E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

October 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 7:00 p.m. Facebook Watch Party. (FREE)

Put on your Halloween costume and join the fun at our annual Allergy Action Awards. We'll honor the great work of Jared Saiontz and Dr. Shahzad Mustafah in the allergy advocacy and research. You'll also get some tips on Halloween tricks.

Our generous sponsors and donors have contributed some fun items for your bidding pleasure in our online silent auction.

Learn More

Epi Near You New York Goes Virtual

Wednesday, October 27, 12:00, Webinar, FREE

Until we can gather again in person, Epi Near You New York, our long running, New York State approved training program continues virtually. Your speakers will be Sandy Glantz, MSN FNP, retired, and our own Jon Terry. You'll learn to recognize what an anaphylaxis emergency looks like and how to administer epinephrine. Participants will receive a state recognized certification of completion. Non-profit organizations can also receive assistance to purchase a non-patient-specific prescription for emergency epinephrine to keep on hand.

Find out more and register

Amidst the lovely autumn foliage of Indian Summer, both kids and the young at heart are looking forward to Halloween. If your children have severe food allergies, it can be a time of heightened concerns for your family. Our association suggests joining the national Teal Pumpkin Project this year, sponsored by our friends at FARE.

By placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep, you show food allergic families you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions. Simply buy a fake teal pumpkin or paint one, and avoid giving out candy with nuts or milk ingredients.

Check here for the details.

Stay safe and healthy! Best wishes to one and all! Jon Terry

Gala Will Honor 2020 Action Awards Winners

Every year the Allergy Advocacy Association Action Awards honor individuals that personify our program of Awareness, Alertness and Action.

Gala Will Honor 2020 Action Awards Winners

Jared Saiontz (on right) with his mother Stacey
Jared Saiontz (r.) with his mother Stacey
S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD
Dr. S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD

Jared Saiontz and S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD win awards

By Jon Terry
October 15th, 2020

"Activists need to be change agents," says William Moyer, a founding member of the Movement for a New Society. "They work to educate, organize, and involve the general public to actively seek positive, constructive solutions to difficult problems."

The Allergy Advocacy Association plays an active role supporting change agents through our program of awareness, alertness and action. Our annual Action Awards recognize activists who are change agents throughout our community.

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Study: Anaphylaxis Spikes During Halloween and Easter

Study: Anaphylaxis Spikes During Halloween and Easter

Dave Bloom at SnackSafely.com regularly provides timely information to families with life-threatening food allergies.

Pumpkin with Easter Bunny Carving

By Dave Bloom
October 1st, 2020

A study published on September 21st, 2020 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal determined that anaphylaxis in children spikes during Halloween and Easter and that for tree nuts, most cases occurred in children that were previously undiagnosed.

Co-authors Dr. Melanie Leung and Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan provided the rationale for conducting the study:

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Advocacy Update: FDA Moves Forward on Sesame Labeling

This year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made important decisions affecting all Americans. Improving all package labelling to better informing consumers about food allergens is a major priority for our association.

Advocacy Update: FDA Moves Forward on Sesame Labeling

logo-U.S. Food and Drug Administration
logo-Kids With Food Allergies

Kids With Food Allergies**

On Oct. 5, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent proposed guidance “Voluntary Disclosure of Sesame as an Allergen: Guidance for Industry” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. While this voluntary guidance falls short of the mandatory sesame allergen labeling that we have been advocating for, we feel it is a promising step in the right direction. This is a result of the FDA’s 2018 request for comments from the public on sesame allergy and their review of those comments from the food allergy community.

There are two ways to accomplish our shared goal of getting sesame labeled as an allergen in foods – through FDA regulation and through congressional legislation.

The FDA has regulatory authority to designate foods as major allergens under the existing Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)* has encouraged the FDA to use this regulatory authority to declare sesame as a major allergen since 2014. In the summer of 2018, we met with the labeling team at the FDA to share your stories about the challenges of managing a sesame allergy, and we have continued to follow up with them over the past two years.

Congress can pass legislation that would require the current law to be updated to add sesame as a major allergen. The FASTER Act (H.R. 2117) would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collect more information on the prevalence of food allergies for specific allergens in the U.S. This act would also expand the definition of major allergens to include sesame. It would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the economic costs of food allergies in the U.S. AAFA joined with other food allergy organizations to support this bill.

We will continue to watch the regulatory process and keep you updated. We look forward to continuing to work with the FDA to achieve mandatory labeling of sesame as an allergen through regulation. We will also continue to pursue legislative action through the FASTER Act.

**Kids With Food Allergies is a division of AAFA.

U.S. House of Representatives Passes H.R. 2468

After many months of activism and advocacy, important legislation is progressing through the US Congress helping central schools across America better protect and support students at risk for dangerous allergic reactions.

U.S. House of Representatives Passes H.R. 2468

Four School Kids in Class

October 10th, 2020

Allergy & Asthma Network today applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act, H.R. 2468 — but our work is not done!

The legislation, long a priority for Allergy & Asthma Network and a host of health and patient organizations, now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration. The Network will continue its advocacy efforts, urging passage of the bill before the end of the year so it becomes law.

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