Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Congressman Ro Khanna, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui introduced a resolution to raise awareness and encourage the prevention of severe food allergies. The resolution aims to bring attention to the impact that food allergies have on individuals and families, as well as restaurants, retailers, and food manufacturers, and to demonstrate Congress’s support for more research on effective prevention treatments. The resolution would also designate May 28, 2020 as the first annual “National Food Allergy Prevention Awareness Day.”
“The number of Americans living with food allergies increased 50% from 1997 to 2011 and today that number tops 32 million. We can no longer ignore the human and economic costs of food allergies,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “We must make a push to further our research for prevention, which is showing real promise even in its early stages. No one should have to live in fear that a food allergy could kill them, or someone they love.”
“Every day, millions of food allergy patients and parents continue to live in fear that an unlisted cross-contaminant or hidden ingredient could endanger their or their children’s lives,” said Congressman Ro Khanna. “With my colleagues here in Congress, I will continue to push for increased funding toward the study of food allergies and the discovery of better treatment options so that no family has to live in fear. I’m proud to support the designation of Food Allergy Prevention Awareness Day as we continue the quest for a cure for food allergies.”
“Every day, food allergy families make important decisions to protect the health and safety of their loved ones,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “When you have a life-threatening food allergy, navigating life’s daily activities requires a great deal of preparation and vigilance. By recognizing the impact food allergies have on our families and communities, and building awareness around the need for further research, Food Allergy Prevention Awareness Day will help us continue to lay the critical groundwork for developing prevention strategies, new treatments, and, eventually, a cure for food allergies.”
“FARE is incredibly energized by the leadership shown by Representatives Brownley, Matsui, and Khanna in their decision to recognize May 28, 2020 as ‘National Food Allergy Prevention Awareness Day’ and raise awareness and encourage the prevention of severe food allergies among children,” said Lisa Gable, Chief Executive Officer of FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). “With more than 32 million Americans living with potentially life-threatening food allergies, and the incidence of food allergy diagnoses on the rise, it is so important to take every opportunity to shed a light on this very serious disease and we are grateful to see this support from Congress.”
The number of Americans with food allergies has been increasing substantially over recent decades. These allergies can significantly affect an individual’s quality of life and how he or she interacts with the world. Allergies can even be life-threatening. The cost of food allergies to American families annually is $25 billion, not counting costs to businesses that seek to accommodate individuals with food allergies. The cost of labelling, liability, manufacturing accommodations, and preventative measures taken by companies, schools, and other organizations across the nation is enormous.
Recent scientific research has begun showing promising signs of ways to prevent infants from ever developing food allergies in the first place. Studies about peanut allergies, a particularly deadly allergy for many, have shown that early introduction of peanuts when a baby is around four to six months can reduce the chance of developing an allergy, depending on the baby’s risk factors. While more research is needed, these early results are a positive sign of potential future breakthroughs in preventing food allergies that could improve the lives of millions of Americans and potentially reduce costs for American businesses.
Read more about the bill, here.
Issues: 116th Congress