“May Contain” Statements

Anaphylaxis Canada just shared a new poll

“Do you / does your child eat products with a “may contain (allergen)” statement?” .Answer the poll, and see what others had to say

XXI World Congress of Asthma is around the corner!

I am very excited to be attending thanks to Allergen NCE. There is a little more information on their website now about the topics that will be discussed and the FINAL Program is also up!

Looking through the numerous sessions, titles and keynotes & speakers has been extremely inspiring, as my primary concerns and interest lie in why asthma is on the rise, and, how to manage asthma in the work place or school. It is one thing to have a home that is clear of mold and dust and is controlled, however I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with alternate environments which have multiple triggers that are beyond my control.

Over the next few days, I will be looking through the program and trying to figure out which sessions I will be attending! It’s like looking at a menu! Hopefully I will be seeing some of you there!

BTW, I can’t seem to find abstracts yet either…

:)

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. :-)

 

Brands you trust & new products

I’m sure I am not the only one who has seen and dealt with brands you once trusted adding new “non allergy-friendly” products to their line. Today when we went for groceries, I noticed a brand that I had bought products from in the past now made a product with peanuts. My plan of action is now to go back to the company and check on their policies and such to see whether this is going to affect the things I buy on a regular basis. Perhaps the company has segmented the products they make with nuts and other allergens. Maybe they have 2 different factories or product lines… Won’t know until I give them a call.

This begs the question; “how do I know for sure a manufacturer hasn’t changed their process or added products that affect my trust in their brand and their safe products?” Answer is… I don’t, unless of course I am calling and contacting them on a regular basis. Is there a solution to this? Is there a way we can be kept “in the loop”?

All I can say is that I am sure happy that right now only a few things I buy are from the middle isles at the grocery store, which alleviates a whole lot of this concern I have about changing products and labels. It is sooo much less stressful cooking from scratch and knowing EXACTLY what I am putting in my food. Tonight was no exception to that rule.

Fresh rosemary from the garden, veggies from the local market and some free range antibiotic free chicken ended up as a Lemon-Rosemary chicken with steamed vegetables and rice. And I didn’t have to worry about a single label! Now that’s the way to do it. :-)

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.

Allergy food labels and warnings

As you may already know, there is a lot of discussion in the news about food labels and warnings for any of the common allergens. What are your thoughts? Here are a few of mine…

In my mind, moving to ONE phrase for every manufacture would be ideal.
There are soooo many different labels out there and the wording of these can go from extremely simple; “contains milk ingredients” to “strict manufacturing processes have been used to segregate … “at
It would be so nice to see all products having the same label AND I also believe the warning should be at the same place on all labels. Sometimes the warning is nowhere near the list of ingredients and can be small and easily missed.

What are your thoughts?