Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Five Steps Forward for Food Allergy"

Food Allergy Awareness Week is this week and The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) unveiled the advocacy initiative I mentioned yesterday.

It's called "Five Steps Forward for Food Allergy".

1. School Guidelines: The development of guidelines for assuring the safety of food-allergic children in school is necessary to keep the 2.2-million school-age children with food allergies safe. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (S. 1232/H.R. 2063) calls for these guidelines to be developed, and the House of Representatives has already passed this legislation. Therefore, the Senate should move swiftly to pass the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act.

2. Food Allergy Information: There is a critical need for enhanced public information on food allergy, such as an information clearinghouse to provide guidance to the public and health care professionals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should create a National Information Center on Food Allergies.

3. Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergies: Currently, there is no consistent agreement on how to identify and treat food allergy reactions. Too often, patients go from physician to physician seeking a diagnosis and receive incomplete information and guidance on allergen avoidance, the severity of the disease, and the need to carry epinephrine at all times. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases should move forward with the development of food allergy diagnosis and management guidelines and work with private-sector organizations to assure broad distribution to health care professionals.

4. Research: Expanded research on food allergy and anaphylaxis is necessary to understand why the prevalence of food allergy is increasing, as well as how to prevent and treat food allergies. Congress should increase funding for food allergy research by $50 million over the next five years. Annual increases of $10 million each year for five years should be invested in basic and clinical research on food allergy and anaphylaxis, as recommended by the NIH Expert Panel on Food Allergy Research.

5. Improved Allergen Labeling: Since strict avoidance of food allergens is the only way to prevent a reaction, food-allergic consumers are heavily reliant on the information presented to them on food labels. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 improved some facets of allergen labeling, but the new law did not regulate the use of precautionary allergen statements, ranging from "May Contain" to "Processed in a Facility" to "Made on Shared Equipment." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should move to regulate the wording, use, and definition of precautionary allergen statements to further improve allergen labeling.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: