E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

July 2020

Greetings. Our association sincerely hopes your summer season is going great.

We know that accurate food labeling is essential to those with a life threating allergy. In this issue we explore a new study by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and learn how more than 85 million Americans avoid purchasing food with the top 8 allergens, and the vital role labeling plays in their decision.

This month we update you on how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clarified their food allergen guidelines and developed a FAQs page providing additional information. For more details, please read “What the FDA's Relaxed Food Label Rules Mean for People with Allergies” in this e-news issue and on our website. In the article we hear from the FDA, consumer groups and parents of children with allergies.

Also, you can still express your concerns to the FDA on their website. Please see the link listed below.

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FDA-2020-D-1139-0009

Please keep safe and healthy!

IOA Helps Improve Access to EAI Devices in Indiana

We know that Anaphylaxis, the life-threatening allergic reaction, can be successfully treated with an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI). Without an EAI, the results are often tragic. Many families that have experienced this tragedy are working to promote awareness of anaphylaxis and the need for improved access to EAI’s. In Wisconsin, this has been the work Angel and George Mueller to honor of their 18-year-old son Dillon who died of anaphylaxis after being stung by a bee. When Tabitha Arnett, the Executive Director of the Indiana Osteopathic Association (IOA), met Angel, she was moved by her story and her efforts. Inspired and using Wisconsin’s “Dillion’s Law” as a model, Tabitha successfully created a coalition to help provide increased access to EAIs in Indiana.

IOA Helps Improve Access to EAI devices in Indiana

Tabitha Arnett, Indiana Osteopathic Association's Executive Director
Tabitha Arnett, Indiana Osteopathic Association's Executive
Photos used with permission by Indiana Osteopathic Association.

New Law Expands Access to Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

By Kristen Stewart
July 15th, 2020

Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, strikes about 1 in 50 people in the United States. The good news is it can be treated — but only if there is an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) immediately at hand. Some states including Indiana are working to make that goal a more frequent reality.

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What the FDA's Relaxed Food Label Rules Mean for People with Allergies

Recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued revised guidelines, “relaxing” packaged food labeling requirements. They were concerned about possible supply disruptions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The result has been confusion, concern and controversy. What do these new guidelines really mean? How do they impact individuals and families with life-threatening food allergies? How can people stay safe and informed? Read what the FDA, consumer groups, and parents have to say.

What the FDA's Relaxed Food Label Rules Mean for People with Allergies

You can read all about this new initiative here.

Young woman looking at items on grocery store shelves

The Agency’s Action Is Alarming Consumers Who Rely on Ingredient Labels to Stay Safe.

By Rachel Rabkin Peachman
July 7th, 2020

To avoid potential food-supply-chain disruptions in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration announced last month that it has temporarily relaxed food labeling guidelines, allowing manufacturers of packaged foods to substitute certain ingredients without changing the labels.

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85 Million Americans Avoid Buying Food with Top 9 Allergens

When you or a family member have a food allergy, putting together the family grocery list isn’t just about who likes or dislikes certain foods. It’s also about foods that can cause a potentially fatal allergic reaction. Knowing what foods to avoid is essential. A new study from Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) shows how universal labeling could help consumers. Our association strongly endorses food labeling that clearly lists all ingredients, especially any dangerous allergens.

85 Million Americans Avoid Buying Food with Top 9 Allergens

Bowls, plates and platters containing samples of allergens

By Lana Bandoim
July 6th, 2020

A new study from Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) reveals that 85 million Americans avoid buying food with the top nine allergens in it because either they have allergies or members of their households have them. This consumer group spends $19 billion per year on specialty food products without allergens, and FARE believes universal labels would make shopping easier.

According to FARE, the top nine food allergens in the United States are milk, eggs, wheat, sesame, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish and peanuts. One out of four Americans or 85 million people avoid purchasing foods with these allergens. However, only an estimated 32 million Americans are at risk of having life-threatening allergic reactions.

"New research shows that while 32 million Americans are currently living with potentially life-threatening food allergies, the halo effect extends to nearly triple that number with more than 85 million Americans – or one-in-four Americans – are impacted by the disease," FARE shared.

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FDA’s Revised Glove Guidelines Impact People with Latex Allergy

When you have a potentially life-threatening allergy, you must be vigilant. Accidental exposure to an allergen might be fatal. If you are a health care professional and have a latex allergy, the recent updated glove use guidelines issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made that vigilance even more challenging. By relaxing the guidelines, the FDA may have created an environment where there are more latex proteins in a healthcare setting.

FDA’s Revised Glove Guidelines Impact People with Latex Allergy

A Medical Person Putting on Latex Gloves

Reporting courtesy of the Allergy and Asthma Network
June 19th, 2020

In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its glove use guidelines for healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines, however, loosen latex allergy standards and may potentially put people with latex allergy at risk.

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