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Gwen Smith: From the Editor’s Desk

The Lobby That Took the Cake

Hats off to the organizers of 1 in 133, the Gluten-Free Food Labeling Summit. In a matter of weeks, John Forberger, the tweeting, gluten-free triathlete (@GlutenFreeTri) and Jules Shepard (@JulesGlutenFree) managed to gather hundreds of supporters together in Washington for the impressive May 4 summit. The purpose? To send the message to the Food and […]

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No Regs for the Weary

[This article was posted Feb. 11, 2011. On Feb. 14, 2011, the Health Minister announced the regulations would be passed, with an exemption for beer makers.] Like the guest who finally turns up for dinner just as you’re clearing the dessert plates, Canada’s breweries last month showed up to bellyache about the proposed gluten and […]

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WestJet Steps Up to the Mike

Hallelujah, we’ve been heard. If you ask a flight attendant on WestJet, Canada’s second largest airline, she or he will step to the microphone and ask fellow passengers to please not pull out nut or peanut snacks. The attendant will briefly explain that this is because there is a person onboard with serious allergies. This […]

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Let’s Stop Mocking Food Allergies

It has become fashionable as of late to mock food allergies as a “trendy” condition, a construct of over-protective parents or attention-seeking adults. I simply can’t think of any other serious, sometimes life-threatening condition that is dissed more often. Take last month, for instance. There we were smack in the middle of Food Allergy Awareness […]

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A Pollen Sufferer’s Ode to Ragweed

Was there ever a more capable foe Than one who shields his strength so? An unremarkable plant, heavy with seed cast to the wind with resolve and speed. As his fecundity causes grief both far and wide, from behind fairer bloom, he shrinks to hide. Between sniffles, I must confess a grudging admiration for the […]

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Epidemic of Allergy Hype

When a Harvard social scientist equated the measures taken by schools to accommodate food allergies with mass hysteria – the media ate it up. Perhaps it was the “emperor has no clothes” syndrome, gotcha journalism or simple contrarianism, but Dr. Nicholas Christakis’s article in the British Medical Journal got columnists and reporters buzzing in a way […]

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Air Canada’s Chilly Response

We’ve been getting a lot of e-mail lately at Allergic Living magazine from readers asking: what do you think about the Canadian Transportation Agency’s decision that Air Canada must accommodate peanut and tree nut allergies? Does it go far enough? And then Air Canada responded to the CTA, and that brought more mail: What do you […]

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5 Years Old – Hooray!

  This issue marks Allergic Living’s fifth anniversary. Yippee for us – and heartfelt thanks to all of you loyal readers. To be honest, back in the drawing board stages, before our first issue was published in May 2005, there were doubters. First, launching a magazine of any description had its risks. Were we, excuse the […]

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Chatelaine vs. Food Allergies

With many years in the publishing industry, I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to negative or one-sided reporting. Then I read a story in the December 2009 issue of Canada’s Chatelaine magazine entitled, “It’s Just Nuts.” This one made my jaw drop. The article is at once breathtaking in its cynicism about […]

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Questions on The Peanut Kiss Girl

Following was the Editor’s Note from the Summer 2006 edition of Allergic Living. Christina Desforges became known the world over as the girl who died from kissing her boyfriend who had eaten peanut butter – specifically, nine hours before she collapsed, he’d had two pieces of toast spread with peanut butter. Allergic Living was the […]

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