Recent research found that certain combinations of additives can be damaging to children's health, contributing to hyperactivity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
However, FSA board members discussed the research at an open meeting yesterday (September 20th) and decided not to recommend a ban, instead advising that food and drink producers should make their labels clearer so that parents could make more informed decisions.
FSA chair Dame Deirdre Hutton expressed "astonishment" at industry's slow response to removing artificial colours from their products and said that the agency "is urging industry to make it easier for people to know which products contain them".
But campaigners insist that the agency's stance is not strong enough.
Richard Watts of the Children's Food Campaign said: "Professor [Jim] Stevenson, who undertook the study on additives, told the FSA that there was the evidence necessary to ban these additives because they do pose a threat to health.
"Parents will be furious that the FSA has chickened out of taking this vital step to protect their children."