Strict avoidance – the best way to treat and prevent food allergies?

Identification of biomarkers is needed for patients who react to food

In a recent study, scientists identified a prestigious American university asking if strict allergen avoidance is the most appropriate strategy for dealing with food allergies. Traditionally, avoiding the foods which one cannot tolerate has been a standard treatment for allergies to food. This advice is based on the assumption that contact can lead to an allergic reaction and avoidance accelerates the recovery. Recent studies make this assumption.

Heat largely kills allergens

Recent studies show that most children with a milk allergy tolerate eggs and similar foods when they were hot. In addition, clinical studies show that eating tiny amounts of food could result in desensitization. It must be noted at this point that this procedure can be naturally carried out in the presence of a physician or an at an allergy clinic when a child suffers from severe allergic reactions.

Late introduction of allergens offers no advantage

Recently published epidemiological studies do not support the previous assumption that a delayed introduction of highly allergenic foods for infants and young children prevents food allergies. In fact, the recent data suggest that delaying the introduction of certain foods may even increase the risk of developing an allergy.

Biomarkers could provide a better understanding

The latest data suggest that strict allergen avoidance as a treatment is not always necessary. Exposure to a particular food can even be a therapeutic measure. An extended delay in the introduction of food allergens in the diet of young children may increase the risk of allergies as shared by scientists in their report. In many cases, the strict avoidance of a treatment is clearly necessary, however, so the scientists at the Mount Sinai Hospital continue to state, that further studies are needed to assess risks and benefits of exposure to allergens in more detail. They agree that the identification of biomarkers is needed for patients who react to food.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network


Kim JS, Safe S., Should there be strict avoidance of foods in prevention and treatment of food allergy?, Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA, Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. February 16th, 2010.

Easter Eggs – Those who want to be safe, will buy organic eggs

Conventional eggs come mostly from chickens fed on GM feed

The scandal of dioxin contaminated eggs was off the table as quickly as it appeared. Will consumers be lulled into security and peace of mind for Easter eggs in the supermarket now? Is every egg now purchased free of dioxin? That remains to be seen. Greenpeace has more serious problems before Easter now. The eggs from the normal supermarkets and discount stores’ shelves, waiting to be colored for Easter, originate mostly from chickens fed with GM feed. The only way to be sure that only pollution-free eggs are in Easter baskets is to purchase eggs only from organic chickens.

Most of the eggs come from GM fed chickens

The environmental organization surveyed 15 supermarket chains in Germany, including Aldi, Lidl and Kaiser’s Tengelmann and the organic markets, Alnatura and Denree. The result? The majority of commercially available eggs are from chickens fed genetically modified plants. The laying hens are fed about 20 percent of GM soya. There is not a labeling requirement for animal products like milk, eggs and meat produced with GM feed.

German Consumers reject GM

“Consumers need information in order to opt for a GM-free food production. This information is provided by the new Mini-Guide,” says Sandra Blessin, a genetic engineering expert for Greenpeace. “The majority of consumers rejected the use of GM crops for food. Production and distribution of shell eggs from non-GM feed are still a large potential for development.”

Survey Shows

The consumer can be sure that no genetic engineering is used in the feed of hens in organic production. The supermarkets and Tegut Country are also pioneers for a GM-free feed of their conventional eggs. In May (Kaufland) or June (Tegut), all their eggs will be produced without GM feed.

Supermarket chains suffer

The majority of the dealers, however, including Rewe, Penny, Aldi, Kaiser’s Tengelmann, Edeka, Real and Norma are not doing well because they are using 20-30 percent GM feed. Lidl and Globe didn’t respond or give information on the extent of their use of GM-free eggs. This lack of transparency is unnecessary, since both chains have GM-free organic eggs in the range. Globe also offers a conventional eggs brand with the label “welfare check”, which also requires a GM-free feed.

Range of halogen-free eggs produced expand

The Federal Association of the German food trade on request from Greenpeace argued, in principle, for a GM-free feeding method. The environmental organization also welcomed the news that Rewe and Netto want to change and get rid of their GM feed eggs by late 2011. Rewe would like to get rid of these eggs by more than 70 percent and net up to 100 percent.

Live without GM crops

“The new-found awareness of trade is a first step. The goal should be to protect human health and the environment, however, be assured that no genetically modified plants are the best, “says Blessin. “The cultivation of these crops threatens the biological diversity and leads to increased pesticide use.”

Pollutant-free eggs without genetic engineering

Production depends on the demand. If consumers insist on pollution-free eggs on their breakfast table, the market will act accordingly. It is not necessary for the hens to be fed with GM feed. If the providers are under increasing pressure, there remains little choice but to deliver a perfect product. This pressure should not be only from environmental groups and consumer groups, but also from ordinary housewives and consumers. Ask the store if the eggs are GMO-free whether they are tested for harmful substances, etc., each time you make a purchase.

Author: Silvia K. Müller, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network, 04/17/2011

Literature: Greenpeace, too many eggs from GM feed in the trade, 04.17.2011