Thursday, January 15, 2009

L.A. Times Prints Response to Stein's OpEd

Read this essay from Dr. Robert Wood--an FAAN medical board member and lifelong peanut allergy sufferer printed in today's L.A. Times. FAAN also has a link to this story--check their "In the News" section.

Now I promise I'll stop talking about this--Mr. Stein doesn't deserve any more discussion. I'm so over this person!!!!

I will ask all of you one thing, though. FAAN needs to come out strongly when these stories occur. They still haven't addressed Dr. Nicolas Christakis (not an allergist) who is running around saying that nut allergies are largely an invention of "hysterical" parents and that we need to stop taking them seriously because it creates "fear."

One of the biggest things that bothers me about this "hysteria" thing is that it is mainly mothers that are being called into question and called hysterical. This is blatantly sexist and needs to stop, pronto. Fathers care about this too--not just mothers.

I've contacted FAAN about Dr. Christakis, and I hope you will consider doing so, too. We need FAAN to speak out loud and proud--it really does help.

Also, I only post these negative stories to make us aware of what's going on. I'm actually really pleased with the progress that food allergies have made. The negative stories are not nearly as numerous as the positive ones. And no matter what anyone says, we know we'll keep advocating for our kids. If you're an adult with a food allergy (like Dr. Wood) you have a really important voice to share, too.

Rock on, everybody! Don't let the "@!*#" get you down.


Anonymous said...

This blog is very important to me. I read it several times a week. Please never apologize for your passion and energy about every facet of this issue. It makes your blog a standout. Fighting against public skepticism is a huge hurdle for us. Thank you for all of your work.

K. Bowman, Phialdelphia

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

What a great response that was..

Unknown said...

Thank you for pointing out the piece by Dr. Wood. I came so close to writing about the Stein and Christaskis pieces yesterday but stopped myself. It upsets me so. I don't think I'd be able to stop for quite some time if I let myself start!

Yesterday, I received a "Missed Call" on my cell while both kids were at school. I was only down the road at the local store; I guess I don't have reception there. I called the number back because I could see it was local. It was my PA son's preschool. They left no message and I couldn't get a live person on the phone. That was the worst 15 minutes of my life trying to find out if he was OK or if he'd had a reaction somehow. Remember the Sword of Damocles? A mile in our shoes? Etc. That's what Stein, Christaskis, and all their followers need to experience, and yet I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

So refreshing to read Dr. Wood's words. Thanks! I needed that!

Jenny said...

Jennifer, I've been there several times -- wondering why the school is calling--and once I got a "the dreaded cell phone call" about my daughter's allergy--turned out to be a false alarm. What an experience that was, though.

I'm glad everything was OK with your son!

You're right--people just don't get it and if they walked a mile in our shoes, as you say, they would.

I thought Dr. Wood did a great job of setting the record straight! His response was needed and it helped.

celiacmama said...

I really believe that unless you live with allergies yourself or within your family, you can never truly "get it". I've had a shellfish allergy most of my life, so my son's peanut allergy and my celiac diagnosis didn't change the way I read labels or checked restaurants.

What does tick me off however, is when people who have no idea what living with allergies are like create their own hysteria around the subject. It just makes things harder for us as parents and for our children having to face these potential people in their lives.

Good for you for bringing all of this to the spotlight!

Allergic Girl® said...

thanks for linking this response from Wood, he did a great job. and good pt, why hasnt FAAN responded to Christakis?

Unknown said...

Re: the FAAN response to Christaskis. I forgot to mention that I heard from FAAN's marketing/media manager a day or so after Christaskis' statement. They said that the statement found at this link: is intended to address several of those articles. I guess that means Christaskis, Prager and all the other hangers-on.

I felt a stronger response from some authority on the matter was needed. Dr. Wood's statement really helps. Now we just need to help it circulate more. Some hangers-on to regurgitate to Dr. Wood's words? (Like the Motrin Moms?)

Jenny said...

Hi Jennifer B--

Thanks for the link! I think I've read this on the FAAN site and it's a good thing that they wrote it.

Of course, we can also blog about this stuff, too. But I'd love to see FAAN and leading allergists talking about the "backlash" in all the media outlets. I'd love to see them name names when appropriate and strongly refute statements that are dismissive and/or derisive of food allergies. We need the support!

Thanks again for the link.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your response! we will rock on!