Other international databanks 651 South Africa

The South African Food Intolerance Databank (FIDB) was initiated in 1990 by the Grocery Manufacturers Association in South Africa, which modelled the databank on the UK system. In 1995, the Association for Dietitians in South Africa (ADSA) took over responsibility for the project and subsequently produced The South African Free From Handbook of Food Products, a single book listing free-from information in tabular form. The project was supported by a large number of institutions in South Africa, including the Department of Health, Food Legislation Advisory Group, Consumer Services Board and two coeliac groups. Originally, access to the book had been restricted to medical professionals only, and, although the book was largely distributed by dietitians, it was later made available to the general public through bookshops. The databank covered ten ingredients and additives: milk, lactose, egg, soya, wheat, rye and gluten, benzoates, sulphur dioxide, BHA and BHT, glutamates and tartrazine. Companies were charged for entering products, and the book produced from the databank listed product information from 38 companies, including data from three major South African retailers. The databank was self-supporting, funded by a grant from the Dietetic Association, money from company registrations, advertising, and the sales of the book, of which around 500 copies of the first print run were sold. However, a lack of funding has meant that, as yet, new editions of the book have not been produced.

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