Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lack of Accurate Allergy Reporting Statistics

Following is the paper I wrote addressing the lack of accurate allergy reporting statistics which I sent to 140+ members of Congress in addition to major news networks, hospitals, and universities in major metropolitan areas across the United States.   The results of my own personal research exposed the fact that there are no reporting requirements by hospitals and/or physicians of allergic/anaphylactic statistics into any state or government database. Therefore, it is dangerous and irresponsible for any person, physician, or organization to declare that specific food allergies are rare; e.g., corn/corn derivatives.  In fact, there is an emerging corn allergy crisis.

"After I discovered that Congress is responsible for declaring particular foods allergens, I was curious as to the source of their data; therefore, I conducted my own research. I contacted a representative with the Lee Memorial Health System and my own allergist in Fort Myers, FL, and posed the following question:  Are hospitals and/or allergists required to submit allergy testing results and/or anaphylactic reactions (with the offending food/drug) into a state or government database?  I was surprised to discover that there are no reporting requirements.  If Congress is responsible for declaring a particular food an allergen (per the FDA); and since there is no government clearinghouse from which to gather this information, how is Congress able to make the determination as to which foods are to be declared allergens? I have contacted over a dozen government agencies, and no one knows the answer to this question.

As a result of my findings, I would like to suggest two possible resolutions for the benefit of Congress, as well as for the benefit of those suffering with allergies:
     1. Establish an online database of allergy statistics, through an "Allergy Registry."  This registry would be voluntary and include only allergies confirmed by physicians--not self-diagnosed--and would also include the most important statistic:  anaphylactic reactions.  This would be an invaluable tool for Congress in declaring foods allergens.  For example, there are many corn allergy support groups.  In one group, alone, the membership has increased by 321.8% in 32 months with an average of 100.6 new members/month, many of whom are anaphylactic to corn/corn derivatives, such as corn-derived dextrose IV fluids and corn-derived citric acid.  How is Congress expected to know about this dramatic increase in corn allergies if there are no reporting requirements into a state or government database?  The proposed "Allergy Registry" would expose this dramatic increase in corn allergies as well as provide valuable data on other allergens.
     2. Request a Congressional mandate that hospitals and allergists report all allergy/anaphylactic statistics into a government database (just the statistics--no patient names for privacy purposes).  Without this reporting requirement, how can Congress (the responsible body for declaring foods allergens) make an informed decision about which foods to declare as official allergens, which would then be subject to FDA labeling requirements?"


Corn Allergy Advocacy/Resources
@CornAllergy911



2 comments:

  1. Yes, I am so glad I found this. I am currently taking a few days off work but before I went, I e-mailed a European agency concerned with food labelling, purely to ask for advice over if it's possible to call for a data collection regards corn allergy and/or request that the current EU guidelines on food allergens and labelling be expanded to include corn be considered. It's frustrating and terrifying to have this allergy - I have had it since I was 17 (I'm 44) and become increasingly more sensitive. For years I could not work out why I spent most days with puffy and/or watery eyes. I thought it was the chemicals in shampoos, cosmetics etc Well, of course it was, but it was only recently I discovered that several ingredients in medicines, supplements, make-up, shampoo etc are derived from corn. I thought I knew the key offenders but how wrong I was and how I have been exposing my body to this 'toxin' on a daily basis for years. The anxiety - made worse by recently reacting to milk too (the mild symptoms had been there for years but nothing really to note or be anxious about but then it erupted in full force about 4 or 5 weeks ago!) - has made me distrustful of nearly all food, shattering my confidence and made me constantly anxious. It's exhausting e-mailing companies to establish if there is a risk of contamination or if they have used corn to derive a certain ingredient. The regulations need to change - labelling MUST state if corn has been used in some way. Fortified cereals, such as Rice Krispies and Weetabix - use corn to add the vitamins used to fortify the cereals. Such an innocent seeming ingredients list but dangerous for the sufferer. How far have you got in getting some attention to this issue? I would also like to, over the coming months, contact the larger cosmetics companies - they have the R&D depts to deliver a range of corn-free cosmetics & hair/body care products and it's not exactly a niche market.

    Keen to hear how your campaign is progressing.

    Sheena

    (You can connect via LinkedIn, I am there under my name and I reside in the Netherlands.)

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  2. Dear Sheena:

    First of all, my sincere apologies for not responding sooner. I did NOT receive notification of your comment on this post.

    My latest initiative is contacting every hospital in the United States (I only have a few states remaining)--a huge, but necessary, effort.

    My heart goes out to you and everyone else suffering with this debilitating allergy! Let me know how you're doing (hugs)! Feel free to email me at cornallergyinitiative@gmail.com.

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