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Elijah’s Law Headway in Two States

Illinois seal (left) Pennsylvania seal (right)

In March 2021, Allergic Living reported that Illinois had introduced an Elijah’s Law bill. On April 22, the Illinois House voted unanimously in favor of the bill.... Read the article here.

Virtual Food Allergy Awareness Day in Albany, May 24, 2021

Working for allergy friendly legislation waits for nothing, including a pandemic. Join your fellow allergy advocates for the annual trip to Albany, virtual this year, to ask your legislators to support bills we need to support our friends and families manage their life threatening allergies. Click to find out about the legislation we'll be encouraging our legislators to sponsor and to register. We look forward to seeing you.

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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

Biden signs law that makes sesame the ninth major food allergen

In late April, President Biden signed into law The Food Allergy Safety,Treatment, Education and Research (Faster)Act. This bipartisan measure designates sesame as the ninth major food allergy, ramps up allergy research, and will attempt to address marked growth in certain deadly allergies. It is estimated that 1.6 million Americans have sesame allergies and the Faster Act requires clear labeling of foods containing sesame by January 2023. In addition, it requires the Department of Health and Human services “must prioritize regular reviews of promising food allergy treatments and research.”

The Faster Act will also step-up allergy research

President Joe Biden
The Faster Act, signed by President Biden, is a bipartisan effort to address an increase in certain deadly allergies.

By Laura Reiley Business of food reporter
April 23, 2021

President Biden on Friday signed into law a new measure that designates sesame as the ninth major food allergy and ramps up allergy research, enacting a bipartisan attempt to address marked growth in certain deadly allergies.

The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (Faster) Act passed the Senate in March and the House of Representatives this month. It received bipartisan support.

In the past two decades, life-threatening childhood food allergies have risen steadily, growing by about 4 percent per year to afflict 32 million Americans, according to research by Northwestern

Read the article here.


A team of Canadian Researchers have looked into the relationship between cesarean section births and an increased risk for peanut allergies. The study looked at the "relatively low levels of so-called Bacteroides'' in C-Section births. Bacteroides is a specific form of bacteria that is essential to the proper development of a child's immune system. Study author Hein Tun, an assistant professor in the school of public health at the University of Hong Kong, noted "We found a causal link between cesarean section birth, persistently low Bacteroides in the first year of life, and peanut sensitivity in infants,"

Why C-Section Babies May Be at Higher Risk for a Food Allergy

Baby Messily Eating from Spoon

By Alan Mozes HealthDay News Reporter
April 30, 2021

Could there be a link between having a C-section and your baby's chances of developing a peanut allergy?

Yes, a team of Canadian researchers warns.

Their new study found that babies born via cesarean section appear to have relatively low levels of so-called Bacteroides, a specific form of bacteria that is key to the proper development of a child's immune system.

The finding follows an analysis of bacterial content found in more than 1,400 Canadian infants, both when they hit 3-4 months of age and again when they turned 1 year.

Read the article here.


Finding foods that are nutritious and taste good to a one year old is a challenge for any parent. Add in the fact the child has life-threatening food allergies and the difficulties only increase. In 2016 that was the situation that Denise Woodard found herself in. With 8% of children in the US have food allergies, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Woodard knew that she couldn’t be the only one, that’s why founded Partake Foods. From experimenting in her kitchen, trying to develop a good tasting, good-for-you snack, to the challenges that many black female entrepreneurs encounter as they begin their start up, Woodard’s story is one of perseverance and success.

Black Female Founder Attracts Venture Capital With Allergy-Friendly Snacks

Denise Woodard and daughter Vivi
Denise Woodard, Founder & CEO at Partake Foods, and her daughter Vivi.

By Geri Stengel
April 28, 2021

In 2016, Denise Woodard, CEO and founder of Partake Foods, was frustrated by the lack of food options with the nutritional profile that she required and the taste appeal to her one-year-old daughter, Vivienne, who had life-threatening food allergies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 8% of children in the US have food allergies. That's 1 in 13 children. Woodard and her daughter's babysitter spent weeks in the kitchen unsuccessfully experimenting with developing a good tasting, good-for-you snack.

Woodard's entrepreneurial journey has been bitter-sweet. Bitter, because it took George Floyd's murder and Black Lives Matter to focus the world on systemic racism and the inequities that Black female founders face funding their startups. Black female founders have received just 0.6% of all VC investment since 2009, according to ProjectDiane 2020. But sweet, because her company, Partake, has benefited from increased media, consumer, and investor attention.

Read the article here.


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