are not affected as sulphites cook off in baking, but watch out - thanks to Zoe (dietitian) for pointing this out.

What is in your medicine or complementary medicine?

In 2020, the Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) made changes “to improve access to important medicine information by publishing more details about medicine formulations on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.” In fact there are now LESS details on the package but you can go to https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ and search using the brand name.

Both active and inactive ingredients in medicines and supplements can be seen in a pdf by clicking on the download arrow on the left of the product result.

Colours approved for use (which means all of them which failsafers avoid!) can be seen here https://www.tga.gov.au/sites/default/files/colourings-used-medicines-topical-and-oral-use.pdf

TGA advised us that

  • If you have any concerns regarding the source of the ingredients or other information that may not be on the label we encourage you to contact the sponsor of the medicine in the first instance.
  • If you continue to have concerns, you can contact the TGA in relation to that medicine.  Regulation 46 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 includes provisions for the release of certain ingredient information to a person on request.
  • You will need provide a list via email of the specific ingredients that you would like to know are in the medicine, as well as a confirmation of the AUST L number and name of the product. The delegate will then make a decision about releasing that information to you.

See list of complementary medicines approved by RPAH https://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/pdf/nutritional_supplements.pdf

See factsheet on Medication

See factsheet on Supplements and Vitamins

Food Intolerance Resources from RPAH at https://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/resources/foodintol/resources.html 

The following resources have been made available on the condition that they are for personal use only and may not be distributed:

  • Elimination Diet shopping guide
  • NSW & ACT butchers
  • Toiletries & Personal care products
  • Medications
  • Nutritional Supplements

NOTE the failsafe shopping lists on www.fedup.com.au is being regularly updated to reflect changes. If using the shopping lists, check for a current date at the bottom of the list.

The failsafe sausages list has been updated again. Please email directly with changes, preferably in the format in the list, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. People continue to rave about the real flavour of these sausages!

The completely revised and updated Friendly Food from RPAH is now available at $38.00 including post and GST from the Food Intolerance Network store

Friendly Foodsmall

SPECIAL OFFER because it costs no more to post these:

  • Friendly Food (at cost) $38.00 incl postage & GST
  • add Fed Up for only $18.00 (32% discount)
  • add Failsafe Cookbook for only $27.00 (22% discount)
  • add Fed Up and Failsafe Cookbook for only $45.00 (25% discount)
  • add DVD Fed Up with Children's Behaviour for only $14.00 (45% discount)
  • add 'The Set' (Fed Up, Failsafe Cookbook & DVD) for only $60.00 (25% discount)


SPECIAL OFFER on Wein Personal ionizer rechargeable AS300R

Some people have asked if they can upgrade from their old battery Wein personal ionizer (AS180i, no longer sold) to the new rechargeable AS300R model. This model produces 25 times more ions, some 50 million positive ions per cubic cm at up to 1 metre in still conditions.

I'm offering to upgrade at cost plus GST and postage, which is $110.00 for a brand-new AS300R. They cost $128.50 otherwise.

To take this offer, buy a new AS300R at https://store16061019.ecwid.com/Wein-ionizer-air-purifiers-personal-and-room-models-p128364942 and in the comments section put your old order number (if you have it) or the name you used when buying the old AS180i.

We will make an immediate refund of the difference in price.


If you want some inspiration, try the COURAGE AWARD story collection - 40 pages of brilliance!

Most recent FOUR story collections: 160b annatto, 282 propionates, epilepsy and autism – if anyone wants to help update a story collection (all you need is time and some word processing skills) please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Factsheets provide science-based access to information on added and natural chemicals, on symptoms and support. See full list of over 100 factsheets and remember that you can use the search function to search all factsheets (Information>Factsheets>Search all factsheets)

Don't forget that there is great collection of short videos to help answer your questions and understand food intolerance.

Thanks for your continuing support of each other!

**WARNING** www.food-intolerance-network.com is a spam website funded by the shadowy “Society for Public Health” about which no information is available. We think it is a food industry spam site and complaints about stealing our name have been unanswered. Use www.realfoodintolerancenetwork.com to find us directly.

A video-graphic introduction to food intolerance from one of our Network members (2 mins): Food intolerances, what are they? Thanks to Steph Aromataris www.stepharomataris.com


Diet not working as well as you'd hoped? One tiny mistake can make a huge difference. For fine-tuning, see the Checklist of common mistakes. Readers tell us this list is very useful. You can also ask for our Salicylate, Amine and Glutamate mistakes sheets This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Online support: Sue Dengate facebook group (over 17,000 members, open forum meaning the public can see your posts).

Closed failsafe group https://www.facebook.com/groups/352777968116759/ with over 5,000 members (the public cannot see your posts)
USA facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/284241571702972/ Note that this group has changed its name to Failsafe USA Products.
NZ facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1011400158967643/ (membership preference given to those living in New Zealand)
UK facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/380347182034474/ again accessible

twitter-bird-blue-on-whitetweet as @failsafers (note the plural). See all tweets https://twitter.com/failsafers

The Food Intolerance Network website has had over 13 million visits

Dietitians: Remember that we always recommend that people use one of our supportive and experienced dietitians for best results. Do it once and do it properly and then you will know which food intolerances you have and how to manage them. There is now a list of dietitians able to consult in languages other than English, and overseas.

For failsafe-friendly dietitians, see the regularly updated http://fedup.com.au/information/support/dietitians There is no longer any need to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for this list.

Many dietitians are now online and the cost (typically $80 per half hour) can be rebated from most health funds. Ask them when making contact. As one dietitian said,”I use Coviu which is a video conferencing service developed by the CSIRO for Australian allied health workers. It is encrypted end to end so it has a very high privacy. I can show education videos, share documents, patients can fill out forms for me and I can see them in real time so it is going really well”. See also a list of dietitians able to consult in languages other than English, and overseas.


DVD "Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” has subtitles in six languages. (In PAL format only, not available with subtitles in NTSC format. But NTSC format DVDs are at a reduced price of only $14.50 including postage through the shop on www.fedup.com.au). As a reward for reading this newsletter so thoroughly, the first person to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their mailing address will receive a copy of our DVD free for each issue (only one person has ever claimed this!)

brochureflags flagFinland

: are available in many languages
in a printer-friendly format (thanks to Failsafe members for translating!). Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can help with other languages. Brochure in Chinese. Latest brochure in Finnish.

All Failsafe Newsletters can be searched and printed. There is a wealth of research, issue discussion, recipes, personal reports and recipes now available in one place. But some of the links are out of date and you must always check current products rather than relying on historical information.

Success story collections: These are the most popular downloads from the website,
organised by symptom and by additive. The latest collection is on violence and aggression (54 pages)

The Food Intolerance Network strongly supports the peer-reviewed publication of evidence regarding the effects of salicylates on health, behaviour and learning and acknowledges that more research needs to be published, particularly using dietary salicylates. However the very foundation of science is observation and these observations over many years show an astonishing and convincing range of real symptoms. We hope that they may assist in stimulating further research publication.

Reintroduction guidelines: for people who are extra sensitive, the new RPAH reintroduction guidelines recommend much smaller servings of salicylate and amine containing foods than previously, see reader comment below. Available on request from
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you so much for the new RPAH reintroduction recommendations. I now understand why when I tried to ascertain my tolerance levels and did as my dietician recommended (try 1/2 a cup of salicylates) that my symptoms returned very quickly. ½ a cup is 100 times ¼ of a teaspoon, and given my scent problems I’m probably highly sensitive. Now I can try again. - failsafer, NZ


You can always find more recipe ideas at https://www.fedup.com.au/recipes or Failsafe Cookbook

Every failsafer should get the regular newsletter from The Failsafe Table - it is fantastic February – April 2022 #69 focusses on gluten-free with creative inspiring recipes.


You can find more great recipes at Domestic Diva Unleashed, Cooking for Oscar, Failsafe Foodie, Real Meals and Failsafe Decorated Cakes. 


There's a recipe index of ANY Failsafe recipes on ANY blog. So far there are more than 1,000 recipes with great photos and ideas all categorised to make it easy to search  http://pinterest.com/failsafetable/ 

Failsafe Thermomix group with recipes and a place to ask questions etc https://www.facebook.com/groups/139914166142279/

I bought a Thermomix a couple of months ago, and absolutely love it. These machines are totally awesome, so pure and clean, and I truly believe that if we’d had a Thermomix years ago when our son was at his worst, it would have saved us a lot of heartache, as well as time and money - Susan.

And the very useful weekly meal plan website https://mealsplans.wordpress.com/

Privacy statement about emails and reports: Your email addresses and stories are never shared with anyone without your express permission. Names in stories are often changed to better protect the privacy of those providing them but the original emails are held in a secure location to provide evidence that these are real reports and that express permission to share them has been granted.

The FAILSAFE Newsletter is available free by email. You can subscribe or unsubscribe here https://www.fedup.com.au/join-failsafe-newsletter-subscriber-list-3

Sue Dengate’s books and DVD, failsafe magnifying card  sulphite test strips and ionizing air purifiers are available through the shop on www.fedup.com.au

Special offer for USA and Canada: Random House has taken over distribution of Sue's books in the USA and Canada, but our current warehouse in upstate New York continues to offer special prices until all gone: Go to http://www.bookch.com and search for "Sue Dengate" - some of them have been there for a while and are a bit brown!

18 copies Fed Up Revised and updated at $US12.50
5 copies Failsafe Cookbook Updated at $US22.00
7 copies Fed Up With Children' Behaviour (NTSC format) - DVD at $US14.50

Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook are now available as an ebook: www.amazon.com for Kindle, www.dymocks.com.au in ePub version suitable for Tablet PCs, PCs, Macs, Laptops, www.ebooks.com in ePub for digital and iPhone/iPad.

Sue Dengate’s personal story as an ebook only $3.99: Fed Up with Food Intolerance - a personal story 

"Of all your books, your ebook Fed Up with Food Intolerance is my favourite ­ I just couldn’t put it down" - from Fed Up Roadshow 2015

Look inside


This is the story that helped thousands of parents and adults understand this baffling disorder.

Buy direct at https://store16061019.ecwid.com/
Download a sample for Kindle (.mobi) or for other ereaders (.epub).
Also available through Amazon for Kindle

Disclaimer: the information given is not intended as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor for possible underlying illness. Before beginning dietary investigation, consult a dietician with an interest in food intolerance. Information is drawn from the scientific literature, web research, group members and personal enquiry; while all care is taken, information is not warranted as accurate and the Food Intolerance Network and Sue Dengate cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions.

© Sue Dengate 2022 (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to the many members who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter and particularly to Rona, Teresa and Tracy for their help with recipes, facebook and story collections. Further reading and viewing: Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate

To subscribe or unsubscribe