Meredith Broussard, an adult with food allergies, wants everyone to stop "stretching the truth about food allergy deaths" because it "creates unnecessary anxiety and fear for everyone". She's talking about that "150-200 food allergy deaths per year" statistic that FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) has put out for the media to use. Meredith believes the number of food allergy deaths per year is closer to 11 and that FAAN's "wildly exaggerated estimate" should not be used.
I say, "Who cares?". One death due to food allergy per year is too many. We have defensive practices in place such as 504 and healthcare plans, protecting students' rights to carry their medication and education and awareness of schools and the public to minimize allergic reaction risks. We know that children and adults can die from a food allergy reaction. Nearly every FAAN newsletter lists one or two tragic deaths due to a food allergy reaction. It's heartbreaking to read those sad cases.
I don't want this debate to give anyone a false sense of security. Food allergies are deadly. Until we get to the bottom of the food allergy mystery, we must continue to work together to keep everyone safe.
Here's Meredith's full article.