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Advocacy and research – September 2018

Let your voice be heard! Be sure to tell the CFIA that food allergens should be clearly identified on beer products. The deadline for the consultation is next week, September 14th.

Find out how your 5-11-year-old child can participate in a peanut study. The deadline to register for the study is in 2 weeks, make sure you register soon!  Plus, discover the latest in food allergy research. You’ll learn about a new Canadian study around the underusage of epinephrine. You can also check out this month’s mythbuster on the appropriate age for allergy testing.


Advocacy: Closing next week! Help us advocate for allergen labelling on beer

Last year, many of you told the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that allergen labelling should no longer be exempt from standardized beer. This was during their initial open consultation on the proposed changes on regulations, so beer compositional standards could be updated.

The CFIA recently published their proposed amendments based on that feedback, which include new requirements for brewers to identify food allergens, gluten sources, and added sulphites for prepackaged standardized beers, ales, stouts, porters, and malt liquor.

Thanks to those of you who participated in last year’s initial consultations and for supporting our advocacy efforts for clear labelling on beer products!

Now we need your help by September 14th to ensure these changes get implemented.

Learn more.


Research: Closing on September 21st: Call for participants for a peanut allergy study for 5 to 11-year-olds

A study to look at a new investigational immunotherapy for peanut allergy is presently underway at Inflamax Research in Mississauga, Ontario.

The research team is seeking children aged 5-11 years with a peanut allergy, with no history of anaphylaxis, to participate in this study.

If your child is interested in participating, we encourage you to contact the research team directly to learn more about potential risks and benefits of this study, and to also speak with your child’s physician.

Learn more on how to participate.


Research: Epinephrine underused during anaphylaxis outside of hospital, study finds

A newly published AllerGen study reveals that less than half of adults and children who experienced a food-induced anaphylactic reaction used their epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) before being treated in a hospital. The study also details other key findings including which age category is more likely to use an EAI and the province with the lowest percentage of EAI use.

The study, led by Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at McGill University, was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice last month.

Jennifer Gerdts, our Executive Director, and one of the co-authors for this study, notes that “The [study] results underscore the need for greater awareness and education for patients and their caregivers in assessing the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and the importance of using epinephrine to treat it.”

Researchers examined 483 cases of food-induced anaphylaxis treated at nine Canadian emergency departments between 2010 and 2017. The study is part of a larger national project and database called the Cross-Canada Anaphylaxis Registry (C-CARE), which tracks the rates, triggers and management of anaphylaxis in different provinces and settings across Canada.

AllerGen is a national research network dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with allergic and related immune diseases.

Read more.


Mythbuster: There is an age requirement for allergy testing. Some children are “too young” for testing.

If a child has an allergic reaction after eating a food, they should have an allergy assessment. There is no age requirement for an allergy consultation and possible skin testing. If a child has a severe allergic reaction (called anaphylaxis), sometimes testing can be falsely negative within 6 weeks. Hence, if there was a severe allergic reaction, a delay for 6 weeks prior to skin testing may be warranted. This is different from some seasonal environmental allergy skin testing that is typically not warranted for children less than 2 years of age.

Bottom Line: There is no age requirement for allergy testing.

Help us educate your communities and share this Mythbuster with them! Stay tuned for more Mythbusters to come.

Medical content reviewed by: Dr. Julia Upton, MD, FRCP(C) Clinical Immunology and Allergy

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