Press Release: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis NetWork

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Press Release Source: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network

20-Year Struggle Will End With Passage of Food Allergy Bill; Munoz-Furlong's Sick Child Provided Motivation Thursday July 15, 5:06 am ET

FAIRFAX, Va., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A 20-year struggle will end with the passage of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. When her second child was born, Anne Munoz-Furlong spent endless hours worrying about why her daughter broke out in rashes and cried endlessly after eating. She discovered that her daughter had food allergies and a 20-year crusade for proper education and legislation began. Munoz-Furlong learned, like millions of Americans with food allergies, that understanding the scientific jargon of food labels can be a matter of life or death.

ADVERTISEMENT Munoz-Furlong, Founder and CEO of The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) [url="http://www.foodallergy.org,"]http://www.foodallergy.org,[/url] has long been a leading advocate for the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act that was passed by The Senate and expected passage by the House of Representatives in the fall of 2004. As FAAN's CEO, she has spent the last 13 years working to bring together the medical community, the food industry and members of Congress to understand the importance of clear and consistent labels for the 11 million Americans with food allergies.

"I am ecstatic that those with food allergies can now be confident that what's on the label is what's in the package. Labels will now be written for consumers, not scientists," said Munoz-Furlong. "This bill is the first step to simplify ingredient statements and to make them reliable, consistent, and easy to read and understand, for family members who spend hours at the grocery store reading hundreds of labels in order to keep family members safe."

The bill (FALCPA, HR3684) will ensure that ingredient labels provide clear information about contents containing major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans. FALCPA will also require food labels to indicate the presence of major food allergens in spices, flavorings, additives and colorings.

Munoz-Furlong helped craft the Voluntary Food Allergen Labeling Guidelines published in 2001 by the Food Allergy Issues Alliance. These Guidelines became the model for FALCPA which will now require food manufacturers to provide common language on labels. In 1999, she met with Representative Nita Lowey who since then has worked to make FALCPA a reality.

The lack of practical, scientifically-accurate information about food allergies made Munoz-Furlong determined to create a clearinghouse for such information.

In the years since its founding, FAAN has become the national and international leader in raising public awareness of food allergies and anaphylaxis, in providing accurate information about food allergy, and advocating for those families affected by the condition. FAAN has grown to more than 26,000 members.

She has spoken nationally and internationally on the work of FAAN and the patient's perspective to the food industry, schools, health professionals, and government organizations. To help others in other countries start up patient advocacy groups, she founded the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance, an international group with member organizations in eight countries.

Source: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network

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