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Advocacy and Research – December 2017

Learn more about our advocacy for improved “may contain” food labelling guidelines, and participate in two research studies before they close this month!

Plus, read our interview with two of the authors of a study that suggests eating peanut while breastfeeding may help protect against peanut allergy.


Advocating for improved “may contain” food labelling guidance

Significant progress has been made in managing common food allergens through enhanced food labelling in Canada. However, clear guidance is still lacking on the use of allergen precautionary statements (i.e. “may contain” statements) which are currently voluntary statements added to packaging at the discretion of the manufacturer.

Food Allergy Canada, together with AllerGen (Allergy, Genes and Environment Network) and Université Laval, invited key stakeholders to a Food Allergy Roundtable meeting on November 28, 2017 in Toronto.

The objective of this roundtable was to discuss the next steps in developing improved labelling practices for allergen management, including the development and use of thresholds in allergen risk management, with representatives from Canada’s food regulators, the food industry, consumers, and clinicians.

Throughout the day, there were interesting and informative discussions about the current challenges faced by various stakeholders in managing risk and the use of precautionary statements, as well as the associated quality management practices in food manufacturing. Representatives from each sector had the opportunity to share their perspectives on the challenges with respect to allergen risk management and to weigh in on potential future approaches for enhanced guidance to industry.

We are excited by this first step and will keep you informed about our progress on this issue!


Closes December 31 – Call for participants: The START Twin Study

If you are a parent of a twin or twins with food allergy or are an adult twin with food allergy, you are invited to participate in a study that began last year called START (Susceptibility To Food Allergy in a Registry of Twins).

Participation will involve:

  • Completing a secure online questionnaire related to food allergy, the environmental and medical aspects of the early experiences of each twin, and their past and present diets. It should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
  • Providing a small saliva sample from each twin and medical confirmation of food allergies to help the researchers understand how genetic and environmental factors interact with food allergies.

Learn more about the details of this study and how to participate.


Closes December 15 – Call for participants: A study on coping with food allergy

If you are a parent of a child with food allergy, you are invited to participate in a study on coping with food allergy.

Participation will involve completing a secure, online questionnaire related to coping with food allergy, with questions about how well you deal with uncertainty, worries you have about your child’s food allergy, coping with having a child with food allergy, as well as basic demographic questions.

Learn more and participate in the survey.


Study suggests that eating peanut while breastfeeding may help protect against peanut allergy in children

A new study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) in September 2017, indicates that infants whose mothers ate peanut while breastfeeding, and who were introduced to peanut by 12 months, may have a lower risk of developing a peanut allergy later in childhood.

Led by researchers at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba, the study found that the lowest rate of peanut sensitization was among children whose mothers ate peanut while breastfeeding and directly introduced peanut before 12 months.

Read our interview with Dr. Meghan Azad and Dr. Tracy Pitt, two of the authors of this study.