Posts by: Dave

MI reaction

A common preservative used in baby wipes, named “allergen of the year” in 2013 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society, can now be found in a popular mouthwash.

The New York Times ran an article on methylisothiazolinone (MI), a preservative that deters the growth of bacteria but can cause severe rashes and skin irritations in people who are allergic to it. A European consumer safety group warns that MI should only be used in rinse-off products because there are “no safe concentrations” for leave-on products.

In spite of the warnings and a trend by personal product manufacturers to remove MI from products like baby wipes and lotions, Colgate-Palmolive uses MI in its Colgate Total Lasting White mouthwash.

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fda

Last November, Adams Flavors, Foods and Ingredients – a Texas-based company – issued a voluntary recall of a number of their spices due to peanut-contaminated cumin. Since then, the problem has escalated into the largest series of allergen recalls since the U.S. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) took effect in 2006.

Hundreds of thousands of seasoned beef, poultry and pork products have been pulled from the market, and hundreds of products from many companies have been recalled.

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niaid

A study by researchers of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), may shed light on why women suffer more frequent and more severe instances of anaphylaxis than men.

Anaphylaxis – a life threatening allergic reaction triggered by foods, medication, and animal stings and bites – occurs when immune cells release enzymes that cause tissues to swell and blood vessels to widen. Clinical studies have shown that women experience anaphylaxis more often than men, though the mechanism for this has not been clearly understood.

NIAID researchers found that female mice experienced more severe and longer lasting anaphylactic reactions than males. They discovered that Estradiol – a type of estrogen – enhances the effect of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), an enzyme that causes a number of symptoms of anaphylaxis.

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Pretzel!

We are pleased to announce the addition of two new members to our Manufacturer Partnership Program whose products now appear in the Safe Snack Guide as well as Allergence:

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Now that the end of year craziness is over, it’s a great time to share New Year’s resolutions with teachers, school nurses and administrators regarding your child’s food allergies. Feel free to share this list with them as a reminder of their critical role in ensuring your child’s safety.

New Year Baby Teacher

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No doubt you’ve already broken a New Year’s resolution or two if you’re like us. (Though we do vow to get to the gym more often… eventually. No, really!)

Here’s our New Year’s resolution list for parents and caretakers of children with food allergies. These are much too important to break, and we hope you’ll join us in resolving to make 2015 a safe and happy year – with no mention of “child” and “anaphylaxis” in the same headline!

Parent's New Years Resolutions

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As we prepare to retire yet another empty calendar from the wall, we’re taking time to pause and reflect back on 2014. Here’s a selection of the top stories we brought you over the course of an eventful year filled with hope and loss.

Studies

The results of a number of studies were published, shedding light on the possible causes and advances in treatments of food allergy.

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Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) issued a press release on Thursday, entitled “Food Allergy Research & Education Statement Concerning Use of Third Party Technology for Management of Food Allergies.” It’s an important statement, well worth the read. In it FARE explains their policy, urging the public to always check the label even when using third party apps and services. We agree.

But in this release, FARE also states:

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nj-seal

The New Jersey stock epinephrine bill designated S801/A304 was passed unanimously by the state senate yesterday with a vote of 37-0, and unanimously reaffirmed by the state assembly with a vote of 68-0. The bill now goes on to Governor Chris Christie for his signature and passage into law.

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After learning the results of tests performed by SnackSafely.com and the subsequent admission by ContentChecked that their app ignores “may contain” and other cross-contact warnings, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has altered the Corporate Partners page on their website. The advocacy no longer displays language that could be construed as a tacit approval of ContentChecked, replacing it with a general disclaimer that “FARE does not review, test, sponsor, endorse or recommend any products or services that may appear on our website.

SnackSafely.com continues efforts to reach users of ContentChecked who may be relying on the app to determine the allergy content of foods. In tests, ContentChecked declared a series of common food products “free from peanuts” despite clearly visible “may contain peanuts” warnings on their labels. Users relying on the app put themselves and their children at risk of adverse reactions and anaphylaxis.

The company has so far ignored calls by SnackSafely.com to remove their app from the marketplace until its deficiencies are addressed, instead continuing to advertise that “you can feel confident when you are shopping with ContentChecked.”

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