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From the death of a 15-year-old girl who ate a baguette containing sesame seeds not listed on the wrapper to calls for peanuts to be banned on aircraft, coverage of food allergies is increasing. Are allergies really becoming more common — and if so, why?

The FT’s Maija Palmer discusses with a panel of experts whether more people are suffering reactions and considers the medical evidence. The panel includes Dr Adam Fox, consultant paediatric allergist at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Julianne Ponan, a sufferer and founder of Creative Nature, which makes allergen-free snacks and bake mixes, and Tari Haahtela, emeritus professor at the University of Helsinki, who led a 10-year study into the causes of allergies in Finland and Russia.

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