E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

June 2023

May was a very busy month in advocacy. Many thanks to the intrepid group of advocates who gathered in Albany for Food Allergy Awareness Day NY 2023, the first in-person event since the pandemic. With many new members in both chambers, it was great to introduce ourselves in person and share your concerns with legislators and staff.

With thanks to you for over 10 years of advocacy, a Teacher Training bill has finally passed the Assembly and Senate. Help get this bill to the Governor's desk by contacting Governor Kathy Hochul and ask her to request A7037a be sent to her to sign into law. Leave your request here (https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form) or by phone at 518-474-8390.

While all of that was happening, Dave Bloom of Snack Safely has an idea for the FDA to simplify the FASTER Act implementation, which presents ongoing risks for food allergic consumers due to food manufacturers sidestepping the spirit of the law. In a promising development, a skin patch is being tested to help toddlers with peanut allergies build tolerance. Research also suggests that a mother's diet while breastfeeding could potentially prevent peanut allergies in infants by promoting oral tolerance.

Phew, a very busy and exciting month indeed. We’re looking forward to great things going forward!

Jon


What is anaphylaxis? How would you recognize an anaphylaxis emergency?  And would you know what are the right things to do? For many people, even those that have a life-threatening allergy, the answer is no. 

The Allergy Advocacy Association has a solution: Epi Near You New York anaphylaxis emergency training program.  This life saving program can be delivered via webinar or face-to-face. 

Upon completion you receive:

  • Free state approved training presentation, 
  • New York State recognized certification, and
  • Assistance for public entities to obtain a non-patient specific prescription for emergency epinephrine

Find more information on the importance of this training program here.

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Best wishes to one and all!

Food Allergy Awareness Day NY '23 Report

Advocates gathered in Albany for Food Allergy Awareness Day NY 2023, marking the first in-person event since the pandemic. They shared concerns with legislators, emphasizing face-to-face interactions. Progress was made on teacher training and public access to epinephrine proposals. Urgent need for anaphylaxis emergency training in schools was highlighted.

Food Allergy Awareness Day NY '23 Report

Jon Terry (top right) and 7 Allergy Advocates Pose for NY Near You, New York Photo

By Jon Terry
May 18th, 2023

Greetings. I sincerely hope everyone has had a pleasant Memorial Day holiday weekend.

On May 2nd, we hosted the annual gathering of advocates for Food Allergy Awareness Day NY 2023 in Albany. After a few years of Zoom advocacy, this was the first time since the pandemic our event was held in person at the state capitol in Albany. With many new legislators to share our concerns with, I think being together face to face made for a much more personal and positive experience.

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Suggestion for FASTER Act Implementation Concerns

While we are very happy the FASTER Act passed, implementation by food manufacturers continue to put food allergic consumers at risk. To that end, Dave Bloom of SnackSafely suggests aligning implementation requirements with developing research about the number and type of food allergens.

Suggestion for FASTER Act Implementation Concerns. FDA Issues New Draft Guidance Regarding Allergen Labeling and Cross-Contact

Displayed is partial image of allergy food label with the following text displayed over it: 'FDA Issues New Draft Guidance Regarding Food Allergen Labeling'

By Dave Bloom
2023/05/17

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new draft guidance to FDA staff yesterday regarding allergen labeling and cross-contact. Spoiler Alert: the draft does nothing to help the food allergy community.

Instead, Sec. 555.250 Major Food Allergen Labeling and Cross-contact Draft Compliance Policy Guide guidance simply reiterates regulations established under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2014 (FALCPA), the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), and the FASTER Act of 2021 that took effect in January making sesame the ninth top allergen.

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A Skin Patch Could Help Allergic Toddlers Tolerate Peanuts

A skin patch is being developed to help toddlers with peanut allergies increase their tolerance to peanuts, based on a recent clinical trial. While the patch is still in the experimental stage and not yet accessible to the public, it offers a potential solution to reduce severe reactions caused by accidental peanut consumption. In the trial, 67% of treated toddlers demonstrated improved tolerance to peanuts compared to 33.5% in the placebo group. Although the patch had some side effects, it brings hope for improved food allergy treatments in the future.

A Skin Patch Could Help Allergic Toddlers Tolerate Peanuts

A child getting peanut patch pressed onto skin on their back

By Will Sullivan
May 15, 2023

For toddlers allergic to peanuts, a new skin patch might increase their tolerance of the legume, according to the results of a late-stage clinical trial.

As the peanut patch is only experimental, it’s not clear yet when it could be available for consumers. But for parents of young children with allergies who could accidentally ingest peanuts at schools or daycares, it provides a glimpse of a less stressful future.

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Does Maternal Peanut Consumption Protect against Infant Peanut Allergies?

New research suggests that a mother's diet while breastfeeding could potentially help prevent peanut allergies in infants. Peanut allergy affects more than 2.5% of children in the U.S., but its exact cause is still unknown. The study found that when mothers consumed a moderate amount of peanuts during breastfeeding, their babies had a lower risk of developing peanut allergy. Symptoms of peanut allergy include vomiting, difficulty breathing, and hives. The study supports introducing peanut-containing foods to high-risk infants starting at 4-6 months of age, as it may promote oral tolerance to allergens.

Does Maternal Peanut Consumption Protect against Infant Peanut Allergies?

White bowl of unshelled peanuts on a tan woven reed placemat
Study: The Protective Effect of Moderate Maternal Peanut Consumption on Peanut Sensitization and Allergy. Image Credit: Ricky_herawan/Shutterstock.com

By Dr. Liji Thomas, MD
April 25, 2023

Background

The growing incidence of food allergies within the population is a cause for concern, in which research has focussed on alleviating the issue. The growing incidence of allergies is not only a physical issue but also has social and mental health implications.

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