Nut allergy scuppers Adam’s Army dream
9:21am Tuesday 3rd July 2012 in Your Town
A TEENAGE boy’s dream of becoming an Army officer has been dashed — because he has a nut allergy.
Adam John, from Heaton, says he is being discriminated against because the Armed Forces will cater for other dietary requirements, including vegetarians and Halal and Kosher food.
Now the 18-year-old is hoping to spark a debate in Parliament about the issues by starting an e-petition.
Mr John, who has just completed his A-levels at Bolton Sixth Form College, is hoping to carry on his studies at Manchester University this autumn.
He said: “Joining the Army means you get to the travel the world while serving your country — there is no better job.”
The former Smithills School pupil only found out he was barred when he tried to sign up and saw the restrictions on the form.
Mr John said: “I was so shocked, I had never heard about this before.
“I feel it is extremely discriminatory. It has been my dream to join as an officer or soldier in the Infantry on completion of university and yet I’m prevented from doing so.”
Mr John has had two allergic reactions, one when he was 12 while on holiday in the USA and last year at the age of 17, when he was diagnosed with the allergy and issued with an EpiPen, which he can use to inject himself with a life-saving adrenaline shot.
He said: “The UK Armed Forces are the best in the world and can surely be able to cater for those with nut allergies.
“They can prepare other foods carefully for those who eat Halal or Kosher because for a Muslim to eat pork is a huge issue and care has to be taken to deliver those dietary requirements.
“I am prepared to sign a disclaimer that if I have an allergic reaction I will not sue, that is how much I want to join.” The same restrictions apply in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Mr John is now urging people to sign his e-petition in a bid to force a ministerial debate on it in the House of Commons.
He would need 100,000 signatures to force a debate, but so far only has 30.
An Army spokeswoman said: “Anyone wishing to join the Army is issued with a guidelines which include a list of medical condition that preclude entry. We cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment especially when on operations.”
To sign the petition go to epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions/34950.
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