‘Peter Rabbit’ Team Apologizes for Making Light of Allergies

“Peter Rabbit” filmmakers and the studio behind it are apologizing for insensitively depicting a character’s allergy in the film that has prompted global backlash.
Sony Pictures says in a statement the film “should not have made light” of a character being allergic to blackberries “even in a cartoonish” way.
In “Peter Rabbit” which was released this weekend, the character of Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries. The rabbits fling the fruit at him in a scene and he is forced to use an EpiPen.
Charity groups posted warnings about the scene on social media prompting the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit to trend.
The studio and filmmakers say they regret not being more aware and sensitive to the issue.

Urine Test Could Indicate Food Allergies, How Severe They Are

Researchers have discovered that a large amount of identifiable substances are contained in the urine of patients who have food allergies, which could help lead to early diagnosis of allergies through less-invasive testing.

Currently, to check for food allergies, a blood test or skin test, which involves inserting a needle in the skin, is needed. But in a recent study, researchers from the University of Tokyo identified compounds in the urine of mice that can not only indicate whether a food allergy is present, but how severe the symptoms will likely be.

“Urine tests wouldn’t be burdensome even for small children,” said Takahisa Murata, an associate professor at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo specializing in animal radiology, who led the team of researchers. “I want to develop testing methods that are easier to evaluate if there is a food allergy and to what degree the allergy symptom is.”

Many food-induced anaphylaxis cases in children occur under adult supervision

Montreal researchers found that at least a third of childhood severe food allergy reactions occur in kids who are under adult supervision. And, in most cases, those adults are not the child’s parents.

Scientists from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre collected data from four Canadian emergency departments, looking for incidents of pediatric anaphylaxis – severe allergic reactions in kids that required medical attention.

They found that, in 31.5 per cent of the incidents, the children had been under the supervision of adults. Another 20 per cent involved kids who were unsupervised; in the last 50 per cent of cases, it was not known if the children had been supervised.

In those incidents involving supervised children, the supervising adult was not the child’s parent in 65 per cent of the cases.

The study’s lead investigator, Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, says the study also found that the majority of allergic reactions occurred at home,

“It was a little bit surprising because I think that we have that false sense of security that as long as we are at home under adult supervision, with an adult that we know, we’ll be fine. Apparently, that’s not the case,” he said.

The study also looked at the role food labelling played in the accidental allergic reactions. They found that one third of the incidents were attributed to a food labels issue.

“But when we asked specifically what were the issues, apparently it’s not because the food labels were not clear. The majority of reactions were because we don’t read the food labels,” Dr. Ben-Shoshan said.

He said the fact that food labels are being ignored suggested supervising adults are not being properly instructed on the need for vigilance.

Asthma and food allergies predictable as early as age one

Children at one year old who have eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) and are sensitized to an allergen are seven times more likely than other infants to develop asthma, and significantly more likely to have a food allergy by age three.

This new finding from the Canadian CHILD Study will help doctors better predict which children will develop asthma and allergies, according to a paper published by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

It has long been known that infants with eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) are more likely to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis in later childhood, a progression known as “the atopic march.” But predicting precisely which children with AD will go on to develop these conditions has been difficult.

The CHILD researchers did find that having AD alone, without sensitization to an allergen, did not significantly increase children’s risk of developing asthma.

“Over the years, the clinical community has struggled to explain the atopic march,” said Dr. Malcolm Sears, founding director of the CHILD Study, a professor of medicine at McMaster University and a researcher at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Study : ‘Surprising’ Numbers Of Adults Are Developing Food Allergies

New research suggests almost half of all allergies suffered by adults begin in adulthood, and allergy rates among both kids and adults continue to rise.

The findings, which were presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting shows that almost half of all food-allergic adults surveyed reported one or more adult-onset food allergies.

“Food allergies are often seen as a condition that begins in childhood, so the idea that 45 percent of adults with food allergies develop them in adulthood is surprising,” says Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, ACAAI member and lead author of the study. “We also saw that, as with children, the incidence of food allergies in adults is rising across all ethnic groups.”

Food Allergy Bullying On The Rise

Children with food allergies are twice as likely to be bullied in school and are increasingly falling victim to food spiked by classmates, a new study has found.

A new report in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health highlights that up to 30 per cent of the children surveyed in international studies reported being bullied because of their allergy.

Some were touched with allergens or had food deliberately contaminated. In some cases, children had an allergic reaction as a result of being bullied and hospitalised.

The study found that children with allergies were easy targets for bullying as they were often already socially isolated at school meal times. It also found that bullying also occured online

 

Study Finds EpiPens effective years after expiration date

Epinephrine auto-injectors can still deliver an effective dose long after they have expired, according to a new study.

Study author, Lee Cantrell, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of California, San Diego, and his team measured 40 expired EpiPens.

They found that 29 months after expiration, the EpiPens still contained at least 90% of their stated amount of epinephrine.

EpiPens more than four years past the printed expiration date had more than 84% of the medication, enough to prevent anaphylactic shock.

The manufacturer advises patients to replace the life-saving devices annually. However, this new research builds on previous findings that epinephrine auto-injectors have a much longer shelf life than labels state.

“If someone has an allergic reaction, there’s still a dose that would be therapeutic in there,” Cantrell said. “If this is all you have, this is better than nothing.”

Is an Epi-pill on the way

For people with life-threatening food allergies the Epi-Pen is the first line of defense, but what if a pill could one day replace the needle?

Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji, PhD, a pharmaceutical researcher at Nova Southeastern University and his team are working on an easier more user-friendly option, by “Using a tablet, a specialized developed tablet, under the tongue of the patient.”

The tablet would deliver the same amount of epinephrine the injection does, minus the needle.
“Once you place these tablets under the tongue they should disintegrate within ten seconds,” Rawas-Qalaji said.

The research team plan to start human trials in the next two years.

Study: Support Linked To Less Risk-Taking Among Teens With Food Allergies

Support and help from friends, family and school was linked to less risk-taking among adolescents with food allergies, according to research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The study surveyed young adults with food allergies and found students who had an individualized accommodation plan at school, were significantly less likely to take risks with their food allergies.

“We know that many adolescents and young adults with food allergies regularly engage in behaviors that increase their risk of a life-threatening reaction, such as eating in restaurants without asking about allergenic ingredients,” said senior author Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, pediatrician and researcher at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Other influences linked to less risk-taking included having a peanut allergy, supportive female friends and an overprotective mother.

“Our findings underscore that support is critical for these young people. Our results also suggest that school-level policies may promote reduced risk-taking behavior in teens with food allergies.”

Nobel Peace Laureate developing new drug to prevent asthma & food allergies

A new drug, designed to suppress an overactive immune system and help prevent asthma and food allergies, is being developed by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Barry Marshall.

Professor Marshall, from The University of Western Australia, is developing an oral treatment called ‘Immbalance’, which is designed to restore balance to the immune system and desensitize allergic responses.

Professor Marshall said the drug would harness the immune properties of common bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which naturally resides in the human stomach and move the allergic response down into the normal range.

He believes the drug will likely be a powder that can be consumed by adding it to food and drinks.

It is ready to be manufactured for safety testing on animals and then, when approved, in humans.

It is hoped clinical trials in children will begin in three years.

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