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October 2007 Feingold Email Newsletter
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Dear Feingold Association Members & Friends,

Last month a study published in England announced that a mixture of colorings and sodium benzoate affected the attention of normal children, pushing them about 10% toward the hyperactive end of the scale. In response, as I wrote in September’s enewsletter, major supermarkets in England have been removing the synthetic colorings, flavorings, and preservatives from their store brands. Some of the big candy manufacturers, including Mars and Cadbury (Hershey) have also promised to do so. I suggested that we as consumers can call to ask these companies to take those additives out of the candy in America too.

The first time I called each of the candy companies, they had no clue; they had never heard of the British study, and didn't know what to tell me. Apparently, thanks to all of you calling, their customer service representatives have been briefed on how to answer. If you feel you were not treated well when you called, or if you got answers similar to the ones I got (below) go ahead - try again. This time you will be ready.

The second time I called Mars, a well-prepared gentleman told me that the company has no plans to change their candy in the US. They were only doing it in the UK because they are being forced by the government. I told him that no, the government was allowing the manufacturers to make their own choices, and were not mandating the change - it is the people who were asking for the change.

Then he said that in the US they are going by FDA guidelines that said that the colorings are still safe, and that anyway the study was "inconclusive." I said that it was considered conclusive enough for them to change the candy composition in the UK, and weren't American children worth the same consideration?

He said that many of the additives tested are not even used in the US. I read him the names ... yellow #5, #6, red #40 are all used in foods here, as well as sodium benzoate.

He said that the study was not real strong because they were using a mixture and the results were “weak.” I said that they used a mixture because that is what the kids got in their food - a mixture, and of course the results did not show that the mixture made the kids hyperactive -- it was not intended to do so. If the kids had been sensitive enough to become diagnosed as hyperactive from the little bit of coloring given them, they would have already had that diagnosis. Rather, the study showed that the additives measurably damaged the attention ability of normal kids, so actually that was a very important study. After all, it's not an all or nothing situation -- there is a continuum of sensitivity to additives.

When he could find his tongue, he told me that it was not an absolute decision, and they are still considering options. I told him I would like my comment to be registered, as a mom of children who like candy, and who prefer their candy not to have artificial colorings - and after all, there are so many good natural colorings available now. He took my name and zip code.

Guess what -- a few days later, I received a coupon for $3 for candy. I wonder what I can do with that?

For those of you who have not yet called, and for those of you who wish to try again, here is the contact info:

MARS: (M&M, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix, Starburst.....)
Mars, Inc. Corporate, in VA
hours: 8:30 - 5 Eastern Time
1-703-448-9678 FAX

CADBURY: Chocolates
made by Hershey's in the US:
hours: 9 - 4 Eastern Time

In our recent email newsletter we introduced you to Ashley Senn, who is completing work on her doctorate and needs to have a brief questionnaire filled out by parents who have discussed their child's ADD or ADHD problems with their doctor.

We are excited about helping Ashley because she intends to use her degree to reach and help families who need the Feingold diet and similar non-drug interventions. So far she has more than half of the number of questionnaires required, but she still needs 90 more. If you can spare a few minutes, please go to and complete the online survey. Your participation is appreciated!

Don't panic -- you will find information to help guide you safely through this holiday on our website and in our Program handbook.

Go to our Halloween page where you will find a list of candies you can buy, and suggestions on how you can avoid the Halloween Hangover - if you're already an expert, share this page with your friends.

Here's a new one: College Farm's Naturepops are now available in Halloween colors - orange and "black" (chocolate). They can be purchased at

Then check out Page 36 and 37 in your Handbook for making your own natural food colors and suggestions for Halloween. If you have Jane's book, "Why Can't My Child Behave?" look in the index for the pages related to Halloween.

An idea I have never tried, but my niece swears it works well, is to use baby food carrots (or pureed cooked carrots) in your cake icing instead of other liquid to make a pretty orange color for cupcake frosting, etc. I have never tried it myself, but I did use concentrated no-pulp orange juice once in a Crisco-based recipe and it made a lovely and delicious yellow frosting. I found that the thick concentrate caused me to add much more than the amount of liquid called for in the recipe to get the right texture. I suppose you will find the same with the carrot pulp. If you need pink (who needs pink on Halloween?) the very easiest way is to open a can of sliced beets and use the beet juice. Then eat the beets in your next salad or as a side dish at dinner. I swear that after you add all the sugar and vanilla flavor, nobody will know a beet came near your cake icing.

Speaking of Crisco-based recipes, I must remind you that Crisco has gone and added TBHQ to its shortening in order to avoid trans-fats, so use a different brand without it.

Next, go to the Squirrel's Nest website where you can order Marigold Orange Decorating Sugar, and a variety of natural colorings and candies. Click on the store catalog at the bottom of the page, and look for the Halloween section .... there you will find candies such as Black Licorice Cats, Dark Chocolate Cat Lollies, and much more.

Finally, feel free to re-visit our email newsletter archives and check back through the years for recipes and ideas we have shared in the past.

At this time many people make donations to United Way at work, and it is possible to designate a particular charity not found on the usual list. If you want to designate the Feingold Association as the recipient for your United Way donation, go to to find information on how to do it. (United Way is #3 on the list.)

If your child has benefited from the Feingold Program and is now an adult, please remind him or her that this is a good time of year to remember to give back. Donations go a long way toward helping us bring you the services you need, improve these services, and provide them for people who cannot afford the membership or materials fees.

Have a happy and safe holiday,