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European agency rejects links between hyperactivity and food additives

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39527.401644.DB (Published 27 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:687
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

    The European Food Safety Authority has rejected suggestions in a study by researchers at Southampton University last year of a link between hyperactivity in children and two mixtures of food colours and the preservative sodium benzoate (Lancet 2007;370:1560-7; doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61306-3).

    In a highly critical assessment, the authority points to considerable uncertainties, lack of consistency, and absence of information in the study, which was commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency.

    As a result, the authority, which advises the European Union on food safety, maintained that there is no basis for changing present recommendations on the acceptable daily intake of the food colours or …

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