For years, scientists have been publishing different studies in order to warn people on how many food additives (marked with E-numbers) can cause them different health symptoms such as the hyperactivity syndrome, allergic reactions, headaches or metabolical disorders. At the same time, reactions of different responsible institutions on these findings are either to slow or insufficient.

Nevertheless, public has the right to be informed and warned. When informing the public we are carrying out a democratic principle as is the “right to know”, and by warning them we support the European precautionary principle (“better safe than sorry”).

Therefore, the Association for Democratic Society (UDD), Zagreb, with the support of National Foundation for Civil Society Development and City Office for Education, Culture and Sport of Zagreb, has initiated a project called “Council for E-numbers”. This project is founded on a booklet “What’s behind E-numbers?” written by Dada Lerotić and Ivana Vinković-Vrček, with already two editions that invoked great public attention.

In the frame of this project, a web site has been launched, with more detailed information on food additives (E-numbers) which are permitted in Croatia, and lead by the example of the best world portals in this domain, it will be regularly updated with different news concerning the E-numbers, food safety etc. Apart from this, visitors will be able to ask questions that will be answered by the team of expert members comprised of: prof. dr. Valerije Vrček, dipl. ing. med. biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical and biochemistry Sciences, Zagreb; doc. dr. Željko Krznarić, dr. med., Faculty of Medicine, Zagreb; doc. dr. Senka Djaković, dipl. ing. chemistry, The Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Zagreb; mr. sc. Ivana Vinković Vrček, dipl. ing. med. biochemistry, The Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Zagreb and mr. sc. Danijel Ljubas, mr. ph., Varaždin.

While the web portal, will function as a sort of service for the entire public, at the same time a special accent in the frame of the project will be given on stirring the minds of primary and high-school children through education of their teachers and different workshops that will be organised by UDD in cooperation with City Office for Education, Culture and Sport of Zagreb in the beginning of school year 2007/2008. Special workshops will be organised for kindergarten and school cooks, which according to our information’s, are using a lot of foodstuff with additives that should be avoided.

For the users of this project, such as the libraries, school kitchens and all the participant teachers in the project, a new edition of the booklet “What’s behind E-numbers” will be printed.

All the activities in the frame of the project have a goal to inform the public, especially youth, to be able to make more free and responsible choices about the food they want or don't want to buy or eat.