Articles for Advocacy

Elijah’s Law Headway in 2 States

After the death of their three year old son, Elijah-Alavi Silvera, Thomas Silvera and his wife Dina Hawthorne-Silvera successfully spearheaded the passage of “Elijah’s Law” in their home state of New York in 2019. The law “tells early education programs in New York they must follow state food allergy guidelines and protocols to prevent, recognize and respond quickly to life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.” Now Thomas and Dina are expanding their efforts to bring “Elijah’s Law” nationwide.

Learn about their efforts in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Elijah’s Law Headway in 2 States

Illinois flag (left) Pennsylvania seal (right)

Gwen Smith
April 26, 2021

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. Officially called the Childhood Anaphylactic Policy Act (HB0102), this legislation would require the state health department, in consultation with the board of education, to establish anaphylaxis policies and procedures for school districts and daycare settings.

Representative Jonathan Carroll, the bill’s sponsor, says the bill would add daycare centers to existing school food allergy policies currently required in Illinois, and tighten anaphylaxis training across school levels. The bill has now headed to the state Senate for consideration.

Read more ...

Biden signs law that makes sesame the ninth major food allergen

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.”

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

The Faster Act will also step-up allergy research

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 more ...

New Guidelines Detail Specifics and Deadline for NY's Elijah's Law

"Your voice matters, your child's voice matters, and their health matters." After a preschool ignored written and verbal instructions about his food allergies and asthma, Elijah-Alavi Affiq Thomas Silvera died in 2017. When faced with the tragedy of losing his son Elijah, Thomas Silvera embarked on a mission to help ensure that no other family would have to experience a similar tragedy. Learn more about his successful efforts to provide information and training to daycare facilities in New York and his continued work with state legislatures to spread awareness and action throughout the country.

New Guidelines Detail Specifics and Deadline for NY's Elijah's Law

Thomas Silvera (Elijah's Father) with Elijah's Law sign

By Kristen Stewart
April 12, 2021

"It shouldn't take a tragedy to create change and it shouldn't take another tragedy to create another change," said Thomas Silvera, Co-founder, President, and CEO of the Elijah-Alavi Foundation, a non-profit formed to encourage diverse social and equitable food allergy and asthma resources for schools in New York state and across the country.

The tragic death of Thomas's son, Elijah-Alavi Affiq Thomas Silvera in 2017 prompted Thomas, his family, and the Foundation to do everything in their power to prevent a similar heartbreak from happening to someone else.

Elijah died after his preschool ignored written and verbal instructions about the 3-year-old's food allergies and asthma then failed to tell his mother what he had eaten, incorrectly informed her he was having an asthma attack, and didn't call 911 or administer epinephrine.

Elijah's Law

In September, 2019 New York state passed Elijah’s Law which required the New York Health Commissioner to establish guidelines for daycare providers for the prevention of and response to anaphylaxis. These policies were supposed to be distributed in 2020 but were delayed due to Covid-19.

Read more ...

Passage of FASTER Act is Critical for Food Allergy Community!

Sometimes more is better. When it comes to food labeling, if you suffer from a potentially life threatening allergy, more information isn’t just better, it could be life-saving. That is what the new legislation — the Food Allergy, Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, H.R. 1202/S. 578 would do. Having already passed by the Senate, this legislation would improve transparency by requiring that sesame — which is commonly used in food for flavoring — be labeled as an allergen on packaged foods. Read here to learn more about this vital legislation.

Passage of FASTER Act is Critical for Food Allergy Community!

Line of Frozen Food Display Cases

By Lisa Gable, opinion contributor —
04/06/21
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill.

In the United States, 85 million people are impacted by food allergies or intolerances, of which 32 million have a potentially life-threatening condition. Sadly, they live each day with the fear and anxiety that something they eat could turn their world upside down. Always on alert, they know that consuming the wrong food or ingredient could send them straight to the emergency room or worse, could kill them.

Fortunately, there is new legislation — the Food Allergy, Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, H.R. 1202/S. 578, which would improve transparency and greatly benefit the food allergy community. This bipartisan legislation would require that sesame — which is commonly used in food for flavoring — be labeled as an allergen on packaged foods. Sesame would become the ninth food allergen for which the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires plain-language labeling. The bill would also require the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue a report on scientific opportunities in food allergy research that examines prevention, treatment, and new cures. In addition, the legislation establishes a risk-based scientific process and framework for establishing additional allergens covered by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. With greater transparency in food labeling, this legislation will help relieve fear and anxiety and provide needed relief for the nearly 1.6 million Americans who live with a sesame allergy.

The updated FASTER Act provides a two-year window for industry to comply. I look forward to partnering with the food industry on an implementation plan to align with other changes the industry might be making as they pertain to ingredient disclosures.

Read more ...

The Case for "Teacher Training" in NYS Public Schools

One in 13 children have food allergies; that equals two kids at risk for anaphylaxis in every classroom across America. The data from the Center for Disease and Control shows that twenty-five to 30% of anaphylactic reactions occur at school without a prior diagnosis. That is why the Allergy Advocacy Association, building on the success of our past legislative efforts, is working to find new ways to promote “Teacher Training” for the administration of life-saving epinephrine in NYS Public Schools.

The Case for "Teacher Training" in NYS Public Schools

New York State Capitol with Flags and Reflecting Pool, Albany NY

By Jon Terry
18 March 2021

Greetings. Concerning life-threatening allergies and anaphylaxis, just how safe are kids in New York State public schools? What laws are currently in place to protect kids from anaphylaxis emergencies? Are there loopholes, gaps or errors in childcare at our schools that need to be corrected? While discussing these questions in this article the Allergy Advocacy Association provides context.

For the past ten years legislation requiring anaphylaxis emergency training for newly certified teachers has been an important objective for our association. This year Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal along with activist advocates have re-introduced the "Teacher Training" bill (A523 and S587), an act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring newly certified teachers to receive instruction in the use of an epinephrine auto-injector. Why is this law so important?

Stacey Saiontz is the mother of food allergic child and an activist advocate here in NY. "Children spend most of their waking hours at school in the care of their teachers," says Ms.

Read more ...

Just Half of Epinephrine Auto-Injector Prescriptions are Filled After Pediatric Emergency Discharge

We know that a life-threatening allergic reaction can be fatal. We also know that when anaphylaxis strikes an epinephrine auto-injector can save a person’s life. So why after a pediatric emergency discharge were only half of the prescriptions for an epinephrine auto-injector filled by patients? A new study examines this important issue.

Just Half of Epinephrine Auto-Injector Prescriptions are Filled After Pediatric Emergency Discharge

Image of Emergency sign plus image of Injector packet

By Dave Bloom
2021/03/09

A child develops anaphylaxis and is rushed to the emergency room. At the time the child is stabilized and released, a physician writes a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) which a staffer eventually hands to the accompanying adult, sending them on their way. But how many of those prescriptions are actually filled and by whom?

A recent study published in Allergy and Asthma Proceedings aimed at measuring those fill rates while looking for racial and socioeconomic disparities.

The retrospective observational cohort study looked at records from patients discharged from a pediatric emergency department who received an outpatient prescription for an EAI between January 1, 2018, and October 31, 2019. The rates of filled prescriptions were calculated, and multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify sociodemographic factors associated with the process.

Of 717 patients included in the analysis, some 54.8% ultimately filled their prescription. The study found no significant associations between fill rates and patient age or sex, but in a bivariable analysis, non-Hispanic white patients were almost twice as likely to fill their prescriptions compared as

non-Hispanic black patients and patients with in-state Medicaid were significantly less likely to fill compared with those patients with private insurance. After applying multivariable adjustments, however, the researchers found no significant difference in filling by age, insurance status, race, or ethnicity.

Read more ...

Epinephrine Not Being Used Often Enough for Anaphylaxis in Children

We know any attack of anaphylaxis can might fatal. We also know that promptly administering epinephrine saves lives. A recent study found over 20% of correctly diagnosed anaphylaxis incidents in children weren’t treated with epinephrine. Why? Dr Wes Sublett, Research Director of the Family Allergy & Asthma Research Institute, provides some of the answers in the article below.

Epinephrine Not Being Used Often Enough for Anaphylaxis in Children

Rosie-the-Riviter holding AuviQ-ChildDose package

By Dave Bloom
2021/02/02

We know that prompt administration of epinephrine as soon as anaphylaxis is suspected leads to better outcomes, but are we using it often enough when our kids react? (Hint: No, we’re not.)

“Predictors for epinephrine undertreatment have been poorly studied,” write Neta Cohen, MD, of the division of pediatric emergency medicine at the University of Toronto, and colleagues.

So Cohen and colleagues reviewed the charts of 368 children (median age, 5.4 years) who presented with anaphylaxis-like symptoms to a busy tertiary care facility emergency department (ED) in Toronto.

They determined that although 90.8% of the children were correctly diagnosed with anaphylaxis, nearly a quarter (23.7%) were not treated with epinephrine. Of those, 13 had full resolution of signs and symptoms during the ED presentation.

Read more ...

Allergic Reactions in Restaurants Are Common, Yet Training Lags

If you or a loved one has a food allergy, you know that dining out can be very challenging. From the listing of possible allergens to details on food preparation, accurate information can be hard to come by. It can be frustrating and possibly lethal, even though restaurants are the second most common location for a food allergy reaction, with over a quarter of those reactions requiring epinephrine. While laws vary from state to state, there is no federal legislation requiring restaurants to inform customers about allergens or to mandate training of restaurant staff.

Allergic Reactions in Restaurants Are Common, Yet Training Lags

A woman and friend in a restaurant with food

By Jenifer Goodwin
January 17, 2021

Restaurants are the second most common location for food allergy reactions after the home, a new study finds, and more than one in four of those reactions are severe enough to require epinephrine.

Yet there remains no federal legislation requiring restaurants to inform customers about allergens in their food, or to train food preparers about food allergies and avoiding cross-contact. Although a few states have enacted their own regulations requiring food allergy safety training, these laws are not equally robust from state to state.

Allergist Dr. Thomas Casale, a co-author of the study, says the findings underscore the need to require food allergy training for staff, and for restaurants to disclose allergens on menus.

“There should be mandatory training for restaurant staff and people that prepare the food,” including education on the major allergens, communicating about food allergies, and avoiding cross-contact, says Casale, medical adviser for the non-profit FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).

Read more ...

DC Legislation Update

This past year the Allergy Advocacy Association was active in promoting important legislation to help those impacted by life threatening allergies. Though 2020 was a challenging year, our association worked with others in the nonprofit community, including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (aafa), Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), Allergy & Asthma Network (AAN), the Food Allergies and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) and End Allergies Together (EAT) to advocate for legislation and policies. Our efforts were a reminder that working together we are better able to serve those impacted by life threatening allergies.

Read all about epinephrine.

Sesame Label Warning Jan, 2021

Reported and edited by Jon Terry
January 14th, 2021

Greetings! Last March our association participated in a major advocacy event at the US capitol lobbying for passage of two bills. The result was enactment of H.R. 2468 and advancement of H.R. 2217 the "Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2019." (In this issue of our e-newsletter, you'll find more information about H.R 2468 within our next article.)

Read more ...

H.R. 2468 the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act Becomes Law

New Federal Law Helps Schools Prevent Asthma and Anaphylaxis Emergencies

A new federal law now provides grant preferences to states that take proactive steps in helping the millions of school age children impacted by allergies and asthma. In Spring 2020, the Allergy Advocacy Association lobbied lawmakers to pass the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act. This new law may provide an opportunity to expand our educational/training, through our The Epi Near You NY program.

You can read all the questions and answers about epinephrine.

FARE Contingent, Washington D.C., Mar, 2020

H.R. 2468 the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act Becomes Law

By Patrick Morris
January 12th, 2020

This January the bi-partisan School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act H.R. 2468 was signed into law. This law will provide assistance to millions of school children dealing with allergies and asthma. It does so by providing preferences for grants, under the children's asthma treatment program, to states that require schools to establish allergy and asthma management programs.

Read more ...

US Senate Passes FASTER Act, Brings Mandatory Sesame Labeling One Step Closer

Concerning successful advocacy during 2020 in Washington DC, congratulations to everyone who helped pass the The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2020 thru the United States Congress. Next step: The house and the senate will meet to reconcile their bills. After that the bill heads for the White House for the President's signature and enactment of the legislation. Everybody please keep your prayers and positive thoughts focused upon Capitol Hill.

US Senate Passes FASTER Act, Brings Mandatory Sesame Labeling One Step Closer

FARE Activists in front of U.S. Capitol Mar 2020

S 3451 will add sesame as the ninth major allergen and prioritize food allergy research; bill now heads to the House for consideration

By News Wire ~ 3rd Party Press Release
December 10th, 2020

Today, FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the world’s leading non-governmental organization engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest private funder of food allergy research, announces the quick action and unanimous passage of The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2020, S. 3451 by the U.S. Senate. Since the bill’s Senate introduction on March 12, FARE has worked extremely closely with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, as well as co-sponsors Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) to move this legislation forward.

“More than 1.5 million Americans are allergic to sesame, and they and their family members live in constant fear and anxiety that sesame may be hiding in the food products they buy,” said Lisa Gable, chief executive officer of FARE. “With today’s Senate passage, ushered forward by the incredible leadership of Senator Tim Scott and Senator Chris Murphy, a critical new law that will improve the lives of those with food allergies is one step closer to becoming a reality.”

Read more ...

 

The information provided on this site is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment with a licensed physician.
The Allergy Advocacy Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.
Copyright 2020 © Allergy Advocacy Association, Inc. All rights reserved.  Terms & Conditions