Tag Archives: anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis awareness motion back in Parliament

MP Dean Allison has re-introduced his anaphylaxis awareness motion in the House of Commons yesterday.  Motion-230 reads: That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.

Our volunteer group of families from across Canada have come together to form the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI). The group currently has a Facebook page and soon will have a website dedicated to news of the advance of anaphylaxis issues in Ottawa.

The families involved in the CAI are renewing our efforts with this new Parliament to prompt change in how the federal government responds to the many concerns Canadians with severe allergies must deal with in their daily lives.

Thank you to Dean Allison for this motion, which will now serve us as a focal point for discussions with MPs and federal bureaucrats.  And we have many MPs to thank for their continued commitment to this issue – MPs Bob Dechert, Malcolm Allen, Megan Leslie, Ron Canon, Joy Smith, Bob Rae, Carolyn Bennett, Cheryl Gallant – the MP who started this initiative two Parliament’s back – Rick Dykstra – and over 40 more MPs who have responded positively to our awareness drive.  With their collective efforts, in the previous Parliament, Dean Allison was able to achieve all-Party support for this motion – and we hope and trust more positive results in this Parliament from our MPs.

Please visit the on-line news source Niagara At Large to read the media release on Motion-230:  http://niagaraatlarge.com/2011/06/16/niagara-mp-reintroduces-motion-to-raise-awareness-for-anaphylaxis/

Visit CAI Facebook page for more information:  https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Canadian-Anaphylaxis-Initiative/131919763524514

(Photo is from Dec 2010 when CAI representatives Chris George, Cindy Paskey and Debbie Bruce visited with the MP in his Ottawa office.)

Raising Awareness in Ottawa for Anaphylaxis

Our efforts for greater awareness of anaphylaxis have resumed…

The Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) issued a press release yesterday and our favourite local, on-line news source Niagara At Large published the news.  Visit:  

http://niagaraatlarge.com/2011/05/31/anaphylaxis-awareness-effort-resumes-with-return-of-federal-parliament/

     Lead:  This week when Members of Parliament return to the House of Commons, Niagara West – Glanbrook MP Dean Allison will be picking up where he left off before the election, assisting Canadian families in raising greater awareness of the health and quality of life challenges posed by living with severe, life-threatening allergies (anaphylaxis).

     Quote:  “We are prepared to push the re-start button this week. Our families are very appreciative of Dean’s commitment to get the Motion back in Parliament and to make sure the Health Minister and her officials, and others, are kept focused on the positive steps they can take to improve quality of life for Canadian families living with anaphylaxis.”

CAI is looking for a number of steps to be taken in the months ahead. With the focus being Dean Allison’s motion, we will pursue the following policy points:

1. Federal Coordination – of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information
2. Coordinated Awareness Campaigns – both targeted and general public information initiatives
3. Long Term Commitment to Research – a strategic response and more dollars for research  
4. Improved Allergen Labelling – for foods, drugs, cosmetic and personal care products
5. Improved Transportation Safeguards – airline and public transportation policies that reduce risk for food allergic passengers

We ask all Canadian families to make their points of view known on the serious matter of reducing the risks for individuals with severe, life-threatening allergies.  You can help:

  • Spread the word of this great news.  Encourage other families to get involved.
  • Contact your MP – ask for his/her support.  Visit.  Phone.  Email.  Write.
  • Post to your Facebook page – click ‘like’ to show support.  Go to Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative Facebook page.
  • Blog. Tweat. Join on-line dialogues. Participate in dialogue on Allergic Living’s forum.  Go to Allergic Living Forum – Advocacy and Accommodations.

Go to the NASK website for updates on how the organization is advancing these issues in Ottawa. Visit:  http://www.nask.ca/events.html

Allergic Living website is here:  http://allergicliving.com

On Facebook, visit the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative.

Grassroots’ Efforts for Anaphylaxis Being Heard in Ottawa

Last spring when families met with local MPs Dean Allison and Rick Dykstra, there was little thought that 10 months later, Parliamentarians would be debating how the federal government may come to the assistance of Canadians diagnosed with anaphylaxis.

Yesterday, however, not only did Members of Parliament discuss anaphylaxis in the House of Commons, but they also came together to urge the federal government to consider tangible steps towards reducing the risk of anaphylactic attacks and raising the general public awareness of severe allergies.  The House of Commons debates can be found here:

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3&DocId=5039495#OOB-3811430

This debate was significant for three reasons.

  1. There was support from all political Parties and statements from each, acknowledging the seriousness of anaphylaxis in Canada.
  2. There was recognition that the motion had a clear set of five action items that required consideration by MPs and government officials.  
  3. There was a commitment by MPs to work together to advance the five policy areas raised during the debate.

Niagara-area MP Allison, who moved the debate motion, has been working with a group of Canadian families from across Canada to identify realistic measures that can help people with anaphylaxis. This group – the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) – developed a five point policy agenda, which today is the focus of discussions with MPs and senior bureaucrats in Ottawa. (Here is the five point agenda backgrounder: http://www.nask.ca/files/5-Point%20Policy%20Items%20re%20Motion%20546.pdf )

In the weeks and months ahead, CAI supporters will continue to work with MPs and advance the discussions around safer environments for children and all Canadians who must cope with life-threatening allergies.  (Stay up to date on the CAI awareness efforts on Facebook.)

IN THE NEWS – Niagara This Week on the Parliamentary debate – “Motion pushes for federal allergies plan”

http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news/article/970159–motion-pushes-for-federal-allergies-plan

MP Dean Allison leads Parliamentary debate on anaphylaxis

Families across Canada, with a loved one with the medical condition anaphylaxis, applaud the efforts of MP Dean Allison as he took our concerns to the floor of the House of Commons. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Allison’s speech that captures his motives in advancing the motion.

     How can bringing forward such a motion and passing this motion help these and other families living with anaphylaxis? Perhaps my greatest goal with this motion is to increase awareness. Education tends to lead to more consideration from those who do not suffer toward those who do. I think about how it is now becoming common to be asked whether one has food allergies when being invited to weddings and other public events,and even smaller dinner parties with new friends. This would have seemed very strange 10 or 20 years ago, but as food allergy organizations have increasingly educated the public, we are seeing this type of consideration become more commonplace.

    As the general public learns more about the grave dangers facing anaphylaxis sufferers, they can take and are taking more precautions in their daily lives, reducing that burden that, until recently, tended to lie solely with the affected person and their families.

    Thoughtful Canadians are now asking about allergies before cooking meals for dinner guests. They are now packing lunches for their children that avoid some of the most common allergens. They are using more discretion in the snacks they choose to eat in public places where they might be sitting too close to someone with severe food allergies. This is very important in places like sports stadiums and classrooms but even more so on a plane or train where medical assistance may not be readily available should an anaphylactic attack occur. This type of consideration by non-allergy sufferers is becoming more commonplace and it is hoped that through greater awareness this level of thoughtfulness will only continue to increase. 

     To understand why this awareness and consideration is so highly sought by the anaphylaxis community, one must consider the fears that a parent of an affected child has on a daily basis. Let us imagine a father or mother who has seen first-hand their child having a life-threatening attack where, within minutes, their face and neck have swollen to become almost unrecognizable and the child struggles just to breathe.

    Let us imagine that each day when the child goes to school the parent is left worrying whether that child will unknowingly come into contact with the trigger that could cause a similar reaction. It could be something as simple and innocent as another child sharing a snack that could cause a life or death situation. These very real and terrifying fears of a parent can never go away, but collective steps can be taken to help ease them considerably….

 

… more can be done, and going forward there are five key areas where stakeholders have asked the federal government to consider further action: One, initiating awareness campaigns; two, greater federal coordination on anaphylaxis matters; three, a long-term commitment to research; four, improved transportation safeguards; and five, improved allergen labelling.

You can read Mr. Allison’s speech in full and the anaphylaxis debate in the House of Commons here:

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3&DocId=5039495#OOB-3811430

Working towards solutions for Canadians with anaphylaxis

Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative is an advocacy effort marshaled by a volunteer group of families from anaphylaxis support associations in communities across Canada. The CAI’s mission is to prompt the federal government to develop a strategic plan to decrease the risks for Canadians living with anaphylaxis (severe, life-threatening allergies) and to educate the public.

Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative has a 5 point policy request of the federal government.

  1. Federal Coordination – of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information
  2. Coordinated Awareness Campaigns – both targeted and general public information initiatives
  3. Long Term Commitment to Research – a strategic response and more dollars for research
  4. Improved Allergen Labelling – for foods, drugs, cosmetic and personal care products 
  5. Improved Transportation Safeguards – airline and public transportation policies that reduce risk for food allergic passengers

A detailed backgrounder on the 5 point policy request can be found here:

http://www.nask.ca/files/5-Point%20Policy%20Items%20re%20Motion%20546.pdf

More information about this initiative can be found on the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative Facebook page.

Anaphylaxis Debate in Parliament Monday

       

MP Dean Allison will begin the debate on Motion 546 when Parliament resumes on Monday (March 21 @ 11 a.m.).  The MP’s motion reads: That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.

Mr. Allison has worked with Canadian families who are raising awareness of anaphylaxis (severe, life-threatening allergies) amongst MPs and in the Ottawa bureaucracy. His motion is to focus attention on government action that can be taken to reduce risks of for Canadians diagnosed with anaphylaxis and to educate the general public.

The Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative, of which Chris George is a member, applauds MP Dean Allison as he takes this issue to the floor of the House of Commons.  [Photo (l to r): Chris George, Cindy Paskey, Debbie Bruce – all of the CAI – with MP Dean Allison}

BACKGROUND ON THE CAI

Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative is an advocacy effort marshaled by a volunteer group of families from anaphylaxis support associations in communities across Canada. The CAI has a 5 point policy request of the federal government.

  1. Federal Coordination – of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information
  2. Coordinated Awareness Campaigns – both targeted and general public information initiatives
  3. Long Term Commitment to Research – a strategic response and more dollars for research
  4. Improved Allergen Labelling – for foods, drugs, cosmetic and personal care products 
  5. Improved Transportation Safeguards – airline and public transportation policies that reduce risk for food allergic passengers

More background information about this initiative can be found on Face Book – the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative or the NASK website at: http://www.nask.ca/events.html

In the news: Anaphylaxis / Food Labelling and Allergens

    

The Niagara Region’s independent, on-line news organ, Niagara At Large, has published Chris George’s article: “Important Allergen Labelling Laws Achieved With Help Of Niagara Families”

 

http://niagaraatlarge.com/

 

The article begins… As a parent of a child with anaphylaxis – coping with severe, life threatening allergies – this February’s St. Valentines Day was especially sweet! My family traveled to Ottawa this week to take part in an important federal government announcement concerning the labelling of allergens on Canadian food products. 

 

Here’s the direct link to this article:

http://niagaraatlarge.com/2011/02/25/important-allergen-labelling-laws-achieved-with-help-of-niagara-families/

 

Other recent news release posts can be found here:

 

“New food labelling regulations good news – underlines efforts to raise anaphylaxis awareness”

http://cgacommunications.com/main/?p=240

 

“New food labelling regulations for allergens welcomed by NASK families”

http://www.nask.ca/events.html

 

My Remarks on Food Labelling & Anaphylaxis

    
Here is the text of my remarks at Monday’s Ottawa news conference announcing new food labelling regulations.  

 

I am here today as a parent who deals with anaphylaxis; a volunteer member of NASK (Niagara Anaphylaxis Knowledge and Support group); and, a member of a group of families from local community anaphylaxis groups across Canada who are working with MPs to help raise awareness in Ottawa for issues concerning severe, life-threatening allergies.

 

My son David is anaphylactic. He was diagnosed at 2 years of age with severe allergies to peanuts, some tree nuts, and legumes – beans, peas, lentils, and the whole of the legumes family.  This fact has caused our family to make lifestyle changes that will ensure David has a safe environment to grow up in. Our family is very careful about the food we eat. David is 7 years old today – and for years now he has known not to put anything in his mouth that he is not 100% sure is safe.

 

Shopping for us, at times, is challenging. We read food labels a lot. We are the family that go, aisle to aisle, reading every label before putting the product into our shopping cart. We read the labels a few times in the store – and again at home. David even knows what to look for on the labels. For us, this is habitual. It is also absolutely necessary.

 

We depend on food producers and packagers to label contents correctly. Over the years, labels concerning allergens have been getting better. However, there are still times when the label is unclear and we are unsure. When food contents become a guessing game, our family rule is that we don’t purchase the product. We need to be 100% sure.

 

That is why this announcement today is so important for our family. These new regulations will make our shopping trips a lot less confusing. Clear, consistent, standardized labeling will make shopping a lot easier. When these regulations come into effect, no doubt, our family’s shopping trips will be safer.

 

So, we are pleased to have made the trip from St. Catharines to be here to hear the Minister announce that the Government is moving forward with these important new regulations. Thank you Minister.

 

I also want to thank the 4 Niagara MPs who support NASK, and the almost 40 MPs from all Parties who have worked with our families and expressed their commitment to raising awareness of anaphylaxis on Parliament Hill and within the federal bureaucracy.

 

Thank you to MP Dean Allison for his Motion 546 relating to anaphylaxis. Thank you to Dean and St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra for your work on this important matter of food labeling. Our family appreciates the work you have done for us – and I know I speak for many families and friends in Niagara who appreciate your efforts.

 

Thank you again, Minister Aglukkaq, for making our day.

 

Food Allergen Labelling Regulations Strengthened

     Photo taken of Alexander and David George with Health Minister Aglukkaq  

 

Here’s the text of the Health Canada news release:

 

OTTAWA / February 14, 2011 – Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, announced regulations to strengthen Canada’s labelling of food allergens and gluten sources. This means that Canadians with food allergies, sensitivities and celiac disease will soon be able to make more informed choices about the foods they buy. The Ministers also unveiled what the food label will now look like.

 

“Our Government is committed to protecting children and families from dangerous products, and this is clear from the measures we have taken in our new Consumer Product Safety Act,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “All parents want to have confidence in the food they are serving their families, and these changes to food labels will make it easier for parents of children with food allergies to identify potentially harmful, if not fatal, ingredients in foods.”

 

It is estimated that approximately five to six per cent of young children and three to four per cent of adults suffer from food allergies. Nearly one per cent of the population is affected by celiac disease, for whom the consumption of foods containing gluten can lead to long term complications.

 

The new regulations will require additional labelling and strengthen the labelling requirements to require clearer language and the declaration of otherwise “hidden” allergens, gluten sources, and sulphites.

 

Because of the complexity of the changes and the shelf-life of foods, industry has been given 18 months to implement the new allergen labelling regulations. The coming into force date is set for August 4, 2012.

 

Health Canada and the CFIA will continue to work with industry members to ensure that there is a smooth labelling implementation period for foods sold in Canada. Health Canada will continue to update Canadians on the progress of this file as the coming into force date approaches.

 

Full release here:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2011/2011_23-eng.php

 

 

In the news… Anaphylaxis / Food Labelling

    

My family was pleased to be in Ottawa yesterday to be part of the good news for Canadians coping with severe, life-threatening allergies.  Here are some references to what I had to say in Ottawa.  

 

Postmedia News reporter Sarah Schmidt wrote:  

 

     Chris George and his family drove from St. Catharines, Ont., to Ottawa to laud the announcement, saying the labelling changes will mean “shopping is that much safer” for their family. George’s seven-year old son, David, is allergic to nuts and legumes, so it’s “absolutely necessary” that food labels are accurate and written in plain language, he said.

 

     “We depend on our food producers, we depend on our food packagers to provide accurate labelling, so we know what the content is. We need to be 100% sure. That is the reason why this announcement is good news for our family,” Mr. George said.

 

Source:

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Beer+industry+exempt+from+food+allergen+labelling+rules/4279930/story.html#ixzz1E2rIzjgn

 

Jessica Murphy of Sun News Parliamentary Bureau wrote:

 

Canadians with allergies and celiac disease have been pressuring the feds to toughen laws so it’s easier for them to know they’re making safe food purchases .

 

“It’s habitual for us (to read food labels), but also absolutely necessary,” said Chris George, whose seven-year-old son David is severely allergic to nuts. About 2.8 millions Canadians – and increasingly children – have food allergies.

 

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/02/14/17274276.html

 

Also, video clips can be found here:

 

CTV’s report by Pat Foran (in news video player box):

http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110214/food-safety-announcement-110214/20110214/?hub=OttawaHome

 

Global National News:

http://www.globalnational.com/health/Beer+industry+exempt+from+food+allergen+labelling+rules/4280173/story.html

 

 

MPs Meeting on Anaphylaxis Issues: “Very Worthwhile”

   

December 20, 2010 – On December 7th more than 20 MPs came together to discuss the challenges faced by Canadians living with anaphylaxis. The MPs heard from families dealing with life-threatening allergies as well as reviewed five action items to advance the causes of anaphylaxis within the federal government.

 

This is from a press release issued by CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. The full release can be viewed here:

http://cgacommunications.com/main/?page_id=17

 

Photo (l to r): Chris George, Cindy Paskey, Debbie Bruce, MP Dean Allison

 

More on anaphylaxis at:

https://www.bygeorgejournal.ca/?tag=anaphylaxis

 

 

Newspaper column on Anaphylaxis

      

Raising Awareness of Anaphylaxis

Dean Allison, M.P. – From the Hill

Pelham News

December 10, 2010

 

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight my latest legislative initiative in Parliament, M-546, which reads as thus: That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.Anaphylaxis is a medical condition describing people with severe, life threatening allergies. Reactions are rapid in onset and may cause death without immediate treatment.

Food is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, but insect stings, medicine, latex or even exercise can cause reactions. In Canada, the most common food allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, shellfish, fish, sesame and wheat. Anaphylaxis has no cure, though important research and efforts to find a cure are underway. Avoidance is the required preventative measure.

This motion will be coming up for a vote in the House of Commons early in the New Year and has already been receiving broad, cross-party support. I’ve been especially pleased to see this reflected in the support that I have been receiving from local MPs in neighboring Niagara ridings, particularly by MP Rick Dykstra in St. Catharines and by MP Malcolm Allen in Welland.

I have also been especially struck by the efforts of a member of Niagara Anaphylaxis Support & Knowledge (NASK) member Chris George, whose 7-year old son is dealing with anaphylaxis.

To help build on the early support that this motion has already been receiving, I have been hosting non-partisan meetings of MPs from across Canada on Parliament Hill to discuss how the federal government can better respond to the growing numbers of Canadians who must cope with this condition.

Recent medical research reveals that 1 in 13 Canadians suffer from life-threatening allergies and, as a society; we must begin to find new ways to reduce the risks of unnecessary and preventable anaphylactic incidents.

I understand, and at times can certainly relate to the pessimistic attitudes that people feel towards the government process. However, I have been witness to the good work that can be done when parties work together on the Hill that has successfully tackled a wide range of health concerns that has made Canada a safer, healthier, happier place to live. It is my hope that Anaphylaxis will merit the same attention when it comes time for a vote.

MP Speaking Out on Anaphylaxis in Parliament

 

MP DEAN ALLISON SPEAKING IN PARLIAMENT ON ANAPHYLAXIS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QnfkXmoC-Q

 

On December 7, MP Dean Allison hosted a luncheon of Members of Parliament to discuss anaphylaxis and how the federal government might address issues surrounding this increasingly prevalent medical condition.  The next day, Mr. Allison rose in the House of Commons to make this comment:

 

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting a working luncheon to discuss anaphylaxis with a group of colleagues from across party lines.

A growing number of Canadians face daily the potential of life threatening allergic reactions whether it be to a food product, medication, insect bite or other triggers. For the 1.3 million Canadians who suffer from anaphylaxis and especially for parents of young children with the condition this means living with constant worry and anxiety as they try to avoid coming into contact with a substance that could lead to a fatal reaction.

While there is no known cure for anaphylaxis the good news is that with education and awareness collective steps could be taken by society than can greatly reduce the risk of anaphylaxis reactions and allow sufferers and their families to lead more normal lives.

Thanks to all the stakeholders who helped organize and present the luncheon and to all the members who attended.  I look forward to my colleagues for the support of my motion on anaphylaxis, M-546, when it comes before the House next year.

 

Did You Know This About Anaphylaxis?

  

The goal of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Awareness Initiative is to raise greater awareness of severe, life threatening allergies on Parliament Hill and in the Ottawa bureaucracy.

 

Did you know this about allergic disease?

There is an epidemic of allergies like asthma, hay fever, eczema, food and pet allergies and life-threatening anaphylaxis facing the industrialized world, and Canada is near the top of the list of nations facing a growing problem. Nearly one in three Canadians now suffers some form of allergic illness. The health care and socio-economic costs are huge and the potential impact on our next generation is extreme (AllerGen, n.d.).  

Did you know this about food allergies?

“Between 6 and 8 per cent of Canadians have food allergies, says Dr. Ann Clarke, an allergist and leading researcher at the McGill University Health Centre. In human terms, that means up to one in 13 Canadians is food allergic” (Gagne, 2010).

 

“These figures are calculated from the nationwide SCAAALAR survey (which stands for Surveying Canadians to Assess the Prevalence of Common Food Allergies and Attitudes Towards Food Labelling and Risk), on which Clarke is a lead investigator. SCAAALAR is the first formal national tally of food allergies in Canada, with detailed information from 10,000 individuals” (Gagne, 2010).

 

   

Canadian Anaphylaxis Awareness Initiative

   

The goal of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Awareness Initiative is to raise greater awareness of severe, life threatening allergies on Parliament Hill and in the Ottawa bureaucracy.

 

Here is the 5-point action plan we’re advancing in our Nation’s Capital:


1. Federal Coordination of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information
2. Coordinated Awareness Campaigns – both targeted and general public information campaigns
3. Long Term Commitment to Research – a strategic response and more dollars for research  
4. Improved Allergen Labelling – for foods, drugs, cosmetic and personal care products
5. Improved Transportation Safeguards – airline and public transportation policies that reduce risk for food allergic passengers

SUPPORT ANAPHYLAXIS MOTION 546

Learn more at http://www.nask.ca

 

 

Anaphylaxis awareness on Parliament Hill

   

Readers of the By George Journal and family friends will know that I am currently involved in advocating for federal action on anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergies). Our volunteer group of families in Niagara (see http://www.nask.ca ) has been working with our local Members of Parliament and have secured an important meeting in Ottawa on December 7th.

 

We are hopeful that this meeting and a motion introduced in the House of Commons by MP Dean Allison will prompt Ministers and government officials to consider a thoughtful, coordinated approach to responding to the growing number of Canadians who are living with anaphylaxis.

 

To read more on this, go to my news article posted by our local, independent news organ Niagara At Large:

http://niagaraatlarge.com/2010/11/25/niagara-families-seek-government-action-on-life-threatening-allergies/

 

You can read more here:

http://www.nask.ca/files/PR101108_2.pdf

 

And here:

http://www.nask.ca/files/PR101108.pdf

 

And you can hear St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra talk about the Dec 7 meeting in the House of Commons here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzTqnVCVFbw

 

Visit the NASK website to learn more about the anaphylaxis awareness initiative:

http://www.nask.ca

 

A call for action in Ottawa on anaphylaxis

  

Today, a band of volunteers in Niagara launched a new awareness drive for anaphylaxis – the medical condition relating to severe, life-threatening allergies. With the leadership of NASK President Cindy Paskey, we hope to make our world a little safer for our children. We are asking the government to re-think its policies regarding anaphylaxis and develop a comprehensive approach to reducing risks and make environments safer for those coping with this ever-present threat.

 

A Niagara Region MP is moving a motion inb the House of Commons today. Below is the lead of the NASK press release. Go to www.nask.ca to read the release in full – and to learn more about our efforts.

 

     Niagara West – Glanbrook Member of Parliament Dean Allison gave notice for a motion in the House of Commons today:  That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.

     Anaphylaxis is a medical condition describing people with severe, life threatening allergies.  Reactions are rapid in onset and may cause death without immediate treatment.  Food is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, but insect stings, medicine, latex or exercise can cause reactions.  In Canada, the most common food allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, shellfish, fish, sesame and wheat. Anaphylaxis has no cure, though important research and efforts to find a cure are underway.  Avoidance is the required preventative measure.

     The MP’s motion is welcomed by hundreds of family members of the local group Niagara Anaphylaxis Support and Knowledge (NASK).  They seek to motivate support across Canada for the Niagara MP’s efforts to raise greater awareness on Parliament Hill and prompt responsible action with Government officials. NASK President Cindy Paskey explains, “As more and more Canadian families face the challenges of raising a child with one or multiple severe allergies, a coordinated, thoughtful set of government initiatives will help to raise public understanding of anaphylaxis, and provide greater safety of its children and citizens.  We ask government to take steps to help to reduce the risk of unnecessary and preventable anaphylactic attacks.  Everyone benefits.  Medical emergencies are avoided.  Lives are saved.”

     Ms. Paskey adds, “Of necessity, there is a great deal of personal responsibility when living with anaphylaxis.  Avoiding your allergens is the only way to stay alive.  With the support of MPs and  government officials, we can raise greater public understanding, promote responsible safety measures, educate people on the signs of a reaction and how to help a person in need – similar to CPR education. This coordinated government approach will lead to reducing risk and to safer environments for those living with life-threatening allergies and to those providing care and services. Canadians and our governments have successfully tackled a wide range of health concerns that has made Canada a safer, healthier, happier place to live.  Anaphylaxis deserves the same attention.”

 

Please consider joining our efforts and make your views known to your MP this summer! Go to www.nask.ca

 

 

3 facts you should know about Anaphylaxis

   
1. It is a growing concern for Canadians. 1.3 million Canadians live with food allergy.  Health Canada reports “Food allergies are sensitivities caused by a reaction of the body’s immune system to specific proteins in a food. Current estimates are that food allergies affect as many as 6% of young children and 3% to 4% of adults.”  This means hundreds of thousands of Canadian families cope with food allergies every minute of every day. Without treatment, anaphylaxis, the most severe form of an allergic reaction, can cause death.  Recent North American research, reported in Allergic Living magazine Spring 2010, shows that peanut allergy grew by 250 per cent over 11 years.
  
2. It is a tremendous cost to the country’s health system. Health Canada, as reported in Maclean’s magazine, (2005) estimates allergic diseases cost the Canadian economy $15 billion every year, in everything from emergency room visits to prescribed medications.  As the number of people affected increases, so do the associated costs, such as emergency room visits and lost time from work.

 

3. It is deadly serious. Anaphylaxis is seldom outgrown – only 20% of the time.  Of the 1.56 million Canadians that have experienced anaphylactic reactions, 1.3 million remain deadly allergic to specific foods.  For them, it is a life-long, chronic, invisible medical condition.  It often co-exists with asthma, resulting in more severe consequences.  Anaphylaxis has no cure, and no preventative treatment.  Reactions, always accidental and unexpected, are treated after exposure – never before.  Antihistamines might mask symptoms; they do not prevent severe reactions.  Staying safe requires 100% avoidance of a person’s allergen, 100% of the time.