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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
I am so angry. The title on the cover is The Making Of The Peanut Allergy Myth. Perfect start right????? Here are few choice facts to help their bias- more people have died from lightning strikes than anaphylaxis - there are 10 000 brain injuries from sports each year so why don't we ban sports too ?It quotes the Harvard prof article from last year also. Of course they include a few quotes from AC and Dr. Waserman which support their bias. On a whole the article makes most allergic parents sound like we're idiots and hysterical.

I can't read it again right now - too upset. Maybe I missed the other unbiased part of the article which has empathy for allergic individuals and understands the reality of schools today (i.e., supervision, behaviour, cleanliness etc.). - written with sarcasm-
I really feel like canceling my subscription.

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
I did cancel my subscription due to the last article that annoyed me.

I haven't seen or heard a word about this article - is this in the December issue?

FYI, the lawnmower stuff is right out of "journalist" Meredith Broussard's allergy-bashing handbook. The professor's stuff was debunked in letters to the British Medical Journal last December.

AL took on the whole Allergy Backlash issue a year ago. See: http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=258

Does Chat. not at least mention our dissent or that of others?

Anyone else read if Kate's too ticked to do so at the moment?

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
It is in the Dec issue. Just received it today. As far as I remember there was not really a balance to their underlying premise that the threat of life-threatening allergies is overblown and allergies are over reported. They quoted a few studies which stated that allergies are over reported and that in fact many people who state they are allergic are really not. It is just very bad. So frustrated. Did cancel subscription. So unfortunate that a well regarded magazine has published such a hurtful and damaging article. Very irresponsible.

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13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
I'll check it out, probably write the ed & the publisher.

You may want to as well. Letters get attn. at mags.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Hah! Tried to check out the Chatelaine website but couldn't get past the Ads by Yahoo promoting Lactaid for those with milk allergies! :shock:

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:08 am
Posts: 78
Location: Halifax
I do not have a subscription with Chatelaine, though I keep receiving emails from them about their newsletter. Does anyone have a copy of the article in question? I would like to read it.

Perhaps I could send a letter to the editors explaining how we spent the entire day this past Wednesday in the emergency after my little girl suffered anaphylaxis at daycare. And despite the fact that she was given the epi-pen, she had a biphasic reaction and within an hour she had anaphylaxis again while at the hospital and required a second dose of epinephrine. It's been two days and she is still exhibiting symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. She is still on some heavy medication.

I don't know what to say. Does this sound like a myth to anyone?

Oh and that bit about Lactaid for milk allergies is ridiculous. It just goes to show how incredibly ignorant they are about allergies. It's a never ending battle that is sometimes so demoralizing.

Noha

_________________
Daughter: ana to milk, eggs, peanuts, allergy to pet dander, asthma, eczema
Husband: ana to aspartame, shellfish, allergy to pet dander, eczema
Myself: asthma
http://www.allergymom.ca


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Noha , my thoughts are with you and your daughter.

Just reading these posts regarding (yet again) another such ignorant article has tears in my eyes and my blood boiling, ....and I haven't even seen the actual article yet. The worst part is it is another reputable magazines who has published such garbage. Millions of people will read this article and assume it is true.
I'm sure once again I will now have many more friends/family saying, 'hey, I just read......'. And it gets harder each time to have them believe the severity of our son's allergies.
I would like to see this article in order to write to them. If anyone has it would you post it please.

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DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Noha, All the best to you and your daughter.

Biphasics are so scary. You wonder what it's going to take to bring this under control. (I've had 2 of them.) I hope you and she just take it very easy over Thanksgiving. Such a lot to go through.

Re the myth thing - what gets me is: do they think we'd choose to have allergies and have to spend exhausting amts. of time speaking to: principals, teachers, caregivers, restaurant staff, fligh attndts ... I don't think any of us "crave" that kind of attention.

Got to check out the Lactaid ad. That's incredible if it says for "milk allergies" not just intolerance. May be something to tell CFIA about.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Oh Noah! I hope she feels better soon. Take care of yourself too, it's emotionally and physically draining to have to deal with an anaphylaxis reaction.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Anyone know who the writer is on the Chat. story?

thx, G

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
The author is Patricia Pearson. She talks in the beginning of the article about how her child is a very picky eater but he likes ... (wait for it) .... peanut butter. None of the kids in his class have peanut allergies but her poor son can't have a PB sandwich at school. It's so sad really. (sorry for the sarcasm) She ends the article by saying that now by debunking the myths she lists and new treatments (oral desensitization) maybe her child can have a PB sandwich at school.

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:08 am
Posts: 78
Location: Halifax
Seriously? She's complaining because her kid can't have peanut butter at school!? I would think that if her child likes peanut butter that much then he can have it as an after school snack when he goes home. The amount of ignorance that's out there just blows me away.

I mean just today, after we met with the allergist, we agreed that our little girl has to be taken out of day care. That was the 3rd anaphylaxis reaction she had there in the past 5 weeks. I informed the daycare and what did they say.. in a nutshell.. "well, we have two kids here with allergies and one carries an epi-pen and they never had anaphylaxis, so it's her [referring to my daughter] sensitivity". How many times do we have to tell people, it's not a bleeping sensitivity!

I think I want to go hide under rock now.

Noha

_________________
Daughter: ana to milk, eggs, peanuts, allergy to pet dander, asthma, eczema
Husband: ana to aspartame, shellfish, allergy to pet dander, eczema
Myself: asthma
http://www.allergymom.ca


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Quote:

How many times do we have to tell people, it's not a bleeping sensitivity!


I do not know Noha. A friend showed me her copy of the new Chatelaine. Kate, you're so right, this article is just awful. Smug, superior tone of snorting derision. Peanut allergy is dismissed as overblown because while "potentially life-threatening," it seldom is.

You start to wonder when people will "get" that we don't have droves of children dying exactly because we've instituted precautions like Sabrina's Law in Ont. We've made so many more people aware of the need to use auto-injectors and how to do that, that children aren't getting seriously ill or dying. The whole point is precaution to avoid emergencies (which still sometimes occur).

Patricia Pearson's article is run under the heading "Controversy", so I guess children with food allergies are fair game now for the publisher/editor of Chatelaine, who are responsible for running this. As long as "controversy" sells magazines on the newsstand. OK, I'm being cynical, but what other reason justifies this? New findings, facts? Forget it. Fairness, balance? Not a prayer.

In fact, the writer's manipulation/distortion of facts is breathtaking. Chatelaine doesn't even get the name right of one of North America's top 5 leading allergists and researchers: Dr. Hugh Sampson. (Pearson calls him "Howard"). While Pearson refers to the small inhalation study by Sampson/Sicherer, she seems blissfully unaware that precautions taken in schools have to do with issues such as cross-contact, accidental ingestion (eating or trace touches to nose, mouths), food sharing, bullying. No one used inhalation as a starting point. She questions where respected dietitian Leslie Beck got her facts when she said the incidence of food allergy had doubled in a decade. Well, that would be the famous 2002 study of Drs. Sampson and Sicherer, pivotal in allergy research, but I guess Pearson never found it.

The writer mentions that SCAAALAR's first ever national study of peanut allergy fixes it at 1.52 per cent of Cdn kids. She makes that sound like no big deal, when it's in fact that represents almost 100,000 kids and one of the highest incidences in the western world. (SCAAALAR finds that incidence at 120 times higher than the U.S. rate, although qualifiying that that may be because the US stats are older; there may have been growth stateside, too). The Cdn. rate of tree nut allergy in kids? Also very high - 1.13 per cent. (See AL's article on those statistics - http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=263)

Pearson fails to mention that between 6 and 8 per cent of children in this country (over 345,000) have food allergies, and that many of these kids have experienced anaphylaxis. She makes great hay out of studies that show there is too much self-diagnosis/overstatement of food allergies without noting that those in the 6-8% of kids are NOT part of the misrepresentation. Those statistics are pulled from studies that made sure they are surveying people whose children have medically diagnosed food allergies.

You get the feeling that the facts of food allergy are a little boring and mathy for this writer. Her real emphasis seems to be on how terribly inconvenient it is that her son and his fellow picky eaters can only have their pb sandwiches outside of the school day. Oh to have such worries.

Most irresponsible of all, Pearson has twisted the fact that an "oral challenge" to peanut is the gold standard. She completely fails to mention that in kids with convincing results on both skin and blood tests are NOT given an oral challenge BECAUSE IT IS DANGEROUS. Period. They could and have anaphylaxed.

It may not have been the intention - since the intention was "controversy" and selling magazines - but the upshot of Pearson's article is that allergic kids are presented as not worth looking out for, despite the challenges they face navigating school safely. She suggests they are an inconvenient minority, and their parents are a bunch of nervous ninnies, suffering "teeth-clenching neurosis". (Funny, I always thought one of Canada's better qualities is the way it looks out for those with medical conditions or some way in need. Rather ironically, I believe Pearson is a descendant of Lester B. Pearson, the peacekeeping PM.)

Am I ranting yet? Probably. But I get so fed up with this stuff; it is so unfair to all of you out there calmly, rationally advocating just to send your kids to school safely. Is that really too much to ask? No!

When parents, friends, teachers bring up this article, and they will given Chatelaine's broad circulation, I can only suggest printing and showing Claire Gagné's article here: http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=258 (I'm ok re copyright of printing, I'd rather you have it to use as a counterpoint.) Claire's article pretty much says it all.

As a professional writer and editor, I can't help but be offended (and even ashamed) here of the journalistic carelessness. Chatelaine seems wilfully blind to the position it holds as the leading women's magazine. There is no reference to the fact that it is the most prevalent allergy of kids in the school-age group, and that peanut allergy has been implicated in a majority of severe reactions. In their rush to embrace "controversy," the magazine's editors have no idea how much they've set back years of advocacy or how they've made the lives of parents of allergic kids more difficult.

I can only imagine what Sara Shannon or Marilyn Allen (one of the founders of Anaphylaxis Canada, who lost a daughter to peanut allergy) will feel when they read this. My hope is that they don't see it.

Edited once by GS: originally thought writer was saying only 2% of kids have f.a. She was correctly referring to pn allergy only, but incorrectly dismissing that as a small no. of children.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
It's always an opinion piece isn't it? Like that somehow allows people to say whatever they want and it gets tossed around and starts to eventually be reguritated by the ignorant as fact. :evil:

So given that we:
-Spend 3 hours in the grocery store and log several hours on our cell phones ensuring the food is as safe as possible.
-We use up vacation days to supervise school activities so that our children can feel included because someone can't get through the season without cupcakes that are decorated to look like reindeer. :roll:
-Any vacation/wedding etc takes on the planning of a military manouver.
-We determine that a successful visit to the grandparents was one where everyone returned home.
-When contemplating a family pet, we don't first ask if the kids are mature enough or if we have the energy to devote to this pet but what type of food does it eat and can we get that peanut-free?

The fact that there aren't many deaths means that it's a non-issue in many peoples minds?

My question is simple. How many have to die before you start caring?

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
I want to do something about this article other than complaining here and writing a letter to the editor. This article undermines the hard work we have done over the past number of years advocating and educating others about anaphylaxis. As Gwen points out there are many factual errors and just outrageous comparisons. I find it mean spirited personally. The average Canadian reading the article will be left with the impression that the threat of anaphylaxis is overblown and in fact many people claiming to have life-threatening allergies likely do not.

So what do we do? Some sort of petition to make Chatelaine write another article with accurate information and clearer picture of the reality of going to school with anaphylaxis. Cancel subscriptions and write advertisers to make them aware. Demand a meeting with the author and editor. I don't know. I feel like here in Ontario and other parts of Canada, we have been making progress in educating others and building partnerships with school and community groups. I don't want to take a step back. Chatelaine should be responsible for their stories and the fallout when proper research is not done and facts not checked.

What do others think?

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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