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Sesame Joins the Major Food Allergens List, FDA Says

A pile of sesame seeds on a light blue surface

Great news! The FASTER Act is now officially the 9th allergen requiring food manufacturers to include sesame on all food labels where sesame is present.
Read the article here.

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Allergies Come in all Shapes and Sizes

Just like allergy sufferers. And they are on the rise. For many people allergies can range from sniffling and sneezing to skin rashes to gastrointestinal issues. A certain percentage, however, have more than these uncomfortable symptoms to deal with. Anaphylaxis, a serious life-threatening reaction, causes approximately 1,500 deaths a year in the United States alone. Clearly, allergies are nothing to sneeze at!

Articles for Advocacy

While FASTER being the law of the land as of January 1, 2023, Lauren Harkawik details how food manufacturers are working against the intent of the Act by adding sesame to more foods and including it on all labels. While some grocers, restaurants and manufacturers are implementing FASTER correctly (nice job Whole Foods) many are using this work around that is endangering our community.

People With Allergies Have to Be a Lot More Careful in 2023

Olive Garden bread sticks made with sesame flour

By Lauren Harkawik
January 12, 2023

On January 1, the FASTER Act (which stands for Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research) went into effect at the federal level. One of the major elements of the law was adding sesame to the list of “major allergens” that restaurants and food manufacturers are required to flag as an ingredient. One would think this change would make it easier for people with sesame allergies to navigate eating at restaurants. Unfortunately, it could have the opposite effect.

Read the article here.

 

Epi Reminder, a nifty app using trusted technology makes it possible to crowd source near by epinephrine in the case of anaphylaxis emergencies. Call us intrigued.

Keeping Track of your EAIs

2 Epi Pens and 1 Epireminder device in a package

By Toni Taylor
January 20, 2023

Our association is always watching for new ideas, innovations and technology helping individuals and family members with life-threatening allergies. We know from first-hand experience how much support people at risk for anaphylaxis really need every day.

In pursuit of our shared goal of not another life lost to life threatening allergies, the focus of the Epi Near You New York program is broad based availability of epinephrine. This includes teaching everyone in New York State how to recognize when and how to administer it.

Read the article here.

 

The health exchanges created in response to the passage of the Affordable Care Act have been very helpful in helping more people get access to affordable health care. Many of the lower cost plans have high deductibles, often increasing the cost of EAIs for families managing life threatening allergies.

More Families Suffering Epinephrine “Sticker Shock” Due to High-Deductable Plans

100 dollar bill with 6 EpiPen images spaced evenly across the bill

With the new year, Neri was shocked to learn that a twin pack of the exact same epinephrine would cost her $600, meaning her out-of-pocket costs would balloon 20-fold to $2,400.

“It was a little embarrassing to say, ‘I can’t do this right now,’” Neri told NBC News.

The epinephrine itself had not risen in price. What happened is that Neri’s family had switched to a high-deductible health insurance plan to save money. Monthly payments are generally lower with such plans but their deductibles — the amount you must spend before insurance coverage kicks in — is much higher, leaving families responsible for thousands of dollars each year before certain costs — often epinephrine auto-injectors — are covered.

Read the article here.

 

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