Saturday, August 1, 2015

Farm Antibiotics May Be Linked to Food Allergies

0 comments
Tractor spraying spinach field.
Tractor spraying spinach field. iStock

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Allergic reactions to food are a concern for millions of Americans, and now a study suggests there's a potential new player on the immunology front: Some people may be allergic to the antibiotics used to keep pests away from fruits and vegetables.

The study profiles the case of a 10-year-old girl who had a severe allergic reaction after eating blueberry pie. She suffered from asthma, seasonal allergies and allergies to milk and penicillin, but nothing in the pie seemed like a likely culprit.

The researchers determined that the problem was a blueberry that had been treated with streptomycin, an antibiotic that's used in people to fight off germs and in plants to keep bacteria, fungi and algae at bay.

More coverage
  • Avoid pesticide- heavy fruits and veggies
  • "As far as we know, this is the first report that links an allergic reaction to fruits treated with antibiotic pesticides," said allergist Dr. Anne Des Roches, the lead author of the study published in the September issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

    "Certain European countries ban the use of antibiotics for growing foods, but the United States and Canada still allow them for agricultural purposes," Des Roches said in a journal news release.

    New federal rules could reduce the level of antibiotics in food, making this kind of incident less likely.

    "This is a very rare allergic reaction," said allergist Dr. James Sublett, president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. "Nevertheless, it's something allergists need to be aware of and that emergency room personnel may need to know about in order to help determine where anaphylactic reactions may arise. Anyone who is at risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction should always carry epinephrine. They also need to know how to use their epinephrine in an emergency situation."

    More information

    For more about food allergies, see the Mayo Clinic.


    -- Randy Dotinga

    SOURCE: Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release, Sept. 3. 2014

    Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
    0 comments
    We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
    Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

    Comment policy:

    Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

    Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

    Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

    Read 0 comments
     
    comments powered by Disqus
    Latest Videos
    Also on Philly.com:
    letter icon Newsletter