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Farming Talk: Holstein UK joins drive to eradicate food allergy deaths


Natasha Ednan-Laperouse had a sesame seed allergy.

She died aged 15, after eating a baguette containing hidden sesame seeds, which weren’t listed as an ingredient on the packaging. Had they been, she would probably be alive today.

Up to three million people in the UK live with food allergies and the numbers are spiraling upwards, particularly among children. Allergy-susceptible families are living with the fear of death every day.

Following Natasha’s inquest, her parents Nadim and Tanya, were determined to help prevent food allergy deaths, and reduce fear, risk and harm of all those families living with life-threatening allergic disease.

The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation is the only charity in the UK dedicated to scientific and medical research into allergy. Their mission is to understand the causes of allergic disease, and develop ways to prevent, treat and ultimately eradicate allergic disease.

Holstein UK has entered a three-year partnership with The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation to help drive the delivery of its charitable objectives – game-changing medical research, law and policies, educating and raising allergy awareness. This unique partnership will see Holstein UK work to help Natasha’s Foundation raise compassion, understanding and crucially, vital funds, to help consign food allergy to the history books.

The primary focus of Natasha’s Foundation is funding research projects with a view to ending allergic disease. All research breakthroughs will be published, and pioneering research project results shared, so that everyone can benefit.

Holstein UK’s support means the Foundation can fund more breakthrough research and finally halt the growing allergic epidemic we are living in.

Currently the Foundation is funding the Natasha Clinical Trial. It is a nationwide £2.5 million Oral Immunotherapy trial treating up to 300 children and young people aged two to 23 years old with milk and peanut allergies. This ground-breaking study aims to plug the current Oral Immunotherapy research gap and prove that everyday foods, taken under medical supervision, can be an effective and low-cost NHS treatment for those with food allergies – bringing hope to millions of people.

Allergy is poorly managed across the NHS due to lack of training and expertise. The Foundation therefore fund student bursaries on the internationally recognised MSc Allergy and PhD courses at the world-leading allergy research Centre of Excellence, University of Southampton.

The MSc Allergy can be studied from anywhere in the UK, making allergy education easily accessible.

To date seventy-six bursaries have been given to students who learn to improve their clinical practice, pass their knowledge onto their colleagues, improve patient care across the NHS.

These bursaries help to equip future allergy leaders combat this modern day epidemic, following an explosion of allergies, particularly among children and young people. UK hospital admissions for food-induced anaphylaxis have tripled over the 20 years between 1998 and 2018. The largest increase was seen in children under 15 where there has been an average annual increase in admission of 6.9%.

The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation is leading the campaign for an Allergy Tsar, a national clinical lead and public champion for people living with allergies to work across Government and help prevent avoidable deaths.

The Foundation wants to see:

1. More specialist allergy clinics – at least one in every region of the country.

2. Mandatory national register of all fatal and near-fatal cases – providing the opportunity for an early warning system, that could save lives.

3. Better joined up NHS care – to align primary care, pharmacy and hospital allergy services to create coherent NHS care pathway.

4. More specialist training in allergies for all GPs – GPs receive little to no training in allergy although One-in-three patients in each practice having allergy-related problems

Natasha’s Foundation wants to ensure the needs of people living with allergy are met in a meaningful way and to offer a real hope that will change the lives of all those living with this life-threatening condition.

With Holstein UK’s support, The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation can change make a real difference.

If you want to help make allergies history go to

by Naomi Lewis, Holstein



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