Medicines 'should carry additives warning'Call for better labelling

12 June 2007

 

Pills in a cup

Medicines do not always carry the necessary warnings about potential side-effects of the E-numbers they contain, a food watchdog warned today.

The colourings and preservatives can cause allergic reactions or skin irritations in some consumers.

But a Food Commission survey found that 31 out of 41 medicines failed to warn of the ‘unwanted effect’ of certain additives.

EU guidelines say ingredients known to have side-effects should carry a warning on the labels of medicines taken orally.

E numbers

Ian Tokelove, spokesman for the Food Commission's magazine, which carried out the survey, said: ‘For many people the additives appear to pose no immediate risk, but better labelling would ensure that susceptible adults and children would at least have a chance of identifying and avoiding the additives that may cause harm.’

The rules apply to the E numbers when they appear in medicines but not when they are used in food and drink, the Food Commission said.

© The Press Association, All rights reserved.