CTV Toronto – Article ‘cherry picks’ food allergy research: angry groups

Nov 18

CTV Toronto – Article ‘cherry picks’ food allergy research: angry groups

As a followup to the terrible article that they printed in their December issue “It’s Just Nuts”, Chatelaine plans to let the readers speak out with a January article from the many retorts they received. Sara Shannon (Mother of Sabrina and allergy activist) chimes in this time  after writing to the editor of Chatelaine and others involved in the printing of “the article”. Sabrina Shannon had such an interest in journalism that by the time she was 10, she produced a radio documentary. She hoped to educate people about kids who suffer from life-threatening allergies. Sabrina herself was allergic to peanuts, milk and soy and had to manage it every day by asking everyone what was in the food she ate. But Sabrina didn't grow up to be a journalist. She died from an allergic reaction to french fries contaminated with dairy at her school in Pembroke, Ont. six years ago. As Sabrina was on life support at an Ottawa hospital, her mother, Sara Shannon, promised her that she would become an activist for those suffering from anaphylaxis. Sabrina died a day later at age 13. That is why Shannon, other parents, doctors and medical groups are livid at a magazine article which suggests parents are overreacting to the condition. The article, called “It's just nuts,” appears in the December issue of Chatelaine. It mainly focuses on peanuts and suggests parents are overreacting to food allergies, anaphylactic reactions aren't as common as people think, and that death rates are low. The headline on the cover refers to a peanut allergy “myth.” The groups who take issue with the article say it mocks parents who have to work hard to protect kids who can die from even invisible amounts of foods to which they are allergic. And they're unhappy with a photo on the article's front page that shows a boy opening his mouth with a piece of peanut butter sandwich on his tongue. The article closes saying it isn't clear how big a threat peanuts pose, but with more research and debate, the writer's son might one day be able to eat peanuts at his school where they are banned. In an email to CTV.ca, a spokesperson for the...

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CBC News – Canada – What’s nuts, Chatelaine, is not to be concerned

Nov 18

Sorry for the late post on this but CBC touches on the backlash caused by the Allergy-bashing article from Chatelaine (I won’t even bother to link to it. If you want to read it you’ll have to find it yourself 🙁  ). Originally the magazine was not going to print a followup article but now it is stating that it will be printing in the January issue, a reactions article from all the letters it has received. From what I understand, they are numerous. Gwen Smith of Allergic Living gives her take on the article. This is a good read! When the top women's magazine in the country takes a snide, cynical run at a serious health issue that affects children, these are truly different times in the publishing industry. The magazine is Chatelaine, and the hit-and-run article in its December issue is called “It's Just Nuts.” Gwen Smith is the editor of Allergic Living magazine and was the editor-in-chief of Elm Street magazine, when it ended its seven-year run in 2004. This story by writer Patricia Pearson begins with the image of parents and schools across the land “cowering in fear of the tiny peanut,” followed by a conclusion disguised as a question: “Are we overreacting to food allergies?” In the telling, the writer skewers the hard-won accommodations in schools to protect food-allergic children, confuses facts and statistics, and never pauses to speak to a principal or a parent of a child who has experienced anaphylaxis, the most serious form of allergic reaction. Had she spoken to a teacher, she would likely have heard why restrictions on certain foods are easier to manage in the classroom setting than having to watch, hawk-like, over those who can eat peanut butter and those who can get seriously ill from exposure to even traces of a substance that sticks on toys, doors and shared equipment. Read more via CBC News – Canada – What’s nuts, Chatelaine, is not to be concerned. Share...

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Longtime Pizzaria Pizza Nova Caters to the Allergic

Nov 18

This came in from Crazy Nut Lady “Just to let you know, Pizza Nova is also considered nut free. Check out thier website. As well, each and every time I call I reaffirm. The last time, I was told that it has been noted in my “file” so that each time I call to order, the person receiving the call sees a reminder about the peanut allergy. While I wouldn’t count on anyone there to tell me if something has changed (it’s why I always ask, even though the answer has been the same the last twenty times we’ve ordered (we order a lot of pizza) it’s comforting to know they take food allergies seriously and have certain policies in place.” As you can see on their website Http://pizzanova.com, the allergen chart outlines all the allergens and how they can be found in the menu. Pizza Nova can be found in the greater Toronto area and surrounding towns. Share...

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Canadian Policy Options for Precautionary Labelling of Priority Allergens on Pre-Packaged Foods

Nov 10

Health Canada has issued this news release regarding labelling laws. Sorry for the late posting of this. it’s very important for us to get involved in this.   Health Canada Consulting on Policy Options for Precautionary Labelling of Priority Allergens on Pre-Packaged Foods OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Oct. 29, 2009) – In 2007, Health Canada initiated a policy review on the use of precautionary labelling of priority allergens on pre-packaged foods. The department has now completed its review and is preparing to consult with stakeholders and the Canadian public on the various policy options. The public consultations will be carried out in two phases: a web consultation which, once online, will be open to the public for a period of 90 days; and regional workshops with key stakeholders that will be held in November and December 2009. For more information on the consultations, please visit Health Canada’s website (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consultation/_allergen2009/index-eng.php). Health Canada’s main policy proposals to improve the use of precautionary labelling of priority allergens on pre-packaged foods are as follows: – Limit the use of precautionary statements on food labels to a small number of acceptable statements; – Support the development of consensus guidelines for Good Manufacturing Practices on allergen handling; – Support the development of guidelines for a standardized approach to risk assessments of potential cross-contamination of allergens; – Support the development of guidelines for documentation and on-site storage of findings of allergen risk assessments; and – Implement voluntary education program for consumers. The department is committed to consulting with food allergy consumer groups, the food industry, and the Canadian public with the aim of publishing a revised policy and guideline for the use of food allergen precautionary statements on pre-packaged foods. The current policy on precautionary labelling of prepackaged foods was set in 1994 and allows for precautionary statements to be made by food manufacturers and importers on a voluntary basis. There is no required wording for these voluntary precautionary statements, only that they be truthful, clear and non-ambiguous, and that they not be a substitute for Good Manufacturing Practices. It is estimated that as many as 2 million Canadians, or six per cent of the population, are affected by food allergies and sensitivities. This includes those with...

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