Antibiotics in food ‘could be cause of some allergies’

Antibiotics in food ‘could be cause of some allergies’

A new study has suggested some people may actually be allergic to the antibiotics used to keep pests away from fruits and vegetables rather than the food itself.

Food allergies mean that even a tiny amount of the food trigger hives, digestive problems, swollen airways in the allergic person. For some, food allergies cause severe, even life-threatening symptoms known as anaphylaxis.

The latest study profiled a 10-year-old Canadian girl with severe allergies to blueberry pie, milk and penicillin. She also suffered from asthma.

Shortly after eating some of the blueberry pie, the girl suffered facial flushing, hives and abnormal breathing. She was rushed to the emergency room, and treated with for her allergic reaction, with medicine including epinephrine. She made a full recovery.

After much testing of the girl and the food, the researchers found that the problem was a chemical in the blueberry -streptomycin, an antibiotic used in plants in the USA and Canada to fight off bacteria, fungi and algae in vegetables.

Allergist Dr. Anne Des Roches, the lead author of the study published in this month’s issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology said, “As far as we know, this is the first report that links an allergic reaction to fruits treated with antibiotic pesticides.

In 2011, the EU voted against the prophylactic use of antibiotics, alarmed at evident overuse of antibiotics as it became clear the use in farming was blunting the use for treating humans. The USA and Canada still allow them for agricultural purposes.

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