Food firms support Natasha Allergy Research Foundation clinical trial

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse (pictured) founded the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation following the death of their daughter due to a severe allergic reaction
Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse (pictured) founded the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation following the death of their daughter due to a severe allergic reaction

Related tags: allergens, Natasha's Law

Foods firms have rallied behind the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation’s first clinical trial into eradicating food allergies.

The three-year £2.2m oral immunotherapy trial will be the first major study funded by the Foundation, targeted at children and young people with milk and peanut allergies.

Funded by a gift to the University of Southampton from the Foundation, the trial is supported by founding partners including, Bidfood, Greggs, Morrisons, Pret A Manger, Bakkavor, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. A full list of founding partners can be found in the box below.

Natasha Allergy Research Foundation founding partners

  • Tesco
  • Coop
  • Greggs
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Morrisons
  • Lidl
  • Pret A Manger
  • Costa Coffee
  • Burger King
  • KFC
  • Just Eat
  • Bakkavor
  • Elior UK
  • Bidfood

The trial aims to show that everyday foods containing peanut or milk – which are taken carefully according to a standardised protocol under medication supervision – can be used as an alternative to expensive pharmaceutical drugs to desensitise patients.

“We’re delighted and proud to be supporting the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation in their first ground-breaking NATASHA Clinical Trial for people living with food allergies," ​said Agust Gudmundsson, chief executive officer, Bakkavor Group.

"Our partnership aims to raise greater awareness of the Foundation’s work, including this oral immunotherapy trial, which involves using everyday foods, to make allergy history and improve the quality of life for those living with allergy.” 

Catherine Roe, chief executive officer of contract caterer Elior UK, said: “At Elior UK we fully understand the challenges and complexities of catering for people with food allergies and are keen to do all we can to limit those risks. We recognise that to eliminate or reduce life threatening reactions would make life so much safer and easier for those who live with these daunting threats and this new immunotherapy trial could be positively life changing for millions of people in the future."

Natasha’s Law

The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation was set up by Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, parents of Natasha who died, aged 15, from a severe food allergic reaction.

Her death led to the implementation of Natasha’s law, which requires food businesses to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labelling on foods pre-packaged for direct sale on the premises.

On the launch of the trial, Tanya said: “We have been determined that Natasha’s death should not be in vain. Following the successful implementation of Natasha’s Law, we are delighted to announce the first Natasha clinical trial.”

“This is a major step in our mission to make food allergies history. The aim is to save lives and prevent serious hospitalisations by offering lifelong protection against severe allergic reactions to foods.”

Practical treatment

If successful, the trial would prove that everyday foods could be used as a practical treatment for children and young adults with allergies and at a fraction of a cost to the NHS, she added.

“This will empower the NHS to provide cost-effective treatments for people living with food allergies through oral immunotherapy,”​ Tanya continued.

“It would enable people, once desensitised under clinical supervision, to control their own lives and stay allergy safe using shop bought foods rather than expensive pharmaceutical products.”

The launch of the Natasha clinical trial comes as a number of food and drink firms announced product recalls due to undeclared allergens in the past week.

Food recalls

Asian Traders Ltd recalled Parle Premium Rusk because it contained milk which was not mentioned on the label. This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to milk or milk constituents.

The recall applied to 200g packs of the product with the batch code PA ATL/3695 and the best before date of 4 June 2022.

Wonka Bars were in the news again after SP Wholesale pulled 100g packs of the confectionery from store shelves for containing almonds and peanuts that were not mentioned on the label.

Batch codes 18121P and 33421P were included in the recall, with best before dates of 30 June 2023 and 30 November 2023.

GY Chongqing Instant Noodle Hot and Sour Flavour in the past week, thanks to the presence of undeclared milk in the product. All best before dates were included on this recall.

Related topics: Food Safety, Allergens

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