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Natasha’s Law: Parents hail new bill to protect allergy sufferers | UK News



The parents of a girl who died after having an allergic reaction to sesame in a pre-packaged sandwich have said their daughter would be “extremely excited” by the introduction of a new law to protect others.

Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse have campaigned for major changes to the way food is labelled at cafes, stores and supermarkets across the country since their daughter Natasha, who was 15, died in 2016.

She died after suffering a severe reaction to sesame on a flight between London and Nice, having not known that the seeds were an ingredient in the Pret a Manger artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette she had bought from Heathrow Airport.

Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, with their son Alex, outside West London Coroners Court, following the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, from Fulham, who died after she fell ill on a flight from London to Nice after eating a Pret A Manger sandwich at Heathrow Airport.
Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, with their son Alex

Her parents said the new law – which the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says will require all food businesses to clearly label the full ingredients of pre-packaged food from next summer – would save lives.

Mr Ednan-Laperouse told Sky News: “It’s brilliant news, we’re elated, it is phenomenal news not just for us, but the millions of people in this country who have food allergies. It’s a real fantastic result.”

Mrs Ednan-Laperouse added: “It’s so difficult to navigate your life with food allergies and this creates a situation where labels can be trusted.

“If you see a label, it’s not one rule in one shop and one in another, people can look at what’s written on that label and make an informed decision on whether it’s safe for them to eat.”

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died in 2016
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died in 2016

DEFRA said the public consultation on the bill – known as Natasha’s Law – was one of its most responded to in years, with some 80% of respondents backing it.

But it has seen some push-back from UKHospitality, the body which represents the hospitality sector, which argues the new rules could be “impractical and potentially hazardous”.

The proposals come after a campaign by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died from an allergic reaction to a baguette.
The baguette was bought from Pret a Manger at Heathrow

CEO Kate Nicholls said: “Some smaller businesses may struggle with the unwieldy new legislation and it is almost certainly going to lead to much less choice for customers.

“There is also a risk that the new measures, which will not circumvent cross-contamination and will be open to mislabelling, will only promote a dangerous reliance on labelling.”

The Duchess of York told how she first met the parents of Natasha, when she was flying back with them and their daughter's coffin

Duchess of York backs food allergy law

Under current rules, food that is prepared and sold on the same premises is not required to display allergen information on its packaging.

Mrs Ednan-Laperouse said her daughter would have been “extremely excited” by the upcoming changes.

She said: “There was so little hope – there was no research and very little information and she felt like she was a bit on her own, so she would have been extremely excited by this.”

Natasha died on flight from London to Nice in 2016
Natasha suffered a severe allergic reaction to sesame

In addition to Natasha’s Law, a charity has also been set up in her name.

The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation aims to set up a centre of excellence at Southampton University to further develop research into food allergies, and the Duchess of York has signed up to be a patron.

Sarah Ferguson – who met Natasha’s grieving parents on the flight they took to bring her body home – told Sky News: “It is seriously shocking that it has taken Natasha not to be here to talk for herself (for the law to be changed), but we are talking for her.

“It is a dramatic day in the course of history for families and communities out there – now they have hope.”

Sarah, the Duchess of York

Duchess of York on how she became involved with ‘Natasha’s Law’

Environment Secretary Michael Gove called Mr and Mrs Ednan-Laperouse an “inspiration” after the announcement of the law, which has been welcomed by Allergy UK.

Mr Gove said: “Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse have been an inspiration in their drive to protect food allergy sufferers and deliver Natasha’s Law.

“These changes will make food labels clear and consistent and give the country’s two million food allergy sufferers confidence in making safe food choices.”

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