PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — We all know about gluten allergies. But did you know manufacturers could be substituting one allergen for another?
Fifteen-year-old Orion has had a peanut allergy all his life. His mother, Kelley Lindberg, says that she first gave her son a peanut butter sandwich when he was just about a year-and-a-half old.
“He immediately began to break out in kind of a hive around his face,” she said.
Later, Kelley found out that her son was also allergic to lupin, an ingredient that is often substituted for peanuts. Lupin is a flour alternative used in gluten-free foods. What many people don’t know is that lupin is a legume that comes from the same plant family as the peanut.
“There are case reports of people having severe life-threatening anaphylactic reactions to lupin, both people who have a history of pre-existing peanut allergy and others who are eating peanuts just fine,” said allergist Dr. David Stukus.
Recently, the FDA released a statement on its website regarding this issue, and they are currently monitoring complaints.
“With the growth of the gluten free market, we’re going to see more products with lupin in them coming to this country,” Stefano Luccioli of the FDA said.
Lupin is required to be listed on food products as a potential allergen in Europe. As of right now, the FDA only requires that Lupin be listed as an ingredient.