Congress has recognized the growing concern of the food allergy epidemic that is affecting as many as 32 million Americans, 6 million of those being children. California’s state representative Doris Matsui, a passionate food allergy advocate, has proposed the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER Act) to improve well-being and safety, health, and inclusion for the many Americans living with food allergies.
With there being no cure or even treatment, food allergies are growing issues of concern and critical to public safety. Currently, avoidance and epinephrine are the only posed options to combatting allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, and even death. Every 3 minutes an individual experience an allergic reaction, and statistically there are roughly 200,000 people who require emergency medical care each year.
The FASTER Act (H.R. 2117) is significant in that it will jumpstart the needed research for therapy treatments and a possible cure. Additionally, the bill will:
- Provide the Centers for Disease Control with adequate funding to collect comprehensive information about who has food allergies, specifically which kind they have, and the types of food allergies that occur most frequently
- Require the National Institute of Health (NIH) to estimate the burden and impact on the economy due to food allergy care and incidences.
- Update food allergen labeling laws under the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) to include sesame as well as any other new allergens that emerge from conducted research
The Food Allergy Research & Education Department (FARE) has been vigilant in their efforts of advocating alongside food allergy researchers, and those in the community for change in legislation and policies. Chop Friendly is excited to the apart of the catalyst for change as community leaders in policies regarding food allergies and our government.
Stay tuned to read how Chop Friendly Joins the Courage at Congress and petition Alabama’s state legislature to play its part in food allergy laws!