New Initiatives

"Five Steps Forward for Food Allergy" is FAAN's (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network's) latest initiative brought to Capitol Hill this week. Basically, it is a call for national school guidelines, better public education, development of food allergy diagnosis and management, more funding for research and improved food allergy labeling on food items.
  • The House of Representatives has already passed legislation for school guidelines and it is expected that the Senate will soon follow.
  • More public awareness is up to those of us who deal with food allergies on a daily basis. We need to keep talking about food allergies and help educate others.
  • As public awareness increases, awareness by healthcare professionals should also be on the rise. Hopefully the days of doctors telling us that our babies are "too young to have food allergies" will soon be a thing of the past. Hopefully the days of a healthcare professional saying "you don't need to carry an Epi Pen because your allergy isn't that severe" will soon be a thing of the past as well.
  • The National Institute of Health's panel on food allergies has recommended a funding increase for research. As the number of Americans dealing with food allergies rises, we need to find answers as to why and how to stop this trend. Just type "federal government spending waste" in your favorite search engine and it is easy to find some money that could be redirected. The US government gives 19 million dollars a year to The National Fund of Ireland?!!? I have nothing against Ireland, but, huh?
  • The The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 has certainly been a big help to anyone who wants to decipher ingredient labels. That said, the prevalence of precautions on labels stating "May Contain" to "Processed in a Facility" to "Made on Shared Equipment." is very difficult to interpret. Companies claim that they need to protect themselves. It just makes labels more confusing and not very helpful to consumers. These statements need to be regulated to further improve food labels.
See http://www.foodallergy.org for more information on the five initiatives.
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