Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association, April, 2016

Will April snow showers bring May flowers? Apparently daffodils have an anti-freeze substance in their stems — sure wish humans did too.

We have lots of good news to report in this month’s newsletter. First, excellent progress is being made in the state legislature in regard to the Emergency Allergy Treatment Act (details below). It has been passed by the senate and has a good chance of coming up for a vote in the assembly this spring. We would love to have your help at our Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Awareness Day in Albany on May 4th, or feel free to sign our online petition at change.org. Together we can make a real difference in saving lives!

We also report on several new ways to administer epinephrine that are being developed, as well as new research on causes of peanut allergies. And lastly, studies are showing that school epi-pen stocking legislation really is saving lives.

We thank you again for all your support and wish you a pleasant spring whenever it arrives…

Food Labeling Modernization Act to add Sesame to list of Major Food Allergens-nsltr

There are hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. that have a life-threatening sesame allergy. Because sesame is not currently considered a major allergen under federal law, it is not always listed in the ingredients on food labels. Rather, it can be hidden is such words as flavorings, natural seasonings or spices, forcing people to have to call the manufacturer to find out for sure. A recently introduced Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015 would require sesame to be placed on the list of major food allergens, leading to regulations defining how sesame must be disclosed on food labels. 

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Epi Kits for Emergency Medical Service in New York State-nsltr

Did you know that only 17 states require every ambulance to carry epinephrine? Fortunately in New York State, all ambulances carry epinephrine and are staffed with crew members who can administer the drug to patients, regardless of whether they have a prescription. But currently, only EMTs with advanced training can use the less expensive syringe and vial, forcing those with lower levels of certification to use the more expensive epi pens. Therefore each ambulance must stock both. In a groundbreaking pilot program, many emergency medical services will be using Syringe Epi Kits, where EMTs of all levels as well as paramedics can administer epinephrine using a special syringe.

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