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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Six Degrees From The 1%

In writing my Airline Policy post I found myself hung up on the fact that many people view severe food allergy as "only affecting 1%" of the population. Through my research I have come across a number of sites dedicated to children lost to food allergy. Tonight I came across a touching tribute for a young girl named Kailey who suffered a fatal anaphylactic reaction to milk in March 2005. I cannot even imagine what her parents and family must have endured.

In the context of such a loss, the "1% argument" lacks empathy. The "1% argument" also fails to consider that severe food allergy affects many more people than those with the actual allergy.

The common response to a mention of our daughter's peanut allergy is for people to tell us about a food allergy in their life, or in the life of somebody they know. I suspect that despite such a small proportion of the population being severely allergic to food, within six degrees of separation just about everybody is affected.

It truly takes a village!


Jason said...

Speaking with you yesterday really opened my eyes. First thing I noticed when I was in the magazine shop at the Vancouver Airport yesterday was the many bags of nuts that were for sale. Amazing, I can't bring my shampoo in my carry on but I could bring an assortment of nuts that could possibly kill anyone on the plane.

I wonder if the pilot had a nut allergy would any steps be taken to ensure the plane was peanut free?


NoPeanuts said...

Good question! I suspect that the cockpit door would be hermetically sealed to create a mini peanut free zone. Of course the captain would then have to take out his wipes and wipe down all of the controls just in case there is residue from peanuts consumed in the cockpit during prior flights.

It is apparent that the nut section of many airport newsstands is ever-expanding. It used to be something I enjoyed but now it looks like a kryptonite display.

What would your response be if you just paid $7 for a bag of peanuts only to be advised against eating them during the flight due to the risk that it would present to a child with a severe peanut-allergy?

That is the topic of my 'Airline Policy' post from yesterday.