Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Food Allergies: Ethical Issues

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_46



Food allergy is the term used to describe an immune response to a protein found in a food. This adverse reaction is caused by a food that is normally tolerated by humans. (Food allergies occur in other species, but will not be discussed here.) There is no cure for food allergies. Treatment options include avoidance, desensitization, and/or treatment of symptoms. Persons with severe food allergies can experience anaphylaxis, a life-threatening impairment of the circulatory and respiratory systems that can lead to death. The allergic reaction occurs when IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibodies “tag” or attach and mark the protein as a foreign pathogen and trigger the allergic response in the body.

Food allergies most often occur during the first or second year of life. While it is possible to outgrow food allergies, allergies to tree nuts and peanuts are almost never lost. Food allergies are prevalent...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CambridgeUSA