Column: Loopholes must be closed now

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Can there be anything worse than watching your child become violently ill and discovering there is nothing you can do to help them.

When they then die in your arms the emotions that follow must be heartbreaking.

But that’s exactly what happened to Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s father when she went into cardiac arrest on a flight to France.

And it was all because she ate a sandwich containing sesame seeds.

Yes those tiny little grains can have such a catastrophic outcome for someone who is allergic to nuts like this 15-year-old was.

I remember being told by friends that they had received an email from an airline they were due to fly out on holiday with asking if they would refrain from bringing nuts or nut products onboard because a child who was also travelling that day had a severe nut allergy.

For all those who think that seems a bit over-the-top spare a thought for what those passengers witnessed on that flight when Natasha became so ill.

I’m sure anyone would be happy to forego their packet of peanuts with an in-flight drink if it saved a life.

The food industry has made huge steps forwards in recent years on labelling of products with clear warnings if something contains nuts or even has been produced in a factory where nuts are stored.

However, clearly it is not enough and the loopholes which led to Natasha’s death sadly exist.

It is vitally important that even more is done so no other family has to 
go through such an experience.