*R*E*C*A*L*L* By GlaxoSmithKline, Undeclared *F*I*S*H* Allergen.

March 25, 2007

I received a letter from FAAN today stating that GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is recalling “FiberChoice plus Multivitamins” fiber supplement product, due to an undeclared fish allergen. One of the raw materials of the product contains fish gelatin, which was not declared on the product label. The fish gelatin consists of the following species of fish: cod, Pollock, hake, cusk, haddock, redfish, sole, and flounder.

 

The affected FiberChoice plus Multivitamins fiber supplement were distributed beginning in mid-January throughout the
United States through national retail outlets, including food, drub and mass merchandisers.

The affected product is packaged in 16-oz. plastic bottles (90 count) market with UPC # 5714500581 located on the side of the bottle in black lettering.

No other FiberChoice fiber supplement is affected by this recall.

Consumers who have purchased FiberChoice plus Multivitamins fiber supplement should return it to the retail store where it was purchased for a full refund. Consumers with questions about the product or this recall are encouraged to call GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare toll-free at (800) 819-0681.

To sign up to receive your alerts by e-mail regarding a “Allergy Warning Recall” please go to

www.foodallergy.org/mailinglist1.html 

Take Care, Be Safe & May God Bless,

Laura & Brentson Duke

This message is intended for where the writer posted it. Any distribution of this message in any way is prohibited without the written consent of Laura Duke. I reserve the right to pursue all legal means at my disposal to enforce my son’s and my privacy!  

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Response From *K*R*A*F*T* Foods about “ALLERGY WARNING LABLES”

March 17, 2007

Dear Ms. Duke,

Thank you for reaching out to us at Kraft Foods regarding food allergens. As I shared with you when we spoke, I have looked further into this matter and wanted to provide you with an update.

First and foremost, I want to assure you that as part of Kraft’s ongoing commitment to its consumers and food safety, we take the issue of food allergens very seriously. This extends throughout our manufacturing process, from procurement of ingredients to production and labeling of our products, and includes the establishment of clear procedures to control and communicate the presence of potential life-threatening allergens in our products.

I welcome the opportunity to explain our allergen labeling policy so that you will consider Kraft products with confidence in the future. When labeling products we always identify the major allergens as outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and we are in full compliance with FALCPA labeling requirements. We have added consumer-friendly language to complex ingredient names on our labels to help consumers, especially children, easily identify the key ingredients that could cause major allergic reactions.

We know that some people may be very sensitive to even minor traces of an allergen and understand concern about potential carryover between products that are manufactured on shared equipment. If the presence of one of these allergens, like peanuts, may be unavoidable despite all the precautions we take, we label the product as follows:

“ALLERGY INFORMATION: MANUFACTURED ON EQUIPMENT THAT PROCESSES PEANUTS.”

Our labeling informs consumers clearly about the potential carryover and the exact allergen that may be present. However, we believe that this type of “may contain” labeling should be used judiciously — only when an allergen could be present despite all precautions to prevent it. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises that “may contain” labeling should not be used in place of good manufacturing practices that include cleaning of equipment.

In addition to providing allergen information on our labels, Kraft continues to work towards improving the clarity of that information. To that end, we are in the process of developing plans to enhance allergen labeling on a global basis. This may take the form of a “contains” statement (e.g. “contains wheat and milk”) or bolding allergens within the ingredient statement, depending on available label space and government requirements in the country in which the product will be sold. During the course of the next year, we will be focused on this effort which will include introducing new products to the marketplace bearing the enhanced allergen labeling and adding the enhanced allergen labeling to existing product labels on an ongoing basis.

As always, we encourage consumers to carefully read the product labels and ingredient facts panels, consult the kraftfoods.com website and/or contact Consumer Relations with any questions related to allergens.

We welcome input from consumers like you with suggestions on how to better communicate the presence of allergens in our products. We use this input to evaluate our practices and to consider additional options.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Sincerely yours,

Larry Edwards

Executive Representative

Consumer Relations

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Brentson Takes His Stanford Achievement Test on 03/05/07 & 03/06/07 at Victory Christian Academy.

March 16, 2007

Hello Everyone!

I took Brentson to take his Stanford Achievement Test on Monday 03/05/07 and Tuesday 03/06/07. Brentson was a little nervous at first because I made the mistake of telling him that the Stanford Achievement Test was a “TEST.” He was extremely concerned! I told him that all of the school work that he does with the “Home School” is a test and that I grade everything, all of his work. Brentson told me that he doesn’t feel like the work that he does with the “ Home
School” daily is like a test, that he is just doing his work. So, when we arrived at Victory Christian Academy on Monday, 03/05/2007 Pastor Larry advised the children that it was a “Survey” not a “test.” That made all the difference in the world to Brentson and to the other children that are Home Schooled through Victory Christian Academy too. We are supposed to have Brentson’s results in about 2-3 weeks. Brentson said the “survey” was easy… We will see…

May God Bless,

Laura & Brentson Duke

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*W*O*W* **AN UPDATE ON KRAFT FOODS**

February 22, 2007

Hello Everyone!

 

Good morning! Okay, I feel extremely ignorant this morning! I received an email from FAAN (Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network) and from a lady, Stephanie from PA.COM (Peanut Allergy) advising that companies “do” have to list all of the ingredients. Such as under the ingredients it might say “ENRICHED MACARONI PRODUCT” (WHEAT FLOUR) “WHEY” (FROM MILK)  However, they don’t have to go that extra mile to list all known allergens under the “ALLERGY WARNING” &/or “CONTAINS.” Wow, talk about a false sense of security! I guess because so many companies do go that extra mile and list “all” known allergens under “ALLERGY WARNING” &/or “CONTAINS” that those very few companies who don’t will make it much more time consuming for those with anaphylaxis food allergies to shop at the grocery store. This is due to the fact that we will have to read through every single ingredient on a package. (Like it wasn’t time consuming enough already reading every single “ALLERGY WARNING” &/or “CONTAINS” label!) However, now we will be reading every single ingredient label before we purchase anything, regardless if it has an “ALLERGY WARNING” &/or “CONTAINS” label or not! I just wanted to give you guys an update and I have attached the letter from FAAN so if anyone has any questions.

 

Take Care & May God Bless,

Laura & Brentson Duke

 

*R*E*A*D* EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT ON ALL LABELS**

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**************************************

 This is an Email that I received from FAAN.

(Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Food Network)

**************************************

Hi Laura,

Thanks very much for sharing this information. In fact, Kraft labels
are in compliance with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer
Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004, which requires the labeling in plain
terms of all major allergens in the formulation of the product in one
of these ways: either (A) the word `Contains’, followed by the name
of the food source from which the major food allergen is derived, is
printed immediately after or is adjacent to the list of ingredients
(in a type size no smaller than the type size used in the list of
ingredients); or (B) the common or usual name of the major food
allergen in the list of ingredients is followed in parentheses by the
name of the food source from which the major food allergen is derived.
Note that as long as the allergen is named by its common term (i.e.,
“milk”) in the list of ingredients, a separate “Contains” statement
is not required.
Precautionary labeling (i.e. “may contain” statements) is voluntary
on the part of manufacturers, it is not regulated by the FDA.  For
more information on this topic, refer to the Frequently Asked
Questions about FALCPA on the FDA website
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrguid4.html>http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrguid4.htmlHere is what they say in question #16:Does FALCPA require food manufacturers to label their products with
advisory statements, such as “may contain [allergen]” or “processed
in a facility that also processes [allergen]?”
No. FALCPA does not address the use of advisory labeling, including
statements describing the potential presence of unintentional
ingredients in food products resulting from the food manufacturing
process. FALCPA does require FDA to submit a report to Congress, a
part of which assesses the use of, and consumer preferences about,
advisory labeling. In earlier guidance, FDA advised that advisory
labeling such as “may contain [allergen]” should not be used as a
substitute for adherence to current Good Manufacturing Practices
(cGMPs). In addition, any advisory statement such as “may contain
[allergen]” must be truthful and not misleading.
Kraft has a history of taking allergies very seriously, and had begun
labeling all the allergens in their products, even in the flavoring,
years before the law required it.
If you have questions, please let me know.Debbie
Member Communications
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
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*U*R*G*E*N*T* KRAFT FOODS ***NO ALLERGY WARNING LABELS***

February 21, 2007

Hello Everyone!

 

First of all, if you, your child or anyone that you care about has an anaphylaxis food allergy… Sit down! Because this is going to royally tick you off!

 

I made the discovery this morning that “Kraft Foods” AKA “Post” does not put “ALLERGY WARNING LABELS” or “CONTAINS” on any of their products. I called Kraft Foods this morning and spoke with the Executive Manager, Larry Edwards who stated that he is not sure why the wouldn’t have “ALLERGY WARNING LABELS” or “CONTAINS” on any or all of their products. I advised him that the few products that I do have in my home of “theirs” (Kraft Foods) did not have any “ALLERGY WARNING LABELS” on them and all of their products that I have in my home, should have had at least an “ALLERGY WARNING” FOR MILK, SOY, EGGS, WHEAT. I advised Mr. Edwards that their (Kraft Foods) mistake could be an extremely costly and deadly one for someone with an anaphylaxis food allergy and that they better get in compliance with the “FOOD ALLERGY ANAPHYLAXIS FOOD ACT OF 2004” immediately! Mr. Edwards advised that he will get the information that I shared with him to the appropriate people and have them review this to make sure that they are in compliance. I asked Mr. Edwards if he would please contact me once he receives an answer as to why these “ALLERGY WARNING LABELS” were not listed on any of their products? Mr. Edwards stated that he would not be able to contact me back once the information leaves his hands. I advised Mr. Edwards that is fine, but that I would be contacting the FDA that way they can follow up with “Kraft Foods” and make sure that they start complying with this “Federal Law!”

Then I made a call to the FDA and I spoke with a lady named, Sharron. I advised Sharron of what I had discovered and advised her that action needed to be taken immediately due to everyone thinks that it’s mandatory and a “FEDERAL LAW” that requires companies to list all known allergens in a product under the ingredients, under the “ALLERGY WARNING LABEL.” Sharron stated that yes it is a “Federal Law” that requires companies to list all known allergens under the “ALLERGY WARNING LABEL.”  However, the FDA gave some companies, that had printed extra labels (on boxes) the okay and option of going ahead and using their labels that were already printed before changing over to the required listing of all known food allergens. I advised Sharron that this law went into effect on January 1, 2006 and these companies should have already used up all of their “old labels!” Sharron advised that the FDA did not give these companies any time frame of which all of these labels would have to be used or they would just have to take a loss on them. I cannot believe that the FDA would be so careless and irresponsible! I am going to contact my U.S. Senator and I would like for everyone else to do so as well. Please forward this to everyone that you know. They usually will not listen to just one of us, but when we all stand together… They don’t have a choice but to listen!

Thank You All & May God Bless,

Laura & Brentson Duke

 

This message is intended for where the writer posted it. Any distribution of this message in any way is prohibited without the written consent of Laura Duke. I reserve the right to pursue all legal means at my disposal to enforce my son’s and my privacy!

*U*R*G*E*N*T* EVERYONE PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION!

February 10, 2007

Hello Everyone!

I would like to ask everyone to please take a minute out of your time to please sign the following petition to ban all “Peanuts & Nuts: on airline flights. Some flights are “Peanut & Nut FREE.” However, “you must request” a “Peanut & Nut FREE Flight!” About a year ago I was told about a flight that was suppose to be “Peanut & Nut FREE” but the stewardess started handing out “Peanuts” to the passengers. When the “Peanut Allergic” passenger realized what the stewardess was doing he advised her immediately that this was suppose to be a “Peanut FREE” flight and that if anyone opened their peanuts/nuts that he could go into anaphylactic shock and die! This passenger had to pull out his ticket stub and show the stewardess that the flight was supposed to be “Peanut & Nut FREE!” The stewardess stopped and didn’t hand out any more “Peanut & Nuts.” However, this stewardess didn’t take up the “Peanut & Nuts” that she had already handed out. Therefore, even if a “Peanut/Nut Allergic Passenger” request a “Peanut & Nut FREE” flight there could still be a mistake and “Peanuts & Nuts” could still be handed out or there could be residue on the seat belt, fold down table, the seat, etc. from a flight earlier in the day that wasn’t “Peanut & Nut FREE.” Therefore, it still would not be safe for these passengers to fly. There was a story done several months ago (I think on Dateline) on the cleanliness of airline seats, fold down tables, etc. and the results were extremely disturbing for anyone, not to mention someone with an anaphylaxis allergy to “Peanuts & Nuts!” These airlines may serve pretzels instead of “Peanuts &/or Nuts.” Please click on the link below and take a moment to sign this petition to help protect everyone with an anaphylactic food allergy to “Peanuts & Nuts!” You might not have this allergy today, but you could have it tomorrow as Brentson and I both found out the hard way!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nutban/

Thank you & May God Bless,

Laura & Brentson Duke

This message is intended for where the writer posted it. Any distribution of this message in any way is prohibited without the written consent of Laura Duke. I reserve the right to pursue all legal means at my disposal to enforce my son’s and my privacy at all times! 

Our Ordeal at the Emergency Room at Skyline Medical Center on Thursday 10/19/2006.

October 27, 2006

On Thursday 10/19/2006 Brentson fell down the steps at our apartment complex. When Brentson fell he hit his butt and lower part of his back on the steps. However, he was complaining with his upper stomach and chest hurting. This concerned me greatly because I was afraid he might have ruptured an organ or something else… So, I took him directly to the Emergency Room at Skyline Medical Center. Upon arriving I signed him in and I advised the Emergency Room Attendant at the sign in desk that my son, Brentson needed to be seen because he fell down a flight of steps, but that I needed to advise him that we both have a deadly anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and nuts and that anyone that comes in contact with us and/or comes in the room with us needs to be advised of our allergy. That our anaphylactic peanut & nut allergy is airborne. Therefore, if anyone had eaten anything with peanuts and/or nuts that day that they need to stay away from us. The attendant looked at me like I was crazy. I advised him that he better take what I just told him as “the gospel” because this is extremely serious that our allergy is airborne and it can kill us in a matter of seconds! He said, “He would let everyone know.” The triage nurse called us back, and before Brentson and I walked into the doorway, I asked her, “If she had eaten anything with peanuts and/or nuts that day?” She said, “Yes.” Brent got away from the triage nurse immediately and he went back to sit down in the waiting area. I took several steps back away from the nurse and I told her that the E.R. Attendant was supposed to advise her and anyone else that would have direct contact with us, about our anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and nuts due to our allergy is airborne. The triage nurse apologized and told me that she would get someone else for us that was safe for us to be in the same room with. A few minutes later another triage nurse called Brentson’s name for us to come and get Brentson’s vital signs taken. I asked this triage nurse if she had eaten anything with peanuts and/or nuts and she said, “No.” Praise God! She took Brent’s vital signs and then brought us back to a room in the E.R. Department to be seen. The Registered Nurse walked into the room that would be taking care of Brentson and I asked her if she had eaten anything that day with peanuts and/or nuts? She said, “NO.” I advised her of our anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and nuts. I advised her that Brentson’s allergy is airborne. She said that she understands. I asked the nurse if she was told this information prior to me advising her of it? She said, “No.” When Brentson and I were giving his nurse the information on what happened to him when he fell down the steps a physician that was suppose to take care of Brentson walked into the room. I asked her if she has eaten anything with peanuts and/or nuts that day? She said, “YES.” I asked her to leave the room immediately, due to our anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and nuts! She apologized on her way out the door and said, “That she would send another doctor in the room that hasn’t eaten anything with peanuts and/or nuts.”   A few minutes later another physician opened the door and said, “That he was safe!” I still had to ask him, “Have you eaten anything with peanuts and/or nuts today?” This physician said, “No, I haven’t eaten anything with peanuts or nuts today.” He examined Brent and then ordered some blood work and x-rays. The lab tech came into the room to take Brentson’s blood and I asked her if she had eaten anything with peanuts and/or nuts today? She said, “No.” Praise God, but no one told her either about our peanut or nut allergy! Talk about poor communication at Skyline
Medical Center! What communication? When Brentson was getting his blood work done, two x-ray techs came into the room. I asked them if they had eaten anything with peanuts and/or nuts that day? They both said, “Yes.” I asked them to leave the room now! I advised them of our anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and nuts, that Brentson’s allergy is airborne and that they need to leave now! When leaving one of the x-ray techs said that she will get someone else. I was beyond irritated at this point! Then I noticed that Brentson was broken out in hives. We had been exposed to so many people that had eaten peanuts and/or nuts! I stuck my head outside of the room that Brentson was being treated in and I started screaming that I need the physician that was treating Brentson’s and the nurse now! That Brentson was broken out in hives he is having an allergic reaction and they better get him some Benadryl now or I will administer it to him myself! The nurse told me, “that I cannot give him medication when he is in the E.R. that it is against hospital policy!”  I advised the nurse, that I honestly didn’t give a damn about your hospital policy that if she didn’t get the doctor in there now that I will give Brent Benadryl and it wasn’t anything she could do about it!!! Needless to say the doctor was there in a split second! However, the Emergency Room Attendant that checked us in at the front desk was walking by the door at the time the physician was coming into the room and he made the comment to Brentson, “Hey, Peanut Butter Boy, I just ate a peanut butter cookie!” What a jerk!!! All I can say, is that he better be glad that I was worried about Brentson’s life at the time or I would have gone after him and he would have gotten a ear full! Some people are unbelievable! After the doctor looked at Brentson he agreed he was having an allergic reaction and he ordered Benadryl for Brent and ordered the nurse to hook Brent up to a heart monitor, blood pressure monitor, and a monitor to measure his oxygen levels. I brought Brentson to the hospital because I was worried about him having a ruptured organ but then all of our worries were shifted on him going into anaphylactic shock! I was furious! Brentson was extremely upset because he was terrified that he was going to have to get his Epi-Pen. I was sitting on the side of the bed trying to calm him down, and he recognized that I was broken out in hives too. I took a dose of Benadryl that I carry in my purse at all times in case we are exposed to something or someone that has eaten peanuts and/or nuts. This E.R. visit was getting worse and worse! What I found to be the most alarming with our visit to the E.R. was that the people who are supposed to be “Medically Educated” and the ones that are suppose to know how to handle this kind of situation did not handle it correctly at all! If we aren’t safe at a hospital, where would we be safe…? NO WHERE! Needless, to say the x-ray techs came back with mask, gloves and gowns on, and they gave Brentson and I mask too. They couldn’t find anyone who hadn’t eaten something with peanuts and/or nuts so the doctor told the x-ray techs if they took this precaution we should be okay. I asked the x-ray techs don’t you think it is little late for you all to start taking precautions now…? We had already been exposed and we were already broken out, the allergic reaction had already started! I guess I should have been thankful that they were finally starting to take precautions, but it was a little too late! I was beyond mad at this point! However, my concerned was to keep us from being exposed to anymore peanuts or nuts and to try to keep us from going into complete anaphylactic shock! The x-ray techs took Brentson’s x-rays and everything looked good. They monitored Brentson for a little while longer due to he was still broken out in hives and they needed to make sure that his allergic reaction didn’t get any worse. Our visit to Skyline Medical Center was a total nightmare!  I called the Administrator over the Emergency Room epartment at Skyline Medical Center on Friday 10/20/2006 and advised him of our visit and that I wanted to make a complaint!  I advised him that, the E.R. Department at Skyline Medical Center had a complete and total breakdown in communication and due to this they could have killed my son and I both! I asked him if there was a normal policy and procedure in place that the hospital staff should follow when a patient has a severe anaphylactic allergy like Brentson and I have? He said, yes and he was extremely concerned due to not one of the hospital staff members, (triage nurse, the R.N., lab tech, x-ray tech and/or physician) ever looked at Brentson’s “Red Allergy Alert Bracelets” on top of all of the other things that happened. The Administrator over the Emergency Room Department at Skyline Medical Center advised that every staff member (Emergency Room Attendant, Triage Nurse, the R.N., the physicians, the lab tech, and the x-ray techs, etc.) that came in contact with us would be disciplined and made to take classes on how to handle a patient with a severe anaphylactic allergy! This is the only hospital in the Madison, Tennessee area since Tennessee Christian Medical Center closed and started just handling rehab patients. We would have to drive to Nashville which is a good 10 to 15 minutes away to the nearest Emergency Room. So, unfortunately in an emergency we don’t have a choice but to go to Skyline Medical Center. The Administrator called me back yesterday, Thursday 10/26/2006 and advised that the staff didn’t think that our anaphylactic allergy was that serious and/or that severe..? Not that serious? I told them (everyone that came into any contact with us) how deadly and how serious our allergy was, they just chose not to believe me! I guess they wanted to see for themselves if we would go into anaphylactic shock and they wanted to call my bluff! I advised the Administrator that no one in the medical field should act or treat a patient, like we were treated, especially when the patient is telling the medical staff that they have a deadly anaphylactic allergy!  I advised the Administrator that all of the hospital staff should always treat a patient that says that he/she has an anaphylactic allergy with extreme precautions, until they find out otherwise about the patients allergy. I hope and pray that we never have to go back to Skyline Medical Center   

Laura & Brentson Duke

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2006 WILL BE A YEAR SINCE BRENTSON ALMOST DIED AT TAYLOR STRATTON ELEMENTARY!

September 7, 2006

On September 12, 2006 it will be an exact year to the date that Brentson almost lost his life at Taylor Stratton Elementary by unknowingly coming into contact with someone who had eaten peanut butter. Brentson and I will not ever be able to get this date or the events of this day out of our minds. We will never be able to forget how horrible this day could have been, but by the grace of God it turned out okay. We have been through so many different emotions in the past year… From literally being “mad as hell, to severely hurt that someone and some people could be so cold and heartless!” To start with Brentson almost died, I had to pull Brentson out of Metro Nashville Davidson County Public Schools and start Home Schooling him through a Christian Home School, and last but certainly not least… We got “Brentson’s Law” passed! I honestly have to say that it has all been worth it, especially if “Brentson’s Law” might help save another child’s life with anaphylaxis food allergies! Through a lot of prayer… Brentson and I both, have been able to forgive this Principal and those at the MNPS for their slow response and non-action when immediate action was needed! We forgive them for ourselves so we can have inner peace and so that we can be right with God. “If you don’t forgive others, then you shouldn’t expect God Himself to forgive you!” Take Care & May God Bless,

Laura & Brentson Duke

This message is intended for where the writer posted it. Any distribution of this message in any way is prohibited without the written consent of Laura Duke. I reserve the right to pursue all legal means at my disposal to enforce my son’s and my privacy!  

“Brentson’s Story” October 27, 2005 and the Attempt on His Life!

August 8, 2006

This is another example of why I was so determined to get legislation put in place to protect children with an anaphylactic reactions due to food allergies, this is where “Brentson’s Law” will come in hand. However, I am still going to fight, with a friend of mine in Pennsylvania, “Lara” to make sure there will be severe consequences for people who knowingly cause, try to induce or induce anaphylaxis in anyone! This is Brentson’s Story on October 27, 2005 the night the Principal made an attempt on his life and the other 5 children that attend that school too!

Taylor Stratton Elementary had a “Family Night Meeting” on Thursday, 10/27/05. Mr. Mitchell coordinated this event that included a hot dog dinner, Halloween treat bags for the children, and door prizes. Brentson and I didn’t make it to the meeting Thursday night at Stratton due to the way Mr. Mitchell, the Principal, and Assistant Principal handled this event. Brentson brought home a letter telling about this event on Friday, 10/21/05. I was concerned over the Halloween treat bags that were to be given out to the children due to Brentson’s peanut allergy. I spoke with Mr. Mitchell on Monday, 10/24/05 and advised him about Brentson and the other children at Stratton that have peanut allergies. (Mr. Mitchell just started working part-time at Stratton a few weeks ago.) He told me that since they did not request that parents bring candy without peanuts or peanut butter products in them, (even though Stratton is supposed to be “peanut free”), Mr. Mitchell said they would just give out the candy at the end of the program. Also, Mr. Mitchell said that Brentson and I could get him a sack of candy and leave before they started the door prizes. This still concerned me greatly, and I advised him of this. He said that they would tell the children not to open the candy until they got home. I advised Mr. Mitchell that telling a child not to open and eat candy is like telling a child not to open a present at Christmas. It isn’t going to work! Therefore, I spoke with the Assistant Principal, on Monday, 10/24/05 also. I advised her that Brentson and I would not be coming to the meeting on Thursday due to the fact they would more than likely have some candy with peanuts or peanut butter in it, and it would not be a safe environment for Brentson. I advised the Assistant Principal that the other parents of children with the peanut allergies need to be aware that there will possibly be candy at Stratton with some form of peanut butter product in it. Therefore, it wouldn’t be safe for their child either. The Assistant Principal assured me that they had already talked about this and that they would remove any candy with peanuts, peanut butter or anything that possibly could have been crossed contaminated with peanuts. Brentson wanted to go Thursday night, but we were running late. I received a call as we were about to walk out the door at 6:20 p.m. that they were handing out candy with peanuts and peanut butter products in them. Snickers and Peanut M & M’s, Reese’s, etc. I called the Assistant Principal on Friday morning, 10/28/05 and asked her what happened on Thursday night. She had told me that any candy with peanuts or peanut butter would be removed and not handed out. Mr. Mitchell said that it wouldn’t be handed out until the end of the meeting right before everyone left. Neither one of those things happened! The Assistant Principal said that the Principal of Stratton and Mr. Mitchell decided to give the children their candy with their hot dog. The Assistant Principal said that she didn’t see anyone eating candy. The parent that called me Thursday night advised there were adults and children eating candy. This was verified by more than one adult. I told the Assistant Principal that I didn’t have a problem not bringing Brentson–that isn’t the issue. However, I do have a problem with her and Mr. Mitchell telling me that they were going to handle it one way and then not doing what they said they were going to do. They compromised my child’s life by not doing what they said and at the very least I should have gotten a phone call after they changed their plans. If they were going to give out candy early and if they were going to give out candy with peanuts and peanut butter products that is fine, but don’t tell me one thing and do another! The Assistant Principal assured me that she was not going to let any of this candy be handed out and that I should bring Brentson. They are playing with my child’s life and they are acting like it’s no big deal! Well it is a big deal, a very big deal and you don’t play with a child’s life like that! If you invited a child to a school function and he/she was in a wheelchair and the parent comes to you tells you her concerns. You assure this parent that everything will be safe for her child to come to this school function. However, when they (mother and child) arrived at the event, the Principal has taken down the wheelchair ramp. The Principal didn’t bother to call to tell this parent that the wheelchair ramp was removed. This is called DISCRIMINATION!

Brentson and some other children that attend Taylor Stratton Elementary have a severe anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. The Principal and all of the staff know this because Brentson almost died at Taylor Stratton Elementary on 09/12/05, due to an anaphylactic reaction by him unknowingly coming into contact with peanuts or peanut butter in music class. I went to the Assistant Principal and the person over the event and advise them of my concerns. I was assured by both of them that it would be safe for my child at this school function and I should bring him. However, they decided not to do what they said to make it a safe environment for my child or the other children with anaphylactic reactions to peanuts to attend this school function. They don’t bother to call and advise me of the changed plans. Therefore, not showing any RESPECT for my child or the other children’s lives with anaphylactic reactions to peanuts! The USDA clearly states that a food allergy that results in an anaphylactic reaction is a “disability.” Therefore, they would have to accommodate Brentson and the other children with deadly food allergies. What they did on Thursday night, 10/27/05 was DISCRIMINATION! 

The Principal at Taylor Stratton Elementary knew that her actions on 10/27/05 could have hurt or killed Brentson and the other 5 children that attend Taylor Stratton with anaphylaxis allergies to peanuts, peanut butter, and nuts. What she did that night is called “ATTEMPTED VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER!” 

This is where “Lara’s Law” will come into effect to hold people accountable for knowingly putting other people with anaphylaxis food allergies in harms way by knowingly inducing or trying to induce anaphylaxis!

Sincerely,

Laura & Brentson Duke

This message is intended for where the writer posted it. Any distribution of this message in any way is prohibited without the written consent of Laura Duke. I reserve the right to pursue all legal means at my disposal to enforce my son’s and my privacy!

“Brentson’s Story” September 12, 2005 The Day We Will Never Forget!

August 8, 2006

My son, Brentson Duke attends Taylor Stratton Elementary and is in the 4th grade. Over the summer Brentson developed a severe allergic reaction to peanuts and peanut butter. His throat started to close up on him and he couldn’t breathe. At the beginning of the school year everyone was advised about Brentson’s allergy to peanuts and peanut butter products. Mrs. Tina in the Cafeteria, Nurse Cathy and Nurse Clare, F.N.P., and Brentson’s homeroom teacher, Mrs. Greene. On September 12, 2005 he went to school like every other day. However, when his class went to music that morning, Brent started having a severe headache. Brent thought he was just getting a headache, but actually he was starting to have an allergic anaphylactic reaction to something he unknowingly came in contact with in music. The music teacher advised Brent that he could put his head down, because he felt too bad to walk directly across the hall to the School Health Clinic. When he put his head down his throat started close up. (Evidently there was some peanut butter or peanut butter product on the desk or in the air in the music room.) When he was finally able to lift his head and looked up a little while later, the entire class had left music and he was the only person in the room. He walked out of the room and found the music teacher. The music teacher took Brentson to his homeroom teacher, who was still in the hall escorting her students back to the classroom. When Brentson’s teacher Mrs. Greene saw his face she immediately knew something was terribly wrong, and took him straight to the clinic. The School Nurse Cathy immediately thought Brentson was having an allergic reaction. Nurse Cathy asked Brent if “he had eaten anything with peanuts or peanut butter?” He advised, “NO”. I received a call around 10:30 a.m. on Monday 09/12/2005 from Nurse Cathy at the School Health Clinic. Nurse Cathy advised, that she thought Brentson might be having an “allergic reaction”. However, he had a severe headache and she wasn’t 100% certain. I told her that I was on my way to the school right then. When I arrived, Brentson looked bad! He told me he felt like his throat was closing up, like it did when he ate the peanut butter and had to go to the Emergency Room. I signed him out of school and called his pediatricians office immediately and told them I was bringing Brentson into the office. My son lost consciousness on the way to the doctor due to the loss of oxygen he was receiving due to the severe allergic reaction he had at school.After the doctors released Brentson, I contacted Nurse Cathy to advise her that Brent was having a severe allergic reaction and that he went into anaphylactic shock and almost died. I told her what the doctor stated that people with allergies to peanuts and peanut butter products can just breathe the smell of any peanut or peanut butter products and have an anaphylactic reaction.On that same day, Monday 09/12/2005 I tried to contact the principal of Taylor Stratton Elementary, but she was unavailable to speak with me. Therefore, I spoke to the Guidance Counselor at Taylor Stratton Elementary. I advised her of the situation and that I desperately needed her help, that my child almost died from being exposed to some form of peanuts or peanut butter products at school. Mrs. Sullivan advised that she would have to get back with me, due to she did not know how they would deal with this issue. I waited, waited and wait… I did not receive a call from the Principal or the Guidance Councilor. Therefore, on Thursday September 15, 2005 I wrote and then faxed them both a letter expressing my concerns and some suggestions. I still heard nothing… On Friday, September 16, 2005 I went to the school to pick up some more of my son’s assignments, and asked to speak to the Principal. When I did have a chance to speak to the Principal she stated, she did receive my letter, however, they could not restrict peanuts and peanut butter products from the school just because one child has an allergic reaction. I advised her that it was a severe anaphylactic reaction and he could have died! I advised her that if they cannot restrict it from the entire school, then I would like to have it restricted from his classroom. Nurse Sullivan, F.N.P. had drafted a letter with help from someone at the Metro School Board, requesting the children in Brentson’s classroom try not to bring peanuts or peanut butter products due to a child is severe allergy to them and it is life threatening. Nurse Clare, F.N.P. gave the letter to the Principal to ask her to approve it to be sent out to Brentson’s classmates. However, the Principal stated that she contacted the School Board Lawyers and they advised her that they cannot ask the parents not to send peanut butter or peanut butter products because one child has a severe allergic reaction. Mrs. Hayes stated that they would have complaints. So, I guess the Metro Nashville Board of Education and this Principal would rather have a dead child than a complaint…? I advised this Principal that I will not allow her or the

Metro Nashville
School Board to play “RUSSIAN ROULETTE” with my child. The Principal said, “he can eat in the clinic”. It wouldn’t matter because he would still be around children who could have eaten it at lunch or at break time.

The Metro School Board banned “hand sanitize” because “one child” had an allergic reaction. NOT A SEVERE ANAPHYLACTIC REACTION, JUST A REACTION. But my child almost dies, and MNPS and this Principal will not let a letter be sent out “requesting” that they not pack peanut butter products for their children due to this because there might be complaints! This infuriated me and I contacted the

Metro
School Board and the Media. Only after Brentson and I did a story with News Channel 2, with Heather Orne was anything done about this matter. Then this Principal agreed to send out letters to the children and parents requesting that they not pack peanut butter or peanut butter products. The school had educational classes to inform the teachers and children about deadly food allergies. Through my research with the School Nursing Program I have found out that there are a lot of children in Stratton and other Metro Nashville schools with peanut and other food allergies that are deadly, anaphylactic allergies. There wasn’t anything in place to protect children with anaphylaxis food allergies in the state of Tennessee. However, now there is “Brentson’s Law.” To help protect all children with all anaphylaxis food allergies through out the state.

Sincerely,

Laura & Brentson Duke

This message is intended for where the writer posted it. Any distribution of this message in any way is prohibited without the written consent of Laura Duke. I reserve the right to pursue all legal means at my disposal to enforce my son’s and my privacy!