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Josh Mintzer: Gives thanks for column on peanut allergies



Sunday, November 17, 2013
To the editor:

My most sincere thanks for publishing Renee Ballou’s guest column, helping to shed light on the many challenges that children with severe peanut allergies must face in their day-to-day lives.

As a parent of a child with multiple food allergies, including and especially peanut and tree nuts — though thankfully not to the same degree thus far — it has been especially heart-wrenching for me to see some of the mean-spirited responses that have come from the Letters page as of late.

I simply cannot believe that people would imply that a nut ban is somehow merely the work of an “oppressive cultural elite” and that people’s “right” to not be inconvenienced trumps the right of a child to not die while receiving an education. We parents of children with food allergies do our best to help our children become independent and to cope at an early age, because responsibility starts at home. We also help educate teachers, and work with them. Most of us do not simply sit back and expect the rest of the world to entirely mold around us. However, we can only do so much; we need to be met in the middle for the sake of our children’s lives.

Ours is a changing world: As a society, we have heavily tainted our food supply and laced our environment with a plethora of complex and dangerous chemicals. In a very real sense, what is happening to our children is most likely something that we ourselves have all done to them. It seems hardly fair to punish them further by obstinately refusing to help keep them safe and secure within our schools.

Thank you again for your fair treatment of this issue over the past few weeks.

Josh Mintzer

Easthampton