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Will grocery shopping get easier? New Canadian Food Allergen Labelling Regulations

How long does it take you to do your groceries? If you are like most, you read labels very closely knowing that the slightest trace of allergen could lead to an anaphylactic reaction. With manufacturers using different labeling conventions and not necessarily claiming everything they should (allergen-wise) on labels, a short grocery list could be an hrs worth.

Do you remember the campaigns to try and change the regulations? One of the most helpful ones will be fully in effect by August 4th of this year! It is so great to know we have made it to the next stepping stone. Not to say there isn’t a lot more to advocate for, however these clearer labels are a fairly significant step in the right direction. Have a read, and share what you think!

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sara-zborovski/allergen-food-labels-canada_b_1676708.html

I will still pay attention to labels and follow up with manufacturers if I am not 100% sure, though these new labels will make it easier to quickly “weed out” the ones that aren’t the slight bit safe. :-)

 

Schools and epinephrine

The following article is a good read, which provokes the question; should schools be allowed to stock epi-pens? What are your thoughts? Please share.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/05/07/should-school-nurses-stock-epi-pens.html

I think that schools should be able to stock epi-pens because there are situations where a child may be reacting for the first time. Maybe the question becomes “how far is the school from the closest hospital?”. However in all honesty, I don’t know why there would be issues in having them on hand, “just in case”. I do not see there being any harm in having them. I think it would make staff and parents more comfortable knowing that they had an option if for some reason the allergic kid forgot their epi-pen that day, or someone went into Anaphylactic shock for the first time in their lives. There is nothing worse than being completely helpless when someone needs aid. I have had a handful of anaphylactic reactions and they can get bad REALLY fast! Without a dose of epinephrine nothing else that would have helped me.

Raising Awareness & Saving Lives

Please share this link and short news clip with friends & family, perhaps on Facebook, Twitter or email:

News Clip: http://www.wpix.com/news/morningnews/wpix-food-allergy-042612,0,7578213.story

If you have not yet heard the full story of Sabrina Shannon, you will hear a part of it in here. A mother advocates for the passing of Bill 5458a in New York. This Bill would mean that all new educators receive training on the administration of an Epipen which can even be done online. Please share and lets let our voices be heard. For Sabrina Shannon, Megan Ayotte and all other youth and adolescents who we have lost in similar circumstances as Sabrina.

Sabrina’s Law: http://www.anaphylaxis.ca/en/resources/sabrinas_law.html

Anaphylaxis Law for Quebec Schools – Megann’s Law

Parents, friends & family of allergic youth,

Similar to Sabrina’s Law ( http://www.anaphylaxis.ca/en/resources/sabrinas_law.html ) which was put in place after the tragic loss of a young girl in Ontario in 2003, there is a campaign in place to establish a similar Law in Quebec Schools to insure there are clear action plans and protocols in schools. This campaign has come about after a 6-year-old girl named Megann Ayotte Lefort suffered a fatal asthmatic and allergic reaction in Montreal, September 16,2010.

Even if we do not all live in Quebec, Canada, if we all write in, and show how important such a law is and the necessity of it, our voices will help other families and children in Quebec and one would hope that the more laws created in this country, the stronger influence we will have in creating ones closer to home and perhaps others will be created in different countries. Policy makers need to know how CRUCIAL such laws are.

Please share this link with family and friends and help us insure legislation.
Allergic Living, Anaphylaxis Canada, AQAA / Quebec Food Allergy Association, Asthma and Allergies Quebec and a few other organizations have made it simple. They have created a sample letter you can use and personalize if you don’t quite know what to write.
In English: http://allergicliving.com/petitions/quebec-schools/
Also available in French: http://allergicliving.com/petitions/ecoles-du-quebec/

If you are wanting to share this with your community, here is a campaign poster you can use; http://allergicliving.com/petitions/quebec-schools/campaign-poster.pdf

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. As an advocate in the community for allergy and asthma awareness and support, I am more than willing to answer questions or even help with writing your letter.

erika@livingwithallergies.ca

Take a stand. Take action now. Let’s make this world a safer place to live together.