This will give the organic food movement a nice, solid kick. Researchers think they have found the first-ever allergic reaction to antibiotic pesticides. Published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, scientists profiled a 10-year old girl who had a severe reaction after eating blueberry pie.
In this case, the girl already suffered from asthma, seasonal allergies, an allergy to milk and penicillin. After finding none of that in the blueberry pie, scientists went to work on finding the culprit.
Researchers traced the likely cause to blueberries that had been treated with streptomycin. The antibiotic is used in both people and plants to ward off bacteria. In the case of plants, it is mixed with pesticides to spray on a crop.
Lead author, Dr. Anne Des Roches released a statement on the research. “As far as we know, this is the first report that links an allergic reaction to fruits treated with antibiotic pesticides.” That’s not going to endear the pesticide industry to consumers.
Already, laws are sweeping across Europe to prevent certain antibiotic use on crops. New federal guidelines are also being drawn up to limit the levels of antibiotics used in pesticides. This isn’t in reaction to possible allergies, but to tamp down on the overuse of antibiotics by farmers.
The laws should make the possibility of allergic reactions less likely. Patients with already severe food allergies should pay attention to how the food they are consuming is grown. It may be a rare event, but if it happens to you, it quickly becomes dangerous and not something you read about in a medical journal.
The full study can be read here.