NEW YORK, Aug. 16 The Food Allergy Initiative(FAI) announced today that Governor Eliot Spitzer has signed into law theAllergy & Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2007 (AAMA; A.4051), landmarklegislation that will help protect New York schoolchildren who suffer fromlife-threatening food allergies. The full text can be viewed athttp://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A04051.
The new law requires the New York State Commissioner of Health to developmodel state guidelines to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis (apotentially fatal allergic reaction) in schools. All New York schools mustreceive the guidelines by June 30, 2008. Though the AAMA calls for schools todevelop policies based on the guidelines, it provides flexibility for eachschool to create a policy consistent with its unique environment and culture.
"This vital legislation will save lives," said Robert Pacenza, ExecutiveDirector, FAI. "If a food-allergic child accidentally ingests even aminiscule trace of the wrong food, it can trigger a reaction that can killwithin minutes. The AAMA will provide New York parents and schools withsensible guidelines to help keep these kids safe. FAI is proud to have beenthe organizing force behind this effort."
During the past year, FAI led a coalition of food allergy support groupsand parents across New York State to achieve the passage of the AAMA. In themonths ahead, the organization plans to consult with the Commissioner ofHealth and other interested parties to create the new food allergy guidelines.FAI expresses its appreciation to Governor Spitzer and to Senator SerphinMaltese (R-Long Island) and Assemblyman Jose Rivera (D-Bronx), who championedthe bill in the New York State Assembly.
About Food Allergies
Food allergy is a major public health concern, affecting more than 11million Americans -- at least 6% of children under age 3, and 3-4% of theadult population. In particular, the number of children with peanut allergydoubled from 1997-2002. Every year, at least 150 people die from foodallergy, and severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) account for more than30,000 emergency room visits. There is no cure, and no therapy to preventanaphylaxis -- only emergency treatment with epinephrine to control a reactionthat is already in progress.
Established in 1998 by concerned parents and grandparents, the FoodAllergy Initiative supports research to find a cure for life-threatening foodallergies, clinical activities to identify and treat those at risk, publicpolicy to make the world safer for those afflicted, and educational programsto make the hospitality industry, schools, day care centers and camps safer.FAI is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization supported solely by individual,foundation, and corporate contributions. For more information, call212-207-1974 or visit http://www.FoodAllergyInitiative.org.
SOURCE Food Allergy Initiative