New blog entries now being posted at the new blog site!

May 17, 2007 at 9:42 pm (alert, Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, Websites)

Allergyware.com has had a major makeover!

I am now posting the latest allergy headlines to hit my inbox on my new blog.

This page will remain as an archive, but please subscribe to allergyware.com!

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The migration has started

May 17, 2007 at 9:38 am (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, Websites)

After a long time of putting it off, I am finally starting to move this site, as well as the allergyware.com site, to a new format.

I will keep this blog active, but I will be posting the allergy news, recalls, and links, etc. at the new allergyware.com, which will soon be this site.

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To my blogger friends on blogspot.com

May 9, 2007 at 6:29 pm (Blog & Websites, Blogroll, cooking, food, labeling, legal, legislation, medical, social issues, Websites)

Allergic Girl, on Please Don’t Pass the Nuts:

Keep on keepin’ on.  We need truth in food preparation, even GMOs!!  I am so fired up about Frankenfoods right now.

Food Allergy Queen:

Your blog is awesome!

Sorry I am blogspot-challenged today.  I don’t know what the deal is, but google has it out for me, I think.  Giving me t-rubble!

To all who send me notes, comments, or who bump into me online: I am sorry for not being a better “reciprocal” blog reader and commentor.  I am outright swamped.

Today I took a few minutes and actually READ a few allergy blogs for the first time in months.  It was awesome.  I have missed it.  Being a full-time mom again is really all-consuming, what can I say?

I highly recommend the above two blogs!

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A note from Ria Sharon of Checkmytag.com, and note from me on what it’s like to be an allergymompreneur

May 9, 2007 at 5:58 pm (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, Canada, Contributors to the Podcast, education, gear, kids, labeling, newspapers, peanut, Products, social issues, USA, Websites)

Most of our friends and family are amazingly thoughtful and ask, “Is this safe?” before they give our little guy anything to eat. A few just give me the box so I can check the label. But almost all will admit their discomfort with making the call themselves, partly because they are not sure what to look for when they are reading packaged food labels.

Next week is Food Allergy Week so we are making extra efforts to promote food safety for our food-allergic friends and loved ones. The Spring issue of our bulletin, Be Aware. Be Safe. is devoted to taking the mystery out of the new labeling laws. Please help us raise awareness and understanding of food allergies, by passing this .pdf along to your friends, co-workers, educators, and childcare providers.

Also, visit our Community page, http://www.checkmytag.com/community.html beginning May 20th to read personal accounts from the blogosphere on how food allergies have changed the daily lives of a growing number of families.

Thanks for helping to keep kids safe,

Ria

Ria is a very warm and helpful individual.  Please check out her site!  It is not just about “selling shirts” for her.

Someone recently accused me of only doing this blog to direct people to my allergyware.com site.  She didn’t say it accusingly, but rather matter-of-fact.  As if.  😦  Why do I make the shirts?  Why did I do it in the first place?  Because allergies are a “growth industry?”  Because I was looking to make a quick buck?  C’mon.  My kid could DIE if he eats a peanut.  There were no shirts at all out there for sale except from England, when he tested positive for peanut.  What would YOU do?

Honestly, it is issues like the above that I am using this hiatus to think over.  I don’t want anyone to think that it is my desire or motivation to profit from my son’s life-threatening allergy.  The fact is, I’m not a millionaire who can set up a fund to research the cure.  I do not have the time to volunteer a lot and do a lot of political stuff, plus I do not have the temperament for it.

What I am is a writer with a degree in accounting.  I am a business person by training and a story-teller by birth.

I write this blog and I sell tee-shirts because I buy the tees myself.  My kid also wears shirts by other allergymompreneurs.  He took his first field trip today with his medicine in a bag from allergykids.com (thanks, Robyn).

If you are so cynical that you think for the past five years I have enjoyed some kind of status as Allergy Tee Shirt Emperor, then you are forgetting the heartbreak and daily stress and agony that go along with safe-guarding a child who is too young to speak for himself.

Pushing six years old, he is finally getting closer to being able to speak up for himself to people about his allergy.  He still can’t read, give himself his epinephrine shot, or measure out his own Benadryl.  He is dependent on any adult in his vicinity to notice if he develops hives, has trouble breathing, his eyes swell up, etc.

So I made him shirts.  When he was recently fed a nut-containing brownie at school, I sent him to school the next day in an allergy shirt, in addition to talking to his teachers about what happened.  You know what?  Call me materialistic & opportunistic and any other “istic” that you want, but I FELT BETTER knowing his shirt said this in big letters:

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(this was him four years ago, nearly exactly!)

This is him today, in a Nut Free Zone hoodie:

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I love this child.  He is not a model, a product spokesman, a clotheshorse, or a mannequin to hang shirts on.

HE IS MY CHILD.

If you think I’m doing this blog and doing my shirts for the money, or you wonder why I don’t do more: I am doing what I can, where I can, with what I can.

I love my children, all three of them, and I am doing my best.  This blog is filled with photos, links, articles, podcasts, recalls, news, you name it.  I am doing my best.  I doubt I will ever give up the blog, but for now I am not in the frame of mind to do videos or audio podcasts.  I probably will again.  I do not feel like I am “done,” you know?  But my time is sort of maxed out right now.

Now head on over to Ria’s site, or any of the awesome Allergy Mom (and Dad) sites listed in this blogroll.

Sorry for the tangent, but I think it deserves to be said: Allergy Moms who started Allergy businesses have their hearts in the right place. They should be commended, not distrusted!

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Let’s talk about fish protein

February 6, 2007 at 1:20 pm (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, fish, medical, milk, recalls, Science, social issues, Websites)

A very enlightening email!!

Dear AllergyKids’ Friends,

DNA from Fish Protein Found in Ice Cream
According to ABC news and University of Cincinnati researchers, one of the nation’s leading ice cream brands and some of their popsicles contain the DNA (genetic material) from fish protein.  Scientists added a cloned protein from a fish in order to make the ice cream smoother.

Fish is one of the top eight food allergens.  So please take a moment to read and to forward this important email.

What other foods containing DNA and genetic material should I be aware of?
Foods that contain the DNA and genetic material of other animals and plants are called “genetically modified” foods.

The first genetically modified food was a tomato – introduced in 1994.  The tomato had the DNA (genetic material) of a fish injected into it to make the tomato last longer on grocery store shelves.

A poll conducted in December 2006 revealed that most Americans don’t realize that they’re eating genetically modified food, and that 60 per cent have no idea that it’s in their diet.  Genetically modified foods can include soy, corn, dairy, eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, and fish.

What does “genetically modified” mean?
Scientists take the DNA (genetic material) of one organism (like the fish) and inject it into the DNA of another organism (like the tomato).  By injecting one organism with another, the structure of the food protein is changed.  Children with food allergies are allergic to foods’ proteins (egg protein, milk protein, peanut protein, etc.).

When were genetically modified foods introduced?
Widespread introduction of genetically modified foods (“GMOs”) began ten years ago.  Beginning in the 1990s, corn was genetically modified so that it could produce its own insecticidal toxin that the corn plant releases as it grows.  Today, 70% of “corn” as we know it is genetically modified.

In 1998, the genetically modified soybean was introduced and a 50% increase in the number of people with soy allergy was seen in that year alone.  Today, 90% of “soy” as we know it is genetically modified.  According to the New England Journal of Medicine, when the soybean was genetically modified with a nut, it induced an allergic reaction in 7 out of 9 cases.

Does the sudden increase in the number of children with food allergies correspond with the introduction of genetically modified foods?
AllergyKids finds it interesting that genetically modified foods were only introduced ten years ago and that research shows that within the first five years of the introduction of the genetically modified soybean, the number of children with the peanut allergy doubled.

Parts of the genetically modified soybean are identical to known allergens.

Corn is the fastest growing genetically modified crop and one of the fastest growing food allergies in children.

What else should I know about genetically modified foods?
Genetically modified foods (“GMOs”) have altered food proteins.  Children with food allergies are allergic to food proteins. GMOs can be found in 70% of all processed foods as well as in infant formula, baby food, frozen pizzas and fruit juices.

Currently, the list of genetically modified foods intersects with the list of the top 8 allergens (including wheat, soy, dairy, egg, fish, nuts) as well as lesser known allergens (corn, tomatoes, pork and chicken).

Labeling of genetically modified foods is required in Europe, Asia, Australia and most developed countries because of the unknown health risks of genetically modified foods (“GMOs”).  Just this week, Europeans requested additional labeling for milk, meat and egg products derived from animals fed genetically engineered crops.

No human trials have been conducted to test the safety of GMOs.

Please forward this email to others and encourage them to sign up for our free newsletter.  As we learn more about GMOs, you can help protect the health of your family and friends, as we learn more about genetically modified foods and the unknown role that they play in the health of our children.

AllergyKids needs your support to continue this important research.
Every time that you purchase AllergyKids’ stickers for your child’s preschool or an AllergyKids’ med case to carry your child’s epinephrine; you are supporting our independent research on behalf of all of these children.

We understand that you will have questions since 60% of Americans have never heard of a “GMO”, so please do not hesitate to contact us.

More information is also available on our Resources page at http://www.allergykids.com or by conducting a keyword search: “GMOs and food allergies”.

With hope for the cure,

Robyn O’Brien
Founder, AllergyKids
Mother of Four
1.800.671.1525

I encourage all of you to sign up for Robyn’s email list!

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Food Allergy Project

January 26, 2007 at 9:53 am (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, video, Websites)

Great website, check out this video page.

Thanks, Gina, for the email.

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Nut-free facilities

January 20, 2007 at 9:54 am (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, cooking, kids, nut-free, peanut, Websites)

Thanks, Karen, for the LINK and the list.

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Take a quick allergy quiz…and send it to your friends!

December 7, 2006 at 3:33 pm (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, Contests, kids, social issues, USA, Websites)

This is such a good idea, and it results in prizes being awarded to classrooms, so all students can have treats and celebrate what they’ve learned!  Send this to all your friends & family…and your teachers!

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Great email list for moms of allergic kids

November 25, 2006 at 6:37 pm (Blog & Websites, Blogroll, social issues, Websites)

Check out the cute recipes in the last email newsletter.  Thanks to Gina for letting me know she’s out there.

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A very Halloweeny mailbag edition

October 22, 2006 at 11:09 am (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, eczema, medical, Products, recalls, RSS Feeds, Science, social issues, Websites)

No allergy headlines in this Halloween podcast part 2, but we do have:

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Listen here:

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