The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today recommended that businesses should label all prepackaged food with a list of full ingredients and with 14 major allergens highlighted.
The recommendations follow the death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in July 2016. Natasha died after eating a Pret a Manger baguette containing sesame to which she was severely allergic. There was no indication on the packaging of the baguette that sesame seeds had been baked into the dough.
Natasha’s parent Tanya and Nadim have since been fighting tirelessly for the law to be changed to introduce stricter regulations for food labelling to ensure all ingredients are listed with allergens clearly marked in bold.
They have been campaigning for ‘Natasha’s Law’ as a tribute to their daughter in the hope that her death will bring about positive change and make things safer for allergy sufferers.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will have the final say on whether the new rules recommended by the FSA are introduced.
Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse said in reaction to the FSA announcement:
“This is a momentous decision; it is the latest step in making the UK a safer place for people with allergies.
“We are delighted that the FSA has recognised what consumers are asking for, which is that full ingredient labelling across all pre-packaged food is implemented.
“The response from consumers to the consultation was overwhelming, with 73% of calling for full ingredient and allergen labelling.
“Business must always listen to its consumers particularly in matters of life and death.
“It is now for Government ministers to implement legislation to save lives. We are now one step nearer making Natasha’s Law a reality. A label saves a life.”
Michelle Victor from law firm Leigh Day, who is representing Mr and Mrs Ednan-Laperouse said:
“Business should now embrace change and work on how they are going to implement full ingredient labelling. We encourage the government to follow these recommendations from the FSA and implement Natasha’s Law this year.
“Our clients have worked tirelessly in turning a tragedy into real change which will safeguard the lives of thousands.”