WIC GIVES PNB TO MOMS AND KIDS W/O WARNING OF ALLERGY RISK. LET\'S STOP THEM!

Posted on: Fri, 08/16/2002 - 1:59am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

pWIC is a program run by the USDA that provides foods high in protein and other nutrients to low income moms and young children. The WIC web site address is [url="http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/."]http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/.[/url] WIC is truly a wonderful program that has helped a lot of needy children. Unfortunately, one of the food items that WIC frequently gives away is peanut butter. To my knowledge, WIC does not provide information to participants regarding the allergy risk associated with maternal and early childhood consumption of peanuts. /p
pAfter learning about this issue from the Main Discussion Board, I sent WIC the letter that appears below. I invite all of you to write your own letters to WIC and let them know that you object to their current PNB giveaway program. If we save even just one child from developing a PN allergy, it will be well worth the effort!/p
p"To: [email]wichq-web@fns.usda.gov[/email]/p
pAs the mother of a child with a life threatening allergy to peanuts, I urge the WIC program reconsider its practice of providing peanut butter to pregnant and nursing women and to young children./p
pRecent studies indicate that peanut proteins can pass through breast milk and sensitize infants to peanuts (see Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 285, No. 13). In a recent issue of Parents magazine ([url]http://www.parents.com/articles/health/2215[/url] jsp), Hugh Sampson, M.D., the nation's leading authority on food allergies, recommends that women with a history of food or environmental allergies avoid peanuts while pregnant or nursing and that parents not give peanut products to children under the age of two or three. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the March of Dimes have made similar recommendations./p
pThe incidence of peanut allergy in the United States has increased dramatically in the past decade. WIC is contributing to this problem by promoting peanut products as a source of protein without educating women as to the risks they pose to their children. I ask that WIC either consider alternative protein sources, such as soy butter, or develop educational materials that warn women of the allergy risk posed by maternal and early childhood consumption of peanuts./p
pI look forward to your response."/p

Peanut Free Store

Posted on: Fri, 08/16/2002 - 3:28am
Sue's picture
Sue
Offline
Joined: 02/13/1999 - 09:00

oops, I posted this under the other thread before I checked this topic - so here it is again:
Our letter:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I sent this e-mail a few minutes ago - Sue
Subj: WIC and Peanuts
Date: 8/16/2002 10:10:
To: [email]wichq-web@fns.usda.gov[/email]
Copy to: senators voinovich, warner, kerry, kennedy, harkin, graham, feinstein, durbin, dorgan, dodd, conrad, collins, byrd, bingaman, biden, akaka, mccain,leahy
We are the parents of a little eight year old girl with a life threatening allergy to peanut products.
Based on the history of deaths and medical problems caused by peanut products, we urge the USDA / WIC program to reconsider its practice of providing peanut butter to pregnant and nursing women and to young children.
Recent studies indicate that peanut proteins can pass through breast milk and sensitize infants to peanuts (see Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 285, No. 13).
In a recent issue of Parents magazine ([url]http://www.parents.com/articles/health/2215.jsp[/url]), Hugh Sampson, M.D., the nation's leading authority on food allergies, recommends that women with a history of food or environmental allergies avoid peanuts while pregnant or nursing and that parents not give peanut products to children under the age of two or three. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the March of Dimes have made similar recommendations.
The incidence of peanut allergy and deaths from peanut allergies in the United States has increased dramatically in the past decade. WIC is contributing to this problem by promoting peanut products as a source of protein without educating women as to the risks they pose to their children.
We ask that WIC provide alternative protein sources, such as soy butter or SunButter (sunflower seed butter), and develope educational materials that warn women of the allergy risk posed by maternal and early childhood consumption of peanuts. Parents deserve the right to make an informed choice about the foods they eat and feed to their children.
For some people, peanut products are a matter of life and death!
We look forward to your response.
Sue in Sunny Arizona

Posted on: Tue, 08/20/2002 - 4:55am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Here is the reply from the regional WIC office. I am still waiting to here from the USDA:
I received your email regarding peanut butter in New York State WIC food
packages. I understand your concern about the increasing incidence of
peanut allergy in the United States, I too am a mother of a child with
peanut allergy.
In my reviews of recent research on food allergy and peanut allergy, the
recommendation for women with family history of atopy is to avoid peanuts
during pregnancy and breastfeeding and postpone the introduction of
peanuts
to children until age 3. I feel that this applies if the father of the
fetus has a history of atopy as well.
On a positive note, while we know that many children outgrow their allergy
to other foods (milk, eggs and fish), a recent study reported in the
British Medical Journal ( 25 April 1998;316:1271-5) indicates that
children
with peanut allergy may also have resolution to that allergy (children
ages
2 to 9 years old). Another study found that when tested at 7 years,
children whose mothers avoided milk, egg, fish and peanut butter during
pregnancy and breastfeeding had similar levels of allergy as those
children
born to mothers that consumed these foods during pregnancy and while
breastfeeding (J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995;95:1179-90.)
NYS WIC has requested additional guidance from USDA. Until further
clarification is provided from them, our WIC agencies should be assessing
the family history of allergies and prescribing legumes (dried beans/peas)
in food packages for women and children with a positive family history.
NYS WIC is unable to provide soy butter because USDA has not determined
that it is an acceptable alternate for legumes.
Thank you for contacting the NYS WIC Program.
Sincerely,
Deborah McIntosh, RD, CLC
Breastfeeding Coordinator/Public Health Nutritionist
NYS DOH - Division of Nutrition
150 Broadway 6th floor
Albany, NY 12204

Posted on: Tue, 08/20/2002 - 9:12am
Fran's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/09/1999 - 09:00

Just sent my letter. Thanks for the good work!
------------------
Stay Safe,
Fran

Posted on: Wed, 08/21/2002 - 5:30am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

FYI, here is my reply to Ms. McIntosh:
Thank you for your response to my email. I am sorry to hear that your
child is
also allergic to peanuts. I have just learned of a resource that may help
to
prevent this allergy from afflicting other children. The Food Allergy and
Anaphylaxis Network has recently published a pamphlet entitled "Preventing
or
Delaying the Onset of Food Allergies in Infants." The pamphlet helps
parents
assess their child's risk for developing a food allergy, explains how, why
and
when a child can develop a food allergy and includes the American Academy
of
Pediatrics' recommendations for introduction of food to children from
allergic
families. It can be downloaded from the FAAN web site at
[url="http://foodallergy.org/questions.html."]http://foodallergy.org/questions.html.[/url] I hope that WIC can make use of
this
pamphlet in prescribing appropriate food packages for families with a
history
of allergies.
Thank you again for your attention to this matter. Please let me know
when you
hear back from the USDA.
[This message has been edited by Colleen's Mom (edited August 21, 2002).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/30/2002 - 10:42am
Sue's picture
Sue
Offline
Joined: 02/13/1999 - 09:00

I haven't heard back from anyone yet. Anyone else write or hear anything?
Sue in Sunny Arizona

Posted on: Tue, 10/01/2002 - 6:47am
Hydns33k's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/26/2002 - 09:00

As my husband is a college student, (GRADUATES IN DECEMBER!!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] we were pretty poor and relied on WIC for assistance while I was pregnant with my son who will be two this month. They supplied us with vouchers for peanut butter, milk and cheese while I was pregnant and nursing. Of course, they provided us with no information whatsoever on peanut butter and allergies. My husband's family is chock-full of allergies. Being a vegetarian, I relied heavily on the free peanut butter and dairy products for protein. Guess what. Our son has deadly peanut and dairy allergies. Just touch sets it off. He also has egg and chocolate, though not as severe. I have been debating for months about whether or not to bring it to their attention.
Thank you for the opportunity.
Amanda

Posted on: Thu, 12/12/2002 - 2:59am
Shawn's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/07/1999 - 09:00

I was in the same boat as you, Amanda. I didn't have WIC while pregnant, but was encouraged to apply when I stopped working. Also, during my pregnancy, I was encouraged to eat lots of (vegetarian) protein, especially things like cheeses and peanut butter. I had a peanut butter sandwich and glass of milk for breakfast at least five days a week. I stopped eating peanut butter when DS was four months old, after playing the "why's the baby got colic" game.
Incidentally, there is no history of food allergies in either my or my husband's families, though environmental allergies are fairly common in mine. I just wish I had known what I know now before it was too late for my son.

Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2003 - 6:16am
usmcwife4ever's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/28/2002 - 09:00

For what it's worth, we have had to stop using the WIC program entirely since the diagnosis of our 18 month old's food allergies. They refuse to offer anything that she can consome. The only thing she could eat that is offered by wic would be the dry beans, and SOME dry cereals. She is PA, anaphylactic to eggs and milk, wheat, etc. I have informed the state WIC agency, as has the nutritionist at the Naval Hospital, that they are in direct violation of the American't with Disabilities Act, since they refuse to serve our child based on her disability, whereas she otherwise qualifies. I'm completely disgusted with the discrimination of our own government> So far, nothing has happened, and I really don't think there would be a change in the WIC program without a big lawsuit. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
(and yes, they even refused to provide vouchers to offset the cost of the foods that she can eat, and they said that the only soy that they will authorize is soy baby formula, which she cannot tolerate for some reason)
Vanessa

Forum

Click on one of the categories below to see all forum topics.

More Articles

Peanuts and peanut oil are cheap and easy additives to food and other commercial goods. It is surprising (and alarming if you have a...

School nurses in Ohio are choosing not to carry emergency epinephrine due to ambiguities in the state's new allergy laws for schools. The...

Canola Oil Is Made From Rapeseed Plant

Rapeseed oil has been used in Europe for thousands of years, mostly as an industrial oil. It is...

If you’ve recently discovered a peanut allergy in your family, you may be wondering what on earth you are going to replace those peanut butter and...

For anyone who has had a peanut allergy diagnosis, it is necessary to avoid eating peanuts entirely. However,...