Important note from Gina at

May 3, 2007 at 12:43 am (Allergy News!, legal, legislation, safety, USA, Websites)

Dear allergy parents and friends,

Please take moment to look at the attached zipcode list. If you live within one of these zipcodes, please read on. If you know someone who does, please take a moment to FORWARD this. It’s really important for our children.
Eleven million American families like yours are impacted by food allergies.  Emergency room visits are increasing, and the number of children with peanut allergies doubled in just five years!


Contact Rep. John Murtha — and ask him to increase federal funding for food allergy research, so we can save children’s lives.   Let him know:

Food Allergies afflict millions of American families, and the problem is growing.

There are no medications to cure or control food allergies — but scientists believe we can find a cure in less than 10 years with proper funding.

Congress must increase federal funding for food allergy research and help save children’s lives.

E-Mail Congressman Murtha at … or at:

647 Main St, Suite 401
Johnstown, PA 15901
(814) 535-2642 — Phone
(814) 539-6229 — Fax

Use the attached letter, include your own experiences, or write your own letter or email.  Your voice WILL make a difference. If you won’t do it for your own child, grandchild, niece, nephew, friend, who will?

Please take the time to do it now!


Gina Clowes

PS Remember to forward this email!   Every letter counts.

Next AllergyMoms meeting is June 8th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Panera in Cranberry Twp. Please come and share with us that you’ve done your part! :o)

(Email me if you’d like the list of zip codes and form letters sent to you.)

Gina also blogged about this issue here. 


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Playground bullying vs. teasing

April 28, 2007 at 10:51 am (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, education, food, kids, nut-free, Products, safety, school, social issues)

There have been a lot of blog posts in the allergic community lately about kids bullying allergic classmates.

This calls to mind a post I left on a local message board over the weekend, about being teased. Here’s an excerpt:

being made fun of


Submitted by lmharmon on Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:09 pm


Take this for what it’s worth, but being made fun of can be so character-building. I’m not saying it’s something I’d seek out for my kids, but it’s not the end of the world.

I was at least a foot and a half taller than every second grader at my new school, the beginning of second grade. Add to the fact that I had (first) buckteeth and then (worse) a headgear. I was called Radar Head, and openly attacked physically by little boys on the playground that were intimidated by my size.

Amazingly, I quickly made friends and endured the teasing with no lasting damage. I only recently even remembered being called Radar Head. I do remember the teasing a neighbor boy got on the bus for taking up for me! They accused him of being my boyfriend! Rolling Eyes Embarassed Very Happy

Oh, did I mention my mother dressed me funny? Knee socks and tartan skirts and other very feminine clothing, for me, the total tomboy. It was a nightmare.

But I actually enjoyed school a lot, became one of the most popular kids in school, was a cheerleader, etc.

The whole time, I was taller than everyone, and went through not only the headgear, but a functional appliance, braces, etc.

…I think I was the living dictionary of “awkward stage” all through those precious years.

My point being, on this topic, that being teased is something that will happen to most kids (some of us more than others!), and I think we actually grow from the experience.

As the mother of a child with peanut allergy, I have been called “Peanut Lady” in a moment of insensitivity by an administrator at my son’s school. Again…an opportunity for growth on my part, and education for him. (He was immediately apologetic, but how revealing that slip was of his heart, at least at that moment.)

The reason I post this today is because I want to make something crystal clear: teasing is not the same as bullying. Bullying can employ teasing, but name-calling and rough-wrestling (which is probably outlawed now that kids aren’t typically free to skin their knees on the playground) are common parts of child development. Most kids will be on both sides of that experience at some point before they begin adolescence. They had better be!

Bullying takes teasing too far. Bullying takes the wrestling and makes it mean. It is a kid who is three times bigger, and old enough to know better, pushing another kid around. It is the little girl who knows that the special needs child in her school is mildly retarded, who still openly mocks and makes fun of the differently-abled child. Words and actions can be used mildly, or they can be abusive.

Bullying is abusive. Teasing really is not.

If my kid gets called Peanut Boy (not likely at his current school), then that’s teasing, right? But if someone holds a peanut butter and jelly sandwich over his head unawares, that’s not teasing. That’s dangerous. And then we’re getting into bullying issues.

Personally, I think life is too short for bullying amongst adults, but even that occurs. I have experienced it with food allergies, very often. People are sometimes openly resentful that we do not eat nut products (why they take this personally, I will never know), sometimes passive-aggressive about it, testing us and trying to get us to “slip” and eat something that might endanger our nursing child, or via contact, cause a reaction in Sam. Why do they do it?

I can only presume it is for the same reason the playground bully chases a classmate around with a handful of peanuts in his hand: it’s a short-term power trip without thought for the long-term ramifications on others.


Sam models his Nut Free Zone hoodie.


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And another milk allergy alert

April 11, 2007 at 9:52 am (alert, Allergy News!, cooking, food, labeling, milk, recalls, safety)

March 30, 2007

Acapulco Bakery is recalling packages of Lorenzo brand “Conchas de Sabor
Vainilla,” “Cuernitos de Canela,” “Hojaldras,” “Croissant,” and “Sweet
Mexican Bread” varieties due to undeclared milk.

The products were sold in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

The recalled Lorenzo brand “Conchas de Sabor Vainilla,” “Cuernitos de
Canela,” “Hojaldras,” “Croissant,” and “Sweet Mexican Bread” varieties come
in an uncoded plastic bag, lacking a weight declaration.

Consumers who have purchased the affected products should return them to
the place of purchase.

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milk allergy alert

March 30, 2007 at 3:26 pm (Allergy News!, food, labeling, milk, recalls, safety)


March 30, 2007

Healthy Corner Foods Inc. is recalling certain chicken and turkey salads;
and turkey, turkey salad, and chicken salad sandwiches due to undeclared

The recalled Corner Foods Salads and Sandwiches were sold in New York City
and New Jersey. The following varieties of sandwiches are included in the

“Vegetarian Turkey Sandwich” – 6-oz., plastic film wrapped, all codes
“Vegetarian Turkey Salad Sandwich” – 6-oz., plastic film wrapped, all codes
“Vegetarian Chicken Salad Sandwich” – 7-oz., plastic film wrapped, all codes
“Vegetarian Chicken Salad Sandwich on Whole Wheat Pita” – 6-oz., plastic
film wrapped, all codes
“Vegetarian Turkey Salad” – 6.5-oz., plastic container, all codes
“Vegetarian Chicken Salad” – 6.5-oz., plastic container, all codes

Consumers who have purchased the affected Healthy Corner Foods Salads
and/or Sandwiches should return them to the place of purchase.

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Food allergy alerts

March 29, 2007 at 1:33 pm (alert, Allergy News!, cooking, egg, food, labeling, milk, recalls, safety)

March 29, 2007

Southeast Asian Foods is recalling “Chiu Chow Fish Paste,” “Chiu Chow Fish
Ball,” and “Chiu Chow Fish Cake” due to undeclared egg.

The products were distributed in Northern California through restaurants,
supermarkets, and retail stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Chiu Chow Fish Paste” is packed in a clear 5-lb. plastic bag, 40-lb.
plastic gallon bucket, or 14-oz. clear plastic cup.

“Chiu Chow Fish Ball” is packed in a clear 5-lb. plastic bag, or 14-oz.
vacuum plastic bag.

“Chiu Chow Fish Cake” is packed in a 7-oz. or 13-oz. vacuum plastic bag.

Consumers who have purchased the products may return them to the place of
purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the
company at (415) 822-2070.

March 23, 2007

Harry London Candies, Inc. is recalling “Harry London Chocolate Fudge and
Peanut Butter Egg confectionery Products” due to undeclared egg.

The products were distributed to various distributors, wholesalers, and
fundraising accounts nationwide in 8-oz. and 3.5-oz. packages with one of
the following bar code numbers: 2179501083, 2179501084, 2179501085, or

Consumers who have purchased the product should discard it and call the
company’s customer service department at (800) 321-0444 Monday through
Friday 8:30-5:00 EDT.

March 23, 2007

Harry London Candies, Inc. and Macy’s are recalling Frango® Cheggs
branded “Mint Chegg, Double Chocolate Chegg, Marshmallow Chegg, Peanut
Butter Chegg, Caramel Chegg, and Toffee Cheg Egg confectionary Products”
due to undeclared egg and milk.

The products were sold at Macy’s Department Stores.

The products are packaged in 4-oz. and 8-oz. packages and have one of the
bar code numbers listed below.

Candy products with the following bar codes contain undeclared egg:
2179500565, 2179500566, 2179500567, 2179500568, 2179500570, 2179500572,
2179500573, 2179500588, 2179500589, 2179500590, 2179500592, 2179500594

Candy products with the following bar codes contain undeclared egg and
751756019807, 751756019814, 751756019821, 751756019852, 751756019838,
751756019869, 751756019876, 751756019883, 751756019890, 751756019906

Consumers who have purchased the product should discard it and call the
company’s customer service department at (800) 321-0444 Monday through
Friday 8:30-5:00 EDT.

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Fish Allergy Alert

March 20, 2007 at 8:29 pm (Allergy News!, cooking, fish, food, labeling, recalls, safety, Websites)

March 20, 2007

TO: Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network Members

FROM: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer

RE: FiberChoice® plus Multivitamins fiber supplement

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is recalling FiberChoice® plus
Multivitamins fiber supplement product, due to an undeclared fish allergen.
One of the raw materials of the product contains fish gelatin, which was
not declared on the product label. The fish gelatin consists of the
following species of fish: cod, pollock, hake, cusk, haddock, redfish,
sole, and flounder.

The affected FiberChoice® plus Multivitamins fiber supplement were
distributed beginning in mid-January throughout the United States through
national retail outlets, including food, drug, and mass merchandisers.

The affected product is packaged in 16-oz. plastic bottles (90 count)
marked with UPC # 5714500581 located on the side of the bottle in black
lettering. One of the following lot numbers appears on the bottom of the
bottle in black lettering:

06L062, 06L063, 06L102, 06M075, 07A001, 07A002, 07A003, 07A004, 07A005,
07A006, 07A007, 07A008, 07A009, 07A051, 07A052, 07A053, 07A054, 07A055,
07A068, 07A069, 07A070, 07A072, 07A073, 07A074, 07A075, 07A076, 07A077,
07A078, 07A080, 07A116, 07A117, 07A118, 07A119, 07A120, 87373901 (display)

No other FiberChoice® fiber supplement is affected by this recall.

Consumers who have purchased FiberChoice® plus Multivitamins fiber
supplement should return it to the retail store where it was purchased for
a full refund. Consumers with questions about the product or this recall
are encouraged to call GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare toll-free at
(800) 819-0681.


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Peanut Allergies by Brenaya Hewlett

March 19, 2007 at 7:12 am (Canada, education, kids, medical, nut-free, peanut, safety, school, shots, social issues, USA)

“May contain traces of peanuts” “Made in a facility that also processes peanuts.” These are two sentences I hate the most.” The one sentence I love the most, “made in a peanut free facility” Chairperson, honourable judges, ladies and gentlemen and fellow students. I’m going to share with you how a person gets an allergy, what anaphylaxis is and how challenging it is to live with a peanut allergy. Do you like peanuts? Well I sure don’t because to me, they are criminals.

I got my allergy because I was born prone to allergies. I have significantly lower levels of enzyme which breaks down the chemical that causes bronchial spasms. I also have high levels of IgE antibodies that are activated during and allergic reaction. Allergies are hereditary instead of someone just getting it from one parent I got it from both of mine. Because both of my parents are already lacking enzyme to give to me they give me even more IgE antibodies. I got my peanut allergy after I was born. Since I was born prone to allergies that is what started it. When my mom was breast feeding me almost every food made her nauseous but she still needed her proteins so she overdosed on peanut butter and whole peanuts. Since I have low levels of enzyme my kids will have terrible allergies because I have practically none to pass on and way to much IgE to give. Studies show that over sanitized conditions in the west have caused immune systems to overreact to absence of other infections.

What is anaphylaxis? A dictionary defines this as “a term commonly used to denote the immediate transient kind of allergic reaction characterized by a contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries due to release of pharmacologically active substance classically initiated by the combination of an allergen, mast cell-fixed and cryophilic antibody known as IgE” you might now have understood any of that but in simpler words anaphylaxis is an immediate allergy reaction that completely shuts down every single thing in your body. It is a life-threatening reaction when cells in your respitory system swell causing suffocation, cardiac failure and loss of consciousness. It must be instantly treated with epinephrine to buy you enough time to get to the hospital. Statistics show that 1.5 percent of Canadian kids have deadly peanut allergies and 15 children die a year because their peers at school were eating peanuts around them.

It is extremely challenging to live with a peanut allergy. Just imagine living your whole life knowing you could just touch a door knob and die. Try a little experiment, be me for a week you cant eat anything with any type of nut in it. Each food that you do eat you have to read the ingredients twice to be sure. At the bottom of the list get used to seeing made in a facility that also processes peanuts, and if it does say that sorry you cannot consume. If you accidentally touch peanuts, scrub your hands arms and face for five minutes and air dry. if you smell peanuts cover your mouth and nose and run away until the smell is gone. It is harder than it may look!, And there is always cross-contamination. When you are at your friends house you cant eat anything. If they had peanut butter on the knife and then put the knife in the margarine and you ate it well it is now time to go to the hospital because you are in anaphylactic shock. To sum it up, peanut allergies aren’t just something that the victim takes cautions about but everyone needs to.

In conclusion, 73 percent of people don’t know enough about allergies to be around a person that has severe reactions. Today you heard how people get allergies, what anaphylaxis is and how annoying allergies are. Next time you meet someone with any type of severe allergy show some sympathy for them. If they go into shock get out the epi pen and pull off the grey cap at the tip and jab it in their thigh, believe me it might sound weird but you will be their hero.

Brenaya wrote this speech for school. Thanks for sending it in!

Oh, PS. Sometimes people write to me and say they are having trouble breathing. If you do that, PLEASE go to the emergency room or doctor as before you even finish your email! I would drive you, myself, but oftentimes I get emails from other countries from children saying they are having trouble breathing. As a parent (and a human being) it troubles me to think that you emailed me and then perhaps collapsed.

If you write me once because you are feeling sick, please write me later and tell me you are okay. I worry about anaphylaxis and asthma and what might be happening to you.

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Fish allergy alert

March 2, 2007 at 11:12 am (alert, Allergy News!, fish, food, recalls, safety, Websites)

March 1, 2007

Cargill Meat Solutions is recalling “Ranchers Reserve Island Soy Sliced
Boneless Beef Short Ribs” due to undeclared anchovy (fish).

The packages of “Ranchers Reserve Island Soy Sliced Boneless Beef Short
Ribs” carry the establishment number “86J” inside the USDA mark of

The product was distributed in 25-oz. to 34-oz. retail packages in Arizona,
California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and

The product was also sold in 5.62-pound packages to institutions in
California, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at (952) 742-6211.


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Peanut allergy immunotherapy News

March 1, 2007 at 1:12 pm (Allergy News!, education, medical, nut-free, peanut, safety, USA)

AAAAI: Oral Immunotherapy Dampens But May Not Cure Peanut Allergy

By Neil Osterweil, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
February 26, 2007

Add Your Knowledge™ Additional AAAAI Coverage

Scott D. Nash, M.D.
Duke University

SAN DIEGO — An oral immunotherapy regimen can help take the sting out of severe peanut allergies, reported investigators here.

Five of seven children with severe peanut allergy were able, after two years of immunotherapy, to tolerate a dose of 7.8 grams of peanut flour, equivalent to eating more than 13 peanuts, reported Scott David Nash, M.D., of Duke in Durham, N.C., and colleagues.
Action Points
Caution patients that oral immunotherapy should not be attempted at home, and should only be performed under the close supervision of a physician because of risk of anaphylaxis.

This study was published as an abstract and presented as a poster and at briefing at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary as they have not yet been reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed publication.
Yet while oral immunotherapy can desensitize patients to peanuts, children who undergo it may not be in the clear, cautioned the authors in a featured poster session at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology here.

“We think that our patients are now at decreased risk for anaphylaxis if they have accidental ingestion [of peanuts], but we’re not recommending that our patients reintroduce peanuts into their diets, and all patients were on peanut-elimination diets during the study,” said Dr. Nash.

The investigators enrolled children with a convincing clinical history of peanut allergy who had peanut-specific immunglobulin E (IgE) of 7kU/L or greater.

The children were started on a modified rush immunotherapy protocol, performed in the research unit, in which they would receive over one day increasing multiple doses of peanut flour (mixed in a food of choice, such as applesauce), with dose escalating from 0.1 mg to 25 mg, or, if tolerated, to 50 mg. About half of the patients were able to tolerate the 50 mg dose by the end of the day; the remainder were able to tolerate either 12.5 or 25 mg, said Dr. Nash.

The children then went home and remained on their current dose daily, returning to the center every two weeks for a dose increase until they reached a dose of 300 mg, equivalent to about one peanut. Parents were asked to keep a daily diary of symptoms.

After patients had been maintained on 300 mg of peanut flour daily for two years, they returned to the center for an open food challenge of up to 7.8 g of peanut flour, equal to a good adult-sized handful of nuts. The challenge was delivered as escalating doses beginning at 600 mg every 30 minutes up to the maximum.

In all, five of seven patients had no reaction on the food challenge. One patient took the full dose, but 90 minutes later had a reaction, including stridor, that required epinephrine. The remaining patient made it to 4,200 mg, and then required epinephrine for cough and diffuse hives.

They also looked at immunologic characteristics of food allergy, and found that peanut-specific IgE and IgG both rose initially and the fell during the study, while peanut-specific IgG4 increased throughout the study.

“Peanut oral immunotherapy, we feel, is safe and effective for peanut-allergic patients, and we feel that our immunologic findings for peanut oral immunotherapy are similar to what we find for other forms of oral immunotherapy,” Dr. Nash said.

No financial disclosure information was reported.

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Egg Allergy news

March 1, 2007 at 1:11 pm (alert, Allergy News!, egg, food, kids, labeling, safety)

Got this via email from a local allergy group, Allergy Awareness and Education Group, in Oldham Co., Kentucky.

AAAAI: Kids with Egg Allergy Take a Powder

By Neil Osterweil, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
February 27, 2007

Add Your Knowledge™ Additional AAAAI Coverage

SAN DIEGO — Children with allergies to eggs can lose their sensitivity with the help of a little powdered egg and an oral desensitization regimen, according to Japanese researchers.
Action Points
Explain to parents that oral desensitization regimens such as the one described here should be performed only under the supervision of qualified physicians, as serious allergic or anaphylactic reactions requiring immediate treatment can occur.

This study was published as an abstract and presented orally at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary as they have not yet been reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed publication.
Eleven of 13 allergic children were able to tolerate up to 4 g of powdered egg, about one-quarter of a medium-sized hen’s egg, reported Masuyaki Akashi, M.D, of the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo, and colleagues.

In their study “the reduced risk of critical allergic reaction with accidental ingestion of egg was observed in all patients,” Dr. Akashi reported at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology meeting here.

Although they typically recommend that young patients with egg allergies be kept on egg-avoidance diets until they reach school age, by which time the majority of children have lost their sensitivity, there are some children who never seem to develop tolerance, the authors said.

On the basis of clinical experience with oral desensitization therapy in the U.S. and Europe, the authors conducted a study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the technique with the 13 egg-allergic children.

The seven boys and six girls had a mean age of 5.5 + 1.5 years (range four to eight). Two of the children had bronchial asthma alone, two had atopic dermatitis alone, and the remaining nine had both.

Powdered egg, starting at a dose of 0.1 mg, was introduced gradually into the diets, and was increased every three of four days, in increasing small increments, over three to six months.

Whenever an objective allergic reaction occurred, the previous dose was given for an additional week, and the child was then started on antihistamine.

The main outcomes measures were tolerance to 4 g of powdered egg, and egg-white specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) and immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) levels in serum.

At the end of the study, 11 of the 13 children had developed tolerance to the full 4 g dose of powdered egg. One of the remaining two children could ingest up to 0.2 g of egg, and the other up to 2.4 g at six months.

All but one of the patients had at least some type of allergic reaction during the therapy, with major adverse events including abdominal pain, vomiting, and oral allergy syndrome, but there were no anaphylactic reactions.

“We conclude that our oral desensitization therapy could induce tolerance for 11 of 13 children with egg allergy safely,” Dr. Akashi said.

Dr. Akashi’s co-author, Yukihiro Ohya, M.D., director of the allergy division at Japan’s National Center for Child Health and Development, said that the lack of anaphylactic reactions and the cautious increase in doses gave them confidence that the oral desensitization regimen could be performed safely at home under close supervision by a qualified physician.

The authors had no relevant financial disclosures.

Complete AAAAI Coverage

Primary source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Source reference:
Akashi M et al. “Oral Desensitization in Children with Egg Allergy.” Abstract 291 presented Feb. 24.

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