Food Allergy

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A famous French political thinker once said that the public would rather believe a simple lie than a complex truth. The truth behind genetic engineering is extremely complex. It has been used for decades, but it is only in the last ten years that neurotoxins have been engineered into our food supply. No one has studied the long term health implications of children consuming foods containing neurotoxins, novel proteins and allergens.
Though to look back over the last ten years, you quickly remember that ten years ago, we didnąt have to worry about sending a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into school with our children; we didnąt have to medicate our eight year olds to get them through the school day; and the movie, Rain Man, was all we knew of autism. Today, at least 1 out of every 17 children under the age of three has a food allergy with at least 5 million American children suffering from this condition (though these statistics underestimate the problem since they are from 2002, over five years old). Autism, diabetes and obesity are often referred to as American epidemics. So what has changed? In 1996, the United States adopted widespread use of genetically modified crops due to growing public concern over the health risks associated with the industrial spraying of insecticidal and pesiticidal toxins.
In an effort to reduce the spraying of these toxins, scientists began using biotechnology to engineer these pesticides and insecticides into the plants themselves. As these ingredients were introduced around the world ten years ago, government agencies in Europe, Asia, Australia, Japan, Russia and 45 developed countries required them to be listed on food labels, so that consumers could make informed choices when it came to feeding their families. In the United States, our regulatory agencies do not require these genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled. So, unlike other developed countries, we have not been informed that almost 70% of our corn, 90% of our soy and 75% of our processed food now contain neurotoxins, novel proteins and allergens. Today one out of every three children suffers from allergies, asthma, autism or ADHD. It appears that we have unknowingly and without informed consent engaged our children in one of the largest human trials in history. Ten years into this human trial, our children are trying to tell us something. Shouldn't we listen? 10 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Family: 1) Reduce your family's exposure to processed foods 2) Eat food with ingredients that your grandmother would have used 3) Purchase organic eggs, as they are not from chickens fed corn engineered to produce its own insecticides 4) Cook with olive oil instead of butter, margarine or vegetable oil 5) Avoid conventional soy and corn products (vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup) since most are genetically engineered 6) Look for meat and poultry that not injected with antibiotics and additional hormones 7) As recommended by the British Dietetic Association, avoid exposing infants under the age of 12 months to conventional soy 8) Consume organic foods for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in order to reduce your exposure to pesticides (recently linked to autism and gestational diabetes) 9) Look for "rBGH-free" milk. rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is a genetically engineered, synthetic chemical hormone that is not allowed in milk in most developed countries given its link to breast and prostate cancers 10) When discussing vaccines with your child's pediatrician, especially vaccines grown in eggs, request the informational leaflets that accompany the vaccines as they discuss autoimmune conditions like food allergies in detail

"Contact your government representative and highlight how the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act has a loophole that fails to address these hidden allergens that are now found in approximately 70 percent of processed foods (these hidden allergens are found in vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, soy lectin, soybean oil, corn starch and other soy and corn derivatives used by the United States food industry. "  CLICK HERE TO VOICE YOUR OPINION!

Food allergies: One bite can be deadly

Story Highlights
-Among allergy deaths studied, most were teenagers or young adults 
- They either didn't ask for ingredient information or got incorrect, incomplete info
- More than 80 percent of deaths were caused by peanuts or tree nuts
By Sharona Schwartz
CNN News

Caryl Schivley says her son, Brenton, was always very careful about what he ate -- until last September 1, when he was at a friend's house and took a cookie from a bowl on the kitchen table.

"He took a bite of the cookie and he said to his friend, 'I shouldn't have eaten that,'" said his mother. Severely allergic to peanuts, the 16-year-old from western Massachusetts made the dire mistake of not asking about the ingredients. Within minutes he developed a severe allergic reaction to the cookie, which contained peanuts.

Within an hour, he was dead.

"He should have asked [about the ingredients] but he didn't," Caryl Schivley said.

A new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests Brenton's case may not be unique. Researchers analyzed 31 allergy deaths, finding most who died from food-related reactions were teenagers or young adults and were away from home when they ate the item that killed them. (Interactive: Living with food allergies)

"We were surprised that so few people had gotten correct information about ingredients in restaurant settings, which accounted for about half of these fatal reactions," said study author Anne Muńoz-Furlong, founder and CEO of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, a nonprofit advocacy and education group. "The individuals either did not ask about ingredient information -- and assumed the food was safe -- or the restaurant staff gave them incorrect or incomplete information." (Kids and food allergies )

An estimated 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies, and about 150 die every year.

The new study was conducted by researchers at Furlong's organization, National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Of those who died after accidentally eating the food to which they were allergic, 58 percent were between the ages of 13 and 30. Of the 31 people the study examined, 68 percent had eaten outside of their home, for example at a restaurant, school cafeteria or the home of friends. More than 80 percent of the deaths were caused by peanuts or tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews and pecans. The study also documented four milk-allergic individuals who died after accidental exposure to a dairy containing product and two who had eaten shrimp.

In a food allergy -- unlike intolerance -- the immune system mistakenly identifies a food as being dangerous and reacts acutely against it.

Experts say those with severe food allergies should always carry self-injectable epinephrine, a form of adrenaline usually carried in a small device called an Epipen, in case of accidental ingestion of an offending food. However, the study found that the majority of those who died did not have epinephrine administered in a timely manner.

After eating the cookie, Brenton took an over-the-counter antihistamine but that didn't help. His mother said the Epipen that Brenton normally carried in his backpack was not with him.

Knowing he was in danger, Brenton called his mom. She raced to him with his injectable epinephrine within four minutes, but she estimates at least half an hour had elapsed since he had eaten the cookie. He had collapsed on the sidewalk by the time she was able to administer the epinephrine. "We called the ambulance and they could never revive him," his mom said.

The "sooner these reactions can be treated with epinephrine, the more likely you are to have a good outcome," said Dr. Hugh Sampson, director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a study co-author.

Sampson likens an allergic reaction to a "snowball coming down a mountain." At the top of mountain it's small "but by the time it gets to the bottom of the mountain it becomes huge."

For those with food allergies, vigilance about food preparation is essential to staying safe. "The extra challenge for teens with food allergies is that they need to be careful about every food that goes into their mouth or into the mouth of someone they're going to kiss and yet the driving force for teens is to be like everyone else and to be very social," Muńoz-Furlong said. "When they're younger, parents are more involved" in their children's daily activities, says Brenton's mother, Caryl Schivley. But as teenagers, "they don't want to make a spectacle of themselves."

Most of those who died that the new study documented had asthma in addition to their food allergy.

The study found that many who died had not needed prescribed medication for previous reactions. Some did not even know that food-induced allergic reactions could be fatal.

The research team in 2001 reported on a previous group of 32 individuals who had died because of food-induced anaphylaxis, and reviewed medical literature in the United States and internationally in order to try to determine the similarities or differences in the factors that led to the fatalities.

"What was most heartbreaking," said Muńoz-Furlong, "is that the story repeats itself over and over again and the fact that these deaths are preventable."

Sharona Schwartz is a senior producer in CNN's Washington bureau.
-May 17, 2007

provided by The Arizona Republic Newspaper



Company:  Mead Johnson Nutritionals 

Brand:  Enfamin 

Type:  Both powder, and liquid 

Description:  "Nutramigen Lipil, a blend of DHA and ARA-Nutrients found in breasts milk" 

Quotes from Label:  "Hypoallergenic Infant Formula"  "easy to digest for baby's first 12 months” Iron Fortified"  "Powder"  "CONTAINS HYDROLYZED PROTEIN PROVEN EFFECTIVE FOR COLIC DUE TO COW'S MILK ALLERGY" 

PROBLEM:  This baby formula is supposed to be safe for babies that have COLIC.  What is COLIC?  COLIC is "a paroxysm of acute abdominal pain localized in a hollow organ and caused by spasm, obstruction, or twisting".  In my opinion, one of the reasons a baby has COLIC, is because of the MILK protein CASEIN, which the baby digests.  Now, if this formula is " 'PROVEN' effective for COLIC, then why did I read the Ingredients label, and find CASEIN!!!?? 

Solution:  Don't always depend on the label, when it says that it is milk free, egg free, wheat free, etc.  Always, read the ingredient label, because in this case, there WAS a milk protein in the ingredient listings, even though the label said that it was PROVEN EFFECTIVE FOR COLIC DUE TO COW'S MILK ALLERGY.  An allergy can be caused by a protein.  So remember-Read The Labels!



+Did you know your food was genetically altered?


By Linda A Johnson Associated Press


“TRENTON, N.J. - Can ani­mal genes be jammed into plants? Would tomatoes with catfish genes taste fishy? Have you ever eaten a genetically modified food?

The answers are: yes, no and almost definitely. But accord­ing to a survey, most Ameri­cans couldn't answer correctly even though they've been eat­ing genetically modified foods - unlabeled - for nearly a decade.

"It's just not on the radar screen," said William Hallman, associate director of the Food Biotechnology Program at the Rutgers' Food Policy Institute, which conducted the survey.

Today, roughly 75 percent of U.S. processed foods - boxed cereals, other grain products, frozen dinners, cooking oils and more - contain some genetically modified, or GM, ingredients, said Stephanie Childs of the Grocery Manufacturers of America.

Despite dire warnings about "Frankenfoods," there have been no reports of illness from these products of biotechnol­ogy. Critics note there's no sys­tem for reporting allergies or other reactions to GM foods.

  Nearly every product with a corn or soy ingredient, and some containing canola or cot­tonseed oil, has a GM element, according to the grocery manu­facturers group.

In the Rutgers survey, less than half of the people inter­viewed were aware GM foods are sold in supermarkets. More than half wrongly believed su­permarket chicken has been genetically modified.

So far, non-processed meat, poultry, fish and dairy products, and fruits and vegetables (both fresh and frozen) are not genetically modified.

GM food first hit supermar­kets in 1994, with the highly they touted Flavr Savr tomato, altered to give it a longer shelf ­life and better flavor.  It flopped, in part due to disappointing taste, Childs said.  Genetic modification involves transferring genes from a plant or animal into a plant.  Nearly all GM changes so far are to boost yields and deter insects and viruses, cutting the use of pesticides, thus making farming more productive and affordable.

More than 80 percent of the soy and 40 percent of the corn raised in this country is GM.  Global plantings of biotech crops, mostly corn and soybeans and much of it for animal feed, grew to about 200 million acres' last year, about two ­thirds in the United States.  Experts say within several years there will be new GM foods with taste and nutrition improvements: cooking oils with less trans fat, tastier potatoes and peanuts that don't trigger allergies.            .

At North Carolina State Uni­versity, one or the biggest U.S. plant breeding programs, sci­entists are developing drought ­tolerant wheat and are a couple of years from field testing GM peanuts that' have no life ­threatening allergens, said Ste­ven Leath, associate dean for health research.

At Rutgers University's ag­ricultural college, plant biolo­gy Professor Nilgun Thmer and colleagues modified potatoes to better keep their flavor when processed as french fries and to limit browning when sliced, but she said farmers haven't adopted the new varie­ties. Now her team is trying to give tomatoes a gene to make a compound that helps prevent cancer and osteoporosis.

Lisa' Lorenzen, a liaison to the biotech industry at Iowa State University, said most Americans haven't worried about GM foods because they trust the regulatory system.  She said many Europeans oppose GM foods because they don't trust governments that wrongly insisted for years that the beef supply, tainted by mad-cow disease, was safe.  Opponents say genetically modified foods could cause allergic or toxic reactions and harm the environment.

On Tuesday, a Swiss biotech company said it mistakenly sold U.S. farmers an experimental, unapproved GM corn seed, and tons of the resulting corn was sold from 2001 to 2004.  U.S. government agencies say there was no health risk.”             - The Arizona Republic


Belief that GM food required to be labeled in the U.S.:

Yes- 28%


Unsure- 40%


Belief that GM crops are tested for human safety:

YES- 29%


Unsure- 59%


Belief GM crops are tested for environmental safety:

YES- 23%

No- 14%

Unsure- 63%

Source: Food Policy Institute at Rutgers University

For Immediate Release
President Bush signs Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act
Historic day for the 11 Millions Americans with food allergies
FAIRFAX, Va., August 03, 2004--President George Bush has signed new food labeling legislation that will provide clear, consistent and reliable ingredient label information--an essential first line of defense for the 11 million of Americans who have food allergies, according to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). The new labeling bill will ensure that all allergens are disclosed and the ingredient terms are understandable to the average consumer and not just scientists.
The bill, which will take effect January 1, 2006, is referred to as The Food Allergen and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) and is included as Title II of Senate Bill 741.
"This is an historic piece of legislation for the millions of Americans with food allergies. After 13 years of working collaboratively with the food industry, medical community and members of Congress, we are assured what is on the label is in the package ," said Anne Muńoz-Furlong, CEO & Founder of FAAN, a patient advocacy group ( "The legislation takes the guesswork out of all the different scientific references for simple names like milk and egg."
The legislation will require food manufacturers to identify, in plain, common language, the presence of any of the eight major food allergens (milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy).
FALCPA also requires food labels to indicate the presence of major food allergens used in spices, flavorings, additives, and colorings, which had previously been exempt from allergen labeling. This closes a loop hole that puts people at risk from "hidden" or undeclared ingredients.
FALCPA also calls on the federal government to improve the collection of food allergy data; to convene a panel of experts to review food allergy research efforts; to report to Congress on the number of allergen inspections done of food manufacturing facilities over a two-year period, and the ways in which these facilities can reduce or eliminate cross-contact; to consider revisions of the Food Code to provide allergen-free preparation guidelines for restaurants and food service establishment; and investigate consumer preference pertaining to advisory food labeling such as precautionary "May Contain" statements.
FALCPA is the result of years of hard work and a cooperative effort involving the food industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), FAAN, other consumer advocacy groups, concerned families nationwide, and bi-partisan efforts by federal legislators such as Senators Judd Greg (R-NH) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Representative Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Chair of the House Subcommittee of Health, Representative Jim Greenwood (R-PA) and Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), who originally introduced the legislation.
About FAAN
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) is a Virginia-based, nonprofit organization with more than 26,000 members in the United States and worldwide. Established in 1991, FAAN's mission is to increase awareness, to provide education and advocacy and to advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis. For more information, visit the FAAN Web site at or call 800-929-4040. Contact the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology or the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology to reach a board-certified allergist.

THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE FOOD ALLERGY & ANAPHYLAXIS NETWORK (FAAN)  Their web site is  I highly recommend visiting their site.  They also have a web site for teens, , and younger kids, .

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