The makers of the 'Peter Rabbit' movie have been forced to apologise for offending allergy sufferers.

A scene in the new big screen adaptation of the Beatrix Potter classic shows a character Tom McGregor - played by Domhnall Gleeson - who has a blackberry allergy, being pelted with the fruit by Peter Rabbit and a gang of bunnies, before he is eventually forced to use an EpiPen to recover from the attack.

Sony Pictures released a joint statement saying the film, ''should not have made light'' of a character being allergic to blackberries ''even in a cartoonish, slapstick way''.

They added: ''We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise.''

The apology was prompted after charity Kids with Food Allergies Foundation published a statement on Facebook saying ''food allergy jokes are harmful to our community'', sparking the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit to trend on Twitter.

The charity's post read: ''The very real fear and anxiety that people experience during an allergic reaction (often referred to as an impending sense of doom) is a serious matter.

''Making light of this condition hurts our members because it encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously, and this cavalier attitude may make them act in ways that could put an allergic person in danger.''

A petition calling for Sony Pictures to apologise quickly attracted over 9,000 signatures.

'Peter Rabbit' stars James Corden as the voice of the mischievous bunny created by British children's author Beatrix Potter and published in the early 1900s.

Peter Rabbit was released in the US on February 3rd and is due for release in the UK on March 16th.