Best Consumer Campaign

Natasha’s Law

On the steps of the court, armed with a giant photograph of Natasha, and facing the country’s media, they declared, ‘it is time to change the law’.

The Campaign

After the death of their 15-year-old daughter Natasha in July 2016, Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse quickly became aware of how and why she died from an allergic reaction while on a plane. 

The ‘how’ was that she ate a baguette containing sesame seeds, to which Natasha was severely allergic. The ‘why’ was that details of those fatal sesame seeds were not mentioned on the packaging of the Pret a Manger baguette, leaving Natasha reassured that it was safe to eat. 

As they struggled with their grief, the family could not believe that the law allowed companies to avoid listing common allergens on their packaging. They determined to tackle a system that had failed to provide such basic protections.

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The Change

Twenty-six long months later, Coroner Dr Sean Cummings branded Pret’s food labelling inadequate and said its use of ‘local kitchens’ were ‘in fact a device to avoid the spirit of the regulation’. He announced he would write to the Secretary of State for Environment Michael Gove with recommendations in a Prevention of Future Deaths report. 

The verdict was a total victory for the Ednan-Laperouses, who had fought a two-year campaign to get justice for their daughter and highlight the inadequacies of food labelling in the UK.

The family were not going to let the moment pass. On the steps of the court, armed with a giant photograph of Natasha, and facing the country’s media, they declared, ‘it is time to change the law’. They were backed by MPs and found a platform across the media. 

Within days, Pret had pledged to list all ingredients and allergens on their packaging by the end of 2019. A few months later, the Government announced a consultation for a new food labelling law to prevent other needless deaths, which concluded that the toughest regulatory option was needed. 

Natasha’s Law comes into force on 1 October 2021.


The Future

The work of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, launched on the same day that the Government formally announced Natasha’s Law, is only just beginning. It will focus on allergy research while continuing to campaign for better protections for people living with allergic disease.

Who else was involved?

Coming up against an antiquated Coronial system and an array of QCs representing other interested parties at inquest, the Ednan-Laperouses were supported throughout by the commitment of their legal team at Leigh Day, working with QC Jeremy Hyam.