A leading Irish scientist has accused the EU of passing "daft laws" in response to a perceived threat to children from food additives and artificial colourants.

Professor Michael Gibney, director of the Institute of Food and Health at University College, Dublin, has claimed label warnings that certain food additives can make children hyperactive were totally unnecessary "because children don't consume remotely enough to cause problems". "Children would have to eat four large bags of sweets every day to reach the exposure levels that would create problems", he said. Colourants such as sunset yellow, tartrazine and quinoline yellow were linked to hyperactivity in children by Southampton University two years ago, prompting the EU to introduce warning labels. But Professor Gibney said EU lawmakers were "pandering to people who decry modern food".