Higher-res Epi-pen how-to trainer video

May 14, 2007 at 12:06 pm (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, education, medical, Science, video)



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If your child has peanut allergy, he/she may react to SOY, as well

April 22, 2007 at 12:46 pm (Allergy News!, asthma, Blog & Websites, kids, medical, nut-free, peanut, Science, soy, tree nut, USA, Websites)

Dear AllergyKids’ Friends,

Soy Induced Anaphylaxis in Children with Asthma and Peanut Allergy
As many of you know, soy is one of the top eight allergens. What you may not know is that a child with a peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction after eating a food that contains soy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Resource Center.

How could soy cause an allergic reaction in my child with peanut allergy?
In scientific terms, soybean allergens are “homologous” to known peanut allergens and can be recognized by 44% of peanut-allergic patients.

What that means is that a child with a peanut allergy can have an allergic reaction and even go into anaphylaxis after eating soy. Because this cross-reactivity is rarely mentioned in the press, many parents are unaware of the potential health risks that soy may present to children with peanut allergies.

What are the Signs of a Cross-Reaction to Soy?
According to Ingrid Yman, PhD of the Swedish National Food Administration, these deaths initially appear as an asthma attack, with no or very mild symptoms for the first 30-90 minutes after the consumption of food containing soy. Then, the children suffer fatal asthma attacks.

What Can I Do to Protect My Child with Peanut Allergy?
According to Dr. Yman, PhD of the Swedish National Food Administration, “If your child is allergic to peanuts, you should consider eliminating soy as well as all peanuts from your child’s diet, even if your child has never reacted poorly to soy in the past. Some sensitive children have “hidden” soy allergies that manifest for the first time with a severe – even fatal – reaction to even the low levels of “hidden” soy commonly found in processed food products. Those at the highest risk suffer from asthma as well as peanut allergy.”

The Swedish National Food Administration study analyzed severe food allergy reactions of children that died after consuming soy. These children had known allergies to peanuts but not to soy.

What products contain soy?
Soy can be found in soy milk, tofu, soy sauce, baby formula and other soy products.

Soy is also used in many processed foods, as soy lecithin, soy lectin, soybean oil and other soy derivatives.

Soy is commonly used as animal-feed in livestock.

It is only within the last nine years that soy has become one of the top eight allergens.

Soy has recently been genetically engineered to contain new proteins and potential allergens.

Are there other facts that I may not know about soy?
According to Daniel Sheehan, PhD and director of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) National Center for Toxicological Research, soy-fed babies are taking part in “a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored human infant experiment.”

The British Dietetic Association now warns parents to avoid soy formula given the results of a 2003 study conducted by Dr. Gideon Lack from St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College, London, UK.

The French Food Agency will soon require warning labels on all soy foods, soy formulas and soy milk so that consumers will be aware of the risks that soy poses to children under the age of three, those with hypothyroidism, and women with a family history of breast cancer.

In January 2006, the American Heart Association reversed its position on soy.

Why haven’t I heard this before?
AllergyKids is one of the first independently funded food allergy organizations in the world. We highlight all food allergy research that relates to the health and well-being of children and their families.

Being independently funded, AllergyKids is able to avoid conflicts of interest that funding ties may present – the importance of which is detailed in the work of Dr. Susan Linn of Harvard University and Marion Nestle, former editor of the Surgeon General Letter on Nutrition and Health.

What can I do to learn more?
AllergyKids would like to highlight the work of Kaayla Daniel, PhD. In her book, The Whole Soy Story, Dr. Daniel details the cross reactivity between soy and peanut, specifically addressing in detail the risks that soy poses to children with peanut allergy and asthma.

In the United States, the Weston A. Price Foundation is spearheading efforts to address children with peanut allergy who were fed soy as infants and toddlers.

What else can I do?
If you believe that the consumption of soy products or soy formula may have played a role in the development of your child’s food allergies, please contact:

Sally Fallon, President
The Weston A. Price Foundation
PMB 106-380 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20016
Phone: (202) 363-4394

How can I support AllergyKids’ Independent Research?
To support AllergyKids’ independent research, even if you don’t have a child with food allergies, please consider purchasing products for your child or your child’s school or preschool so that we can continue to provide families with the tools to help protect children.

We invite you to follow the lead of Linda, a nurse in upstate New York who conducted a fund raiser with her association of school nurses and purchased custom-designed AllergyKids Kits for every elementary school in the district.

Please forward this email and encourage friends to sign up for our FREE newsletters
Please consider forwarding this email to your friends and family in an effort to spread this previously unhighlighted information about the risk that soy poses to children with asthma and peanut allergy.

If you would like to include this letter on your website or in your blog, please refer to AllergyKids as the source of this information and encourage your readers to sign up for our free newsletters which will continue to provide leading research.

If we can ever answer any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at http://www.allergykids.com or 1.800.671.1525.

As Robert F. Kennedy said, “Some men see things the way they are, and ask ’why?’”
For our children, we see things the way they should be, and ask ’why not?’

In our quest for a cure for these children, no truth is too complex. We must simply have the courage to pursue it.

With hope for our children,
Robyn O’Brien
Founder, AllergyKids
Mother of Four

About Robyn O’Brien: Prior to launching AllergyKids, Robyn was in the process of applying for a PhD after drafting her first book, Sugar Mamas: Nutrition’s Impact on the Health and Well-Being of Mothers and Their Children. When her fourth child was diagnosed with potentially life threatening food allergies, she curtailed her personal pursuit in an effort to create greater awareness of the millions of children with food allergies.

Prior to motherhood, Robyn worked as an analyst on one of the nation’s largest mid-cap portfolio management teams. Her team was responsible for $20 billion in assets, covering everything from Enron, to Ebay to Martha Stewart. Robyn received an MBA in finance on a full scholarship and was a Fulbright Fellow.

In her efforts to create awareness of children with food allergies, she has received encouragement from Erin Brockovich and parents around the world.

Robyn asks that you please consider forwarding this email to others who are looking to protect the health and well-being of their families.

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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

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

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Peanut allergy alert

January 6, 2007 at 7:19 am (Allergy News!, medical, peanut, recalls, Science)


January 4, 2007

Tan Tan Tofu is recalling its 64-fl. oz./1.890 L “All Natural Tan Tan Tofu
Panda Flavor Soybean Juice” due to undeclared peanuts.

The product was distributed in California in 64-fl. oz./1.890 L opaque
plastic containers with no lot number or expiration date.

Consumers who have purchased the product are urged to return it to the
place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact
the company at (714) 895-3565.

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GMOs have been linked to the increase in food allergy.

November 25, 2006 at 6:31 pm (Allergy News!, medical, Science, social issues)

Here’s what the people selling GMOs have to say about it:

“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.’s job” – Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Playing God in the Garden” New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998.

“Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety ” — FDA, “Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties” (GMO Policy), Federal Register, Vol. 57, No. 104 (1992), p. 229

“People will have Roundup Ready soya whether they like it or not ” – Ann Foster, spokesperson for Monsanto in Britian, as quoted in The Nation magazine from article “The Politics of Food” [49] by Maria Margaronis December 27, 1999 issue.

“The hope of the industry is that over time the market is so flooded [with GMOs] that there’s nothing you can do about it. You just sort of surrender ” Don Westfall, biotech industry consultant and vice-president of Promar International, in the Toronto Star, January 9 2001.

“Stark denials in the face of documented evidence to the contrary have been corporate policy at Monsanto and GE for decades .” Eric Francis author of Conspiracy of Silence [51]

” The scope of the fraud, if you will–I know that’s a harsh word–the scope of the fraud that’s being sold to the American public about this technology is almost unprecedented” – Interview with Dr. Charles Benbrook on GMOs

What’s in your cabinets?

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Allergy News – Asthma, GMOs, Peanut Allergy, my EYE!

November 18, 2006 at 6:59 pm (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, asthma, Blog & Websites, Contests, Contributors to the Podcast, medical, Products, Science, social issues, Websites)

This episode’s topics:

full_mask_front.jpghalf_mask_stadium.jpgshield_front.jpg  Coming soon to allergyware.com!  BreathXchange masks!

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Lucky Me

November 17, 2006 at 12:39 pm (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, books, Contributors to the Podcast, medical, Products, Science, social issues, Websites)

I finished my business in Illinois early and got to come home two days ahead of schedule…

However, that means I didn’t yet finish the upcoming podcast.  Don’t worry, though, it’s more than half-way done!

In the meantime, if you are looking for a good podcast, try the edition of Writers on Writing in which Christina Adams speaks about her memoir of early intervention into the case of her child’s autism.  There are connections between food and autism, and as I have wondered about aloud on my podcast and on this blog, there are medical connections between the allergic response we typically see to food, and the autistic response.

Hope you are having a terrific Friday! 

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Act early to combat mold

November 6, 2006 at 8:02 pm (Allergy News!, medical, Science)

An article from the C-J, here in Louisville. I spoke with one of the interviewed experts today, who supports the show coming to radio locally!

Moving quickly to combat mold is vital, experts say

By Chris Poynter
The Courier-Journal

It’s been five days since torrential rains caused local neighborhoods to flood, so if you’ve got mold problems, you should notice them by now, local experts said.

Nick Leow, a biologist with Micro-Analytics, a Louisville company specializing in air-quality control, said homeowners first should determine whether they can handle the problem themselves.

“If it’s a small amount of water, it can be mopped up and dried up effectively,” he said. “But if you have inches and inches of standing water, it’s something most people can’t handle with a wet vac.”

Mold can pose health risks, causing problems such as a stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing or skin irritation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those with weak immune systems or lung diseases could develop mold infections in their lungs.

One especially harmful mold, stachybotrys atra, can produce airborne toxins. That type is not as common as other molds.

People who develop health problems after exposure to mold are advised to contact their doctors.

Leow said people whose finished basements flooded over the weekend likely have a larger problem than those with unfinished basements.

“You’ve got drywall and wood paneling that can be saturated,” Leow said. “You’ve got two to three days to dry it out before running into the potential of mold growth.”

Although a home might appear dry, mold can grow in the walls or in hidden areas, so if you have any doubt, consult a professional, Leow said.

If airborne mold spores are heavily concentrated, it might require homeowners to vacate their property until the problem is resolved, Leow said.

Shirish Phulgaonkar, an engineer with Allergen Control, a company that specializes in repairing mold damage, said soap and water will wash away most mold spores.

“The key thing is to dry the house by using dehumidifiers or air conditioning,” he said.

The price of a mold inspection depends on the size of the house, but Leow said inspection of a typical Louisville home should be around $300.

Phulgaonkar warned people to be cautious about the company they hire and to check with the Better Business Bureau and other sources.

He said mold problems can be fixed without major expenses.

“You don’t have to tear the house down” to do it, he said.

Reporter Chris Poynter can be reached at (502) 582-4475.

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Are you curious about the cause of food allergies over the past decade?

November 3, 2006 at 6:18 am (Allergy News!, medical, Science, Websites)

So am I. Check out this site. Seriously, give it a read, okay?

An excerpt:

Genetically Engineered Foods: An Experiment on Our Health and the Environment

Genetically engineered ingredients, such as corn and soy, are currently in 60-70% of the food on grocery store shelves, such as cereal, soup, tortilla chips, infant formula and soda. Amazingly, NONE of the genetically engineered foods on the market have been adequately tested for effects on human health or the environment or labeled by the FDA, EPA or USDA. As a result, we have become the subjects of a large-scale experiment on our health and our environment by genetic engineering companies such as Monsanto—the makers of Agent Orange and DDT.

Risks include health and environmental hazards such as new food allergies; decreased antibiotic effectiveness; increased pesticide use; and harm to the monarch butterfly and beneficial insects like ladybugs. Genetically engineered crops also pose risks to our family farms through genetic pollution of organic and conventional farmers’ crops, the creation of “superweeds” from cross-pollination, and virulent new plant viruses.

Every year, more genetically engineered crops are developed and currently more than 100 million acres of genetically engineered crops are being grown around the world. It is time to stop this experiment on our health and the environment!


Kraft Foods is the largest food company in the country, and the second largest in the world. Kraft’s products are found in 99% of U.S. households, and many of them, such as Taco Bell taco shells, Boca Burgers, Lunchables, Post cereals and Stovetop Stuffing have been found to contain untested and unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients that may put our families and environment at risk. Kraft refuses to label these inadequately tested foods, taking away our right to know what we are eating, despite the fact that between 85 and 95% of Americans want labeling.

Kraft is aware of the potential health and environmental risks of genetically engineered foods. After StarLink corn—a variety not approved for human consumption—was discovered in Kraft’s products by GE Food Alert in the fall of 2000, the company recalled millions of boxes of taco shells and, to avoid further contamination, switched to non-engineered white corn in its corn-based taco products. Kraft also called for stricter regulation of engineered crops. Despite their strong statements and moves to avoid GE corn in some products, Kraft continues to use questionable genetically engineered ingredients in many of its other products. Meanwhile, hundreds of Americans have reported allergic reactions to the FDA after eating Kraft and other name brand corn products likely to contain GE corn.

Kraft has also moved to avoid genetically engineered ingredients in European markets because of consumer demand and strict laws there. They should be doing the same around the world.

Kraft must stop using genetically engineered ingredients in all its products and immediately label what’s on the shelf so we can make our own choices about what we’re eating. Kraft has a responsibility to support the health of its customers, as well as their environment and America’s family farms. As the largest food maker in the country, Kraft must make sure its food is safe.

Tell Kraft that you don’t want to be part of the experiment!


We are calling on all food companies, particularly Kraft Foods, to immediately do the following:

  1. Stop using genetically engineered ingredients in all of its products unless adequate testing, labeling, and liability are established;
  2. Start labeling products containing tested genetically engineered ingredients, so consumers can make their own choices; and
  3. Pledge not to use genetically engineered wheat, currently being developed for commercial introduction by the biotechnology industry.

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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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