Army urged to end nut allergy ban

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The Independent Online

Defence chiefs are under pressure to scrap a rule that automatically bans nut allergy sufferers from serving in the Army.

Campaigners last night confirmed that they are calling for talks with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the "discriminatory" regulation, which could prevent scores of would-be soldiers from pursuing a career in the forces.

MoD officials say the rule is in place because all army personnel must be fit to serve where medical care may be limited or remote.

Moira Austin, spokeswoman for the Anaphylaxis Campaign, which represents thousands of people with life-threatening allergic reactions to peanuts and other foods, said she understood the MoD's concerns. But she said the campaign challenged an outright ban.

"It would be good to enter into discussions with the department," she said. "It would be better than just letting things carry on without being questioned."