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  • Petitioned Jay McGraw

This petition was delivered to:

Executive Producer, "The Doctors" television program
Jay McGraw

Issue an On-Air Retraction of the Advice to "Fake a Butter Allergy"

    1. Sakina Bajowala
    2. Petition by

      Sakina Bajowala

      Sugar Grove, IL

On May 25, 2012, "The Doctors" aired a segment devoted to summertime weight-loss tips. Tip number 9 was a suggestion that viewers "fake a butter" allergy to avoid the ~120 calories added to meals from vegetables cooked in butter. This advice should be immediately retracted for the following reasons:

1. It encourages dishonesty, and advises viewers to falsely claim a life-threatening condition in the name of getting "swimsuit ready" for the summer. Similar advice would never be given regarding falsely claiming to have diabetes, celiac disease or cancer. If an individual chooses not to eat butter, they need only ask, "No butter, please. I'm watching my weight." There is absolutely no need to lie.

2. It trivializes the seriousness of legitimate food allergies, which result in over 30,000 visits to emergency departments and 200 deaths per year in the United States alone. Inundated with false allergy claims, restaurant staff are likely to observe less diligence when encountering patrons with true life-threatening allergies, resulting in unsafe scenarios. This could have disastrous consequences.

3. The medical basis for the recommendation is unsound, immunologically-speaking. Life-threatening food allergies are in almost all cases a result of an immune hypersensitivity response to a food protein. Butter is a prepared food product, in which the triggering agent is milk protein. A "butter allergy" is as non-sensical as a "casserole allergy".

Mr. McGraw, as the executive producer of "The Doctors" program, you are urged to take the high road and put the greater public good ahead of ratings.

Immediately remove this topic from "The Doctors" website, and issue an online and on-air retraction of this ridiculous advice. In addition, please devote an episode of your program to dispensing accurate advice about food allergy by interviewing families who deal with this condition on a daily basis, and consulting with the Board-Certified Allergists who care for them.

Thank you.

Recent signatures


    1. Advice to "Fake a Butter Allergy" removed from "The Doctors" website!

      Sakina Bajowala
      Petition Organizer

      New update: "The Doctors" program has removed the advice to "fake a butter allergy" from their website! The synopsis of the program now reads "Hold the Butter" instead.


      Also, the video of tip #9 has been removed from the website. All your signatures and comments are making an impact!

      However, although it is an encouraging start, quietly removing misinformation from the website doesn't truly counteract the detrimental effects of the aired segment. That will require an on-air retraction (ideally coupled with a segment focused on food allergy awareness). Let's keep encouraging the program to do the right thing...

    2. Reached 500 signatures
    3. The "deleted" comments from "The Doctors" message board have been restored!

      Sakina Bajowala
      Petition Organizer

      Squeaky wheel gets the grease? The comments from myself and other food allergy advocates which were censored by "The Doctors" website were restored as of 6/8/12! That's great news, but our work isn't done. The program is still standing by this segment, the synopsis of which is still available on their website (and is linked below). Please keep sharing this petition with your family and friends until a retraction is issued! Thank you so much!

    4. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sasha Brewer JOPLIN, MO
      • about 2 years ago

      My children have life threatening food allergies. This is no joke. People that pretend to have allergies are the reason why people like my children get ignored when in these situations. This is both insulting and dangerous!

    • Jessica Benjamin WEST NEWTON, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      Food allergies can be fatal, they are not something to joke or mislead people about.

    • Armsndo Magaña FRACC LA ROSITA, MEXICO
      • about 2 years ago

      Im a BC Allergist in my country and I agree this segment is dangerous.

    • Josée Vallerand OTTAWA, CANADA
      • over 2 years ago

      I wonder what their professional licensing body have to say about this clear lack of knowledge and profesional judgment and erroneus medical advice?

    • cheryl sanico MILILANI, HI
      • over 2 years ago

      Shame on The Doctors for making light of something so serious! I have a 5 yr old daughter who has to manage (and has to learn how to educate others around her) regarding her REAL life-threatening food allergy. Indeed, a retraction and apology is in order... and a special episode on EDUCATING (themselves and) the public about what life is really like for those suffering from food allergies! I am still sickened in my gut thinking they would stoop so low.


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