Natasha’s Law is a fitting legacy following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse
We all put our faith in labelling and packaging.
Our expectation is that the ingredients in any consumable will be edible, fit to eat and will not cause us harm. As a consequence of a loophole in labelling legislation this was not the case for Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016.
Food labelling should NEVER be an approximation
It’s hard to imagine what her family has been through since that fateful day but in July 2019 they can have the knowledge that failings should not happen again. Michael Gove announced that in Natasha’s Law all pre-packed food should list every single ingredient. You have to agree that this is absolutely right. It should never be an approximation or a game of Russian roulette when you choose something to eat off the shelf.
Food allergy sufferers should never have to play Russian roulette
People who experience significant allergies have every right to expect full transparency when it comes to buying pre-packaged food. Surely it almost amounts to a human right? Heather Hancock who chairs the Food Standards Agency agrees and states that she wants to see the UK become a beacon for allergy sufferers’ protection. She also recognises that any food intolerance or allergy can be immensely damaging and affect quality of life profoundly. In addition Ms. Hancock understands that risk cannot be eliminated entirely but vast improvements can and should be made to protect vulnerable individuals.
These loopholes must be closed
Currently if you prepare food on your own premises and sell it there you are not obliged to list all the ingredients. You don’t even have to list any of the potential allergens. Looking at it with hindsight this can never have been acceptable. I just hope that food outlets will not wait until the law is passed. New rules will not expect to make legislation until 2021. This is after all a serious and potentially life-threatening situation and surely all purveyors of pre-packed food wherever they are should step up to the plate and take responsibility. Why would anyone want to accept and inconsistent and fuzzy food labeling system? It just doesn’t make any sense.
One has to be in awe of Natasha’s parents who have fought tirelessly to make allergy sufferers safer. They have been described as ‘an inspiration’ and they have been reported as being delighted by the news that Michael Gove is backing this change in the law. They said:
"While Natasha's Law comes too late to save our beloved daughter, we believe that helping save other allergy sufferers and their families from the enduring agony that we will always bear is a fitting legacy for her life," they said:
"We would personally like to thank Michael Gove and Health Secretary Matt Hancock for their unflinching support in doing the right thing on behalf of all people with allergies, and their support in setting up the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation which we are launching today in Natasha's memory."
We know the food industry is under great pressure to fulfil significant consumer demand and it’s essential it recruits the right kind of people who can rise to the important challenges facing it now and in the future.