Sony Pictures has been forced to apologise over a particular scene in the new children's film 'Peter Rabbit', which appears to depict Peter and his friends using McGregor's serious food allergy against him. Experts and parents of children with allergies have called for a boycott.

The 'Peter Rabbit' world premiereThe 'Peter Rabbit' world premiere

People may make jokes about gluten and dairy intolerances all the time, but the fact remains that food allergies are an all too real horror for many, with children being especially vulnerable to potential attacks. Children have died because of bullies deliberately exposing them to their allergy, which makes the scene in the new film - a modern, semi-animated adaptation of the classic Beatrix Potter story - all the more disturbing.

'Peter Rabbit' sees Peter (played by James Corden) and his friends pelting the farmer Mr McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) with blackberries, with one landing in his mouth and causing him to suffer a seizure whereby he is forced to inject himself with an epi pen. The Kids With Food Allergies Foundation wrote an open letter to the filmmakers requesting an apology, and spoke about the issue at length on their Facebook page.

'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', they said. '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.'

'It is unnecessary for a film to show the characters intentionally attacking another with his food allergen to trigger anaphylaxis', they later added

In their open letter, they also explain their disappointment with the suggestion that food allergies are 'made up for attention', and slammed Song for using the issue as a 'punchline' in other films such as 'The Smurfs' and 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'.

'Recently, there have been distressing accounts of children using food to bully and assault children with food allergies, and some cases have resulted in death for the child with food allergies and criminal charges for the attackers', they explained.

More: Watch the trailer for 'Peter Rabbit'

After an influx of criticism over the scene, Sony Pictures have responded with a statement of regret. 'Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit's arch nemesis, Mr McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way', they said. 'We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise.'