New Study Reveals Potential Cure For Peanut Allergy
The Law of… curing a peanut allergy
Around 250 million people around the world suffer from a food allergy of some sort. Peanut allergy is the most common food allergy to cause death. With this statistic in mind, 4 years ago, Australian scientists set about researching treatment.
Personal Injury specialist, Emma Bottomley investigates the research and provides guidance on food labelling law.
What Does The Research Mean For People Who Suffer From A Peanut Allergy?
The results from the study suggest a much brighter future for those people who suffer from a peanut allergy. Whilst the study is a fairly small one, with a total of 56 eligible participants, the evidence suggests a more long term solution for survivors of the most common cause of anaphylaxis.
The original trial took place in 2013. It was found that 82% of children who received the immunotherapy became tolerant of peanuts. The probiotic and peanut oral treatment appeared to have long lasting effects as 70% of those who went home tolerant in 2013, remained tolerant 4 years later.
The leading scientist of the study was Professor Mimi Tang, of Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne in Australia. He said, "This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies."
It is hoped that some of the 21 million adults in the UK who suffer from at least one allergy will benefit from a much wider study in order to establish exactly how and why immunotherapy could be used to treat those with allergies.
Is There A Way To Prevent A Peanut Allergy?
There has been a significant rise in the past few years of people being admitted to hospital because of allergic reactions. Recent advice would suggest that the number of people who suffer from allergies could be reduced by up to 80% by following advice on early exposure. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the U.S. advise parents should introduce peanut-containing foods between the ages of 5 and 6 months, with medical supervision.
Michael Walker, a member of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology said:
"The guidelines are based on sound medical research carried out in the UK. UK parents should consult their GP, bringing attention to the guidelines if necessary, before attempting peanut allergy prevention in their infant themselves."
There is also NHS guidance on how to introduce new foods into your baby's diet that suggests introducing various common allergic reaction inducing foods one at a time and not before six months.
What Is The Law Regarding Food Labelling?
Unfortunately, a peanut allergy can be particularly dangerous and for sufferers of the allergy, it can be extremely difficult to identify the presence of the ingredient even when foods are lawfully labelled. It is incredibly important to study ingredient lists and refuse food that you are unsure of.
"When you have a severe food allergy, the simple activity of going out for a meal can be a real stress. People with allergies are so reliant on restaurants and take aways to adhere to the law regarding labelling."
"Symptoms of an allergic reaction vary greatly from tingling and itching in the mouth to severe breath difficulties and unconsciousness. It's important to seek medical help if your think you are suffering an allergic reaction. You can find more guidance on symptoms and what to do if you suffer from an allergic reaction here."
"This research is significant and could be life changing for people with allergies and not just those with a peanut allergy. I look forward to the results of further research."
The Food Information Regulations (2014) stipulate that all foods containing common allergens need to be clearly labelled. It also states that food from a restaurant of the same ilk must be clearly labelled on the menu or a member of staff must inform all diners about the presence of common allergens.
If a restaurant or take away fail to do this, and you suffer from an allergic reaction because of their negligence, you are entitled to compensation. One of the most common instances of this happening is the use of nut oil to cook food in.
If you have been affected at all by an allergic reaction from food you received from a restaurant or take away, our specialist personal injury lawyers can advise you on how to resolve the damage done by the negligence of your food supplier.