Coles removes artificial colours and additives from private label products

Coles has announced it will stop using artificial colours and additives in all its private label products.

The supermarket giant will also ban the use of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), in 100 per cent of its food and drink products.

“We have listened to our customers’ concerns that they would prefer us not to use additives in our products and following five years of extensive product development, we are now able to ensure 100% of Coles Brand food and drink products are free of artificial colour and added MSG,” Jackie Healing, quality manager for Coles, said.

“Our customers are clearly concerned by food additives and the effect they believe they have on their health.
“A significant number have indicated that they or their children have experienced reactions to artificial colours and MSG.”

Coles conducted research which found more than 90 per cent of Australians are worried about consuming products with artificial colours and added MSG and one in three parents believe that their children have had a reaction to artificial colours.

While there’s little concrete scientific evidence showing that artificial flavours and additives, most parents believe certain colours – particularly red – changes their children’s behaviour.

“In my professional experience the top two additives that my patients have issues with are number 102 – tartrazine, which is a bright yellow colour and number 62 – MSG which is a flavour enhancer,” mother and nutritionist Kate di Prima told Essential Kids.

“Common symptoms can be hyperactivity and a lack of attention span, exacerbation of ADHD, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, dizziness – the list goes on.”

“Fifty years ago we had a very basic diet – probably a plain cereal for breakfast, a simple sandwich for lunch and meat with three vegies for dinner,” di Prima said.

“There wasn’t the prevalence of variety that we have now.

“There are so many more flavoured biscuits, snacks like three-minute noodles, fruit-flavoured straps and wraps and jello’s.

“Our exposure to artificial colours is becoming far more prevalent.

“That’s why I have been pushing the need for healthy lunchboxes in the past few years.

“Grain sandwiches, low-fat dairy foods and fruit.

“We need to move away from the packaged foods.”

The supermarket giant has copped extensive criticism for its part in the supermarket duopoly – along with Woolworths – which is putting Australian companies out of business and threatening the local food industry altogether.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has long been calling for a Supermarket Ombudsman, to oversee the predatory behaviour of the supermarkets and prevent the 130 000 employees in the sector being out of work by 2020, as predictions found.

But more needs to be done to ensure the safety and security of the industry now, according to National Manufacturing Workers Union Secretary of Food and Confectionary division, Jennifer Dowell told Food Magazine, warning that the job losses won’t hold out until 2020.

“It isn’t going to be 2020 before this happens, I have been here for 20 years and I am always in and out of factories and I can tell you with absolute certainty that it will be before 2020.

“It’s going to be before them, nobody can survive in this environment, most places I’m going, they’re even competing with their own plants in other countries, if the Malaysian or Chinese plant is going better, they have to compete.

“The problem with that is that people aren’t comparing like with like.

“We produce food to a very high level and what is being imported from overseas needs to be the same quality.

“There needs to be more regulation and better testing for what comes into our country.”


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