This morning I noticed this article on news.com.au. By the time I got home from work, it had vanished from the website. I had to search the site to get the story up again.
I then went to the age website and had to search to find the story there.
This is the level of emphasis food allergies receive in the Australian news. Virtually zip. If the “Brisbane woman” had died from just a shark attack, or mad cow disease, we would have heard soooo much more – and the chances of someone dying from either of these is low. 1 in 30 million for a shark attack and 1 in 40 million for mad cow.
The chance of dying from anaphylaxis – 1 on 200 thousand. OK, relatively low compared to heart disease and cancer – but hard for the media to sensationalise – cos you either suffer from allergies or you don’t. Any ocean swimmer can get eaten by a shark, but only those who live with the reality of food allergies day to day could die from food.
What I find most annoying about the lack of media focus is, if this had been a story on Posh or Paris… it would still be front and centre. Obviously these celebrities add so much to our lives – how would we know what sunnies to wear, or what our children should aspire to look like?? Our media have a lot to answer for!
Of course, we, “the public”, are our own worst enemy. If we didn’t flock in our millions to read the celebrity rubbish, the media would have no interest in reporting it.
Raising awareness of the increasing incidence of food allergies is vital to many. Saving one Sabrina, or “unnamed Brisbane woman” (young woman – she was only 25) is worth the effort. Getting the pubic and restaurants in particular to take food allergies seriously is important to the safety of severe allergy sufferers.