The parents of a 15-year-old girl who died from a severe allergic reaction after eating a Pret a Manger baguette have been awarded OBEs in the New Year’s Honours list.
Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse said they were ‘humbled’ to accept their awards in the name of their ‘beloved’ Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who collapsed on a BA flight to Nice on July 17, 2016.
Natasha, from Fulham, west London, died of anaphylaxis after unknowingly eating sesame contained in an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette she had bought at Heathrow Airport.
Her mother and father, who have since set up the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation and successfully lobbied ministers for improved labelling of products, are being recognised by the Queen for their services to charity and people with allergic disease.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, collapsed on a flight to Nice on July 17, 2016, after eating a Pret a Manger baguette
Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse said they were ‘humbled’ to accept their awards
In a statement, they said: ‘We are humbled and honoured to accept these awards in the name of our beloved daughter Natasha.
‘Natasha was a passionate believer in social justice and the bright torch that she carried for others inspires us every day.’
The foundation aims to establish a research centre at the University of Southampton to find a cure for allergies, and has already donated £400,000 to train scientists.
Mr and Mrs Ednan-Laperouse hope it will support scientists to prevent ‘more unnecessary’ deaths and hospitalisations through severe allergic reactions, and ‘ultimately we hope to help eradicate allergic disease from this planet’.
The foundation was set up to fund and harness allergy medical breakthroughs, support academic and industry research and develop new therapies that will offer hope for effective allergy treatments and work towards finding a cure.
Her mother and father (pictured with their son Alex) are being recognised by the Queen for their services to charity and people with allergic disease
The parents have also managed to win new protections for food allergy sufferers under the introduction of ‘Natasha’s Law’.
It will require all businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food.
The couple said: ‘Natasha’s Law comes into force in October 2021, ending the legal loophole that cost our daughter her life.
‘It will help save many other lives. Yet that is only the beginning of our journey.’
The coroner ruled Natasha had been ‘reassured’ by the lack of allergen information on the Pret baguette packaging.
While supermarket sandwiches are required to list the full ingredients on the packaging, those prepared in the store currently have no such requirement.
How ‘beloved’ Natasha’s tragic death led to changes in the law
July 17, 2016: Natasha bought the sandwich and developed an itchy throat around three minutes later. Shortly after she collapsed on the flight and was treated by paramedics after landing in France before being rushed to hospital in Nice. She was pronounced dead at around 8pm.
September 2018: Coroner Dr Sean Cummings said Natasha was falsely ‘reassured’ there were no allergens in the baguette.
Pret CEO Clive Schlee said the company was ‘deeply sorry for Natasha’s death’ and vowed ‘meaningful change’.
September 2019: After much campaigning by Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, ‘Natasha’s Law’ was laid before Parliament.
October 2021: ‘Natasha’s Law’ comes into force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.