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.
The results of a number of studies were published, shedding light on the possible causes and advances in treatments of food allergy.
- Increased risk of EoE to those that have outgrown the allergy to the same food;
- Babies May be Born with Allergies;
- Successful Desensitization for Peanut Allergy in Children;
- Researchers Improve OIT Compounds;
- Allergic Living Explores Dust Link to Peanut Allergy;
- ACAAI Study: What Your Doctor May Not Know About Allergies;
- Early Epinephrine Reduces Hospitalization for Children;
- 84% of Patients Misused Epinephrine Auto-Injectors.
Learning from Tragedies
It was another awful year of reports of people succumbing to anaphylaxis. Rather than just report the slew of horrific news, we did our best to highlight details that might prevent other such tragedies.
- Food Allergies and Summer Camp: What We Learned from the Jack Irvine Inquest;
- Woman Recovering from Coma Caused by Anaphylaxis Needs Your Help;
- Lessons to be Learned from the Connor Donaldson Inquest;
- The Holiday Hill Incident: Takeaways for Your Child’s School;
- Lessons to be learned from the William Luckett Inquest.
SnackSafely.com issued advisories regarding age-old snacks and a new series of apps.
- Much Ado About Oreos – We published information we received from Mondelez regarding the manufacture of Oreo cookies;
- Safe Snack Guide Update: Ritz and Mondelez – We pulled the majority of Mondelez products from our Safe Snack Guide after a reader reported receiving the peanut butter variety in a box of the cheese Ritz;
- Don’t Rely on ContentChecked and Wazinit apps – Our test results showed they missed important cross-contact warnings.
- FARE Removed Language from Corporate Sponsors Page after our findings regarding the dangers of the ContentChecked app and the company’s own admission that it ignores “may contain” warnings.
Legislative victories were earned in California and (hopefully) New Jersey with the passage of stock epinephrine bills, while important GMO labeling legislation failed in Vermont.
- Vermont Senate Takes Up GMO Labeling Bill;
- CA Stock Epinephrine Bill Signed into Law;
- NJ Stock Epinephrine Bill Passes State Senate on Way to Governor.
It was a terrific year for food allergy advocacy with many efforts on many fronts to bring the message and advance the cause.
- California Grass Roots Advocacy Launches – The launch of CAFA was instrumental in facilitating the passage of California’s stock epinephrine legislation;
- Take 2 Campaign – We continued our awareness campaign with a series of flyers encouraging you to “Take two epinephrine auto-injectors along every time… everywhere”;
- Restaurant’s Perspective: Safeguarding Allergic Diners is Complex – Paula Cooper of Dine Aware and her efforts to bring food allergy safety to eating establishments;
- Recommended Video: Food Allergy School Health Plans – Laurel Francoeur provides her insight into the pros and cons of 504 vs IHCPs;
- Lisa Rutter Joins FAACT – One of our favorite bloggers joins one of our favorite food allergy organizations;
- FARE Announces Grant for Promising Research – FARE provides funding for research into monoclonal antibodies;
- Help Kyle Dine Kickstart Food Allergy Awareness in Schools – Another of our favorite advocates and his successful campaign to fund food allergy educational videos.
SnackSafely.com Press Releases and Media Coverage
2014 was a wonderful year when we announced new services and initiatives and received attention from the media.
- Manufacturers Join SnackSafely.com in Drive for Greater Transparency in Food Allergen Disclosures – The announcement of our Partnership Program where we team directly with responsible manufacturers to learn more about their processes than is disclosed on the label;
- SnackSafely.com Partners with 30+ Companies to Bring You Full Disclosure of 11 Allergens – The official launch of Allergence, our service that provides you with processing information regarding 11 allergens for each product;
- Online Portal Aims to Clear Confusion on Food Allergy ‘May Contains’ – Allergic Living details Allergence;
- US News Article: Planning an Allergy-Friendly Birthday Party – From their “Eat + Run” segment, our Safe Snack Guide is referenced as an important resource;
- Going Mainstream: Gourmet News Devotes Front Page to Food Allergies – Debra Bloom, Co-Founder of SnackSafely.com tells her story;
- SnackSafely.com Program Highlighted in Food Navigator-USA Article – The spotlight is on our Manufacturer Partnership Program in this industry periodical.
- Food Manufacturers are Quietly Limiting Your Right to Sue;
- FDA is Finding Food Allergens Where They Shouldn’t Be;
- Not Goofy: Mylan Partners with Disney;
- FARE Launches Resource Center for Diners with Food Allergies.
New Year Wishes
Our sincerest thanks for spending time with us this year. We wish all our readers a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous New Year, and may 2015 be the year that brings us safe, effective treatments – or better yet – a cure for food allergy!