Irn Bru and Lucozade to carry health warnings
The makers of two of Britain’s best-selling soft drinks, Lucozade and Irn-Bru, have been forced to warn parents that the drinks may cause hyperactivity, following the introduction of a new EU law. The ruling states that any food or drink that still contain colours thought to cause hyperactivity in some children must now carry a health warning.
This move is as a result of the Southampton Study, commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which suggested a possible link between consumption of six food colours and hyperactivity in children. The colours are Tartrazine (E102), Quinoline Yellow (E104), Sunset Yellow (E110), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124) and Allura Red (E129).
Manufacturers were asked to remove the colours two years ago by the FSA after the study found they worsened the behaviour of young children. Lucozade Original’s lurid yellow appearance comes from sunset yellow, or E110, while Irn-Bru’s distinctive orange glow comes from sunset yellow and a red colouring, ponceau 4R (E124).
Any food and drink containing any of the six colours, except drinks with more than 1.2% alcohol, will now have to provide a warning on the label that the colour ‘may have effects on activity and attention in children’. This becomes mandatory across the EU from 20 July 2010. Food and drink produced before 20 July 2010 can continue to be marketed, so it may take time for newly labelled products to appear on some store shelves.