Two leading academics have criticised the Food Standards Agency for failing to take a tougher stance on food additives.

The criticism follows the release of a study earlier this month and first revealed by The Grocer in April this year, which linked hyperactivity in children to certain artificial colours and preservatives in food and drink products.

The FSA has called for the food industry to provide information on exactly which products contain additives but Professor Erik Millstone, a professor of science policy at the University of Sussex and Professor Tim Lang, from the centre for food policy at City University, London, have written to the 13 board members of the FSA urging them to act more firmly.

“The FSA's recent statement on hyperactivity and food additives seriously undermines the credibility of the FSA in the eyes of consumers, their representatives and the media,” Professor Millstone told the Guardian. “The board now has an opportunity to redeem the agency.”