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Source: Booths

Booths will help to fund ongoing research into oral immunotherapy treatment

Booths has entered into a new three-year partnership with The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, to fund scientific research into curing food allergies.

The retailer is supporting the charity’s campaign to ‘Make Allergy History’.

The grocer will donate tens of thousands of pounds each year of the partnership, to fund the charity’s ongoing clinical trial researching the use of immunotherapy to help boost the tolerance levels of people with allergies. 

NARF was founded in 2019 by Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse to raise awareness about food allergies following the death of their 15-year-old daughter Natasha in 2016, from a severe allergic reaction after eating a baguette from Pret a Manger.

The family campaigned to introduce Natasha’s Law in 2021 – which requires the label of all prepacked products to list ingredients – and since 2022 has been funding the clinical trial.

Running across five NHS trusts, the trials are researching the impact of using everyday foods to boost child tolerances to allergens. Children are given gradually increasing microdoses of food they are allergic to, for example milk or peanuts, over time.

Initial results published by the charity in May found patients had shown significant improvements in their level of tolerance because of the treatment, known as oral immunotherapy.

NARF is working to expand the trail to more NHS trusts. 

“At Booths we see it as our responsibility to support the work being carried out by Tanya, Nadim and the team at NARF,” said Booths MD Nigel Murray.

“The potential to improve the daily lives of so many is significant, and the recent update from the Natasha Clinical Trial was promising.”

Booths is just the latest retailer to donate towards the trials, after Tesco, Waitrose, Co-op, Farmfoods, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, along with a number of foodservice businesses.

Retailer support includes campaigning and fundraising through customer donations at checkout. In April, Tesco renewed its long-running partnership by pledging to donate 10p from the sale of every free-from item to Natasha’s Foundation.

Tanya Ednan-Laperouse said: “The unprecedented rise in allergic disease over the last 30 years means there has never been a more important time to understand what is fuelling the global allergy epidemic.

“So many people today are living with a food allergy, including one in 13 schoolchildren. That’s why we are delighted that Booths are joining us in the fight to make allergy history. Their support is funding the important work we are doing to raise awareness of food allergies and carry out new scientific research.”