Talking Allergies

Luncheon @ House of Commons talk of allergies Dec 07/10?
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Author:  alberta advocate [ Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Luncheon @ House of Commons talk of allergies Dec 07/10?

Was I dreaming this? Anybody hear anything?


Author:  _Susan_ [ Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Luncheon @ House of Commons talk of allergies Dec 07/10?

Yesterday, I attended the lunch hour information session on Parliament Hill hosted by Niagara MP Dean Allison and NASK (Niagara Anaphylaxis Support & Knowledge). There was a turn out of approximately 30 MP's. The focus of the meeting was to make them aware of Anaphylaxis-what it is and how it impacts their constituents.

There was a handout of information about NASK, AllerGen, news articles regarding trends in allergies and how popular the peanut free baseball zone is. They even included an epipen trainer and a copy of Allergic Living's most recent magazine!

There are 5 main policy items to Motion 546:
-Federal Coordination-of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information.
-Coordinated Awareness Campaigns-both targeted and general public information initiatives.
-Long Term Commitment to Research-a strategic response and more dollars for research.
-Improved Allergen Labelling-for foods, drugs, cosmetic and personal care products.
-Improved Transportation Safeguards-airline and public transportation policies that reduce the risk for food allergic passengers

I'm glad that I went. Even though NASK's Cindy Paskey and Debbie Bruce gave excellent examples of the issues facing parents of children with severe food allergies, I was able to make the points:
-Anaphylaxis does not only impact the allergic individual, it also impacts immediate, extended families and friends. We need clear label laws so that these people are able to make informed purchase decisions.
-Anaphylaxis reactions are not black and white survival or not. During an anaphylaxis reaction, vital oxygen can be cut off from the brain or major organs resulting in permanent brain damage, loss of vision or other functions or impaired function of the heart, liver or kidneys. All of this will have an impact on the health care system.

When asked who knew someone with severe food allergies, 50% of the MP's raised their hands. I was impressed by those with no experience who choce to come and learn about a condition that was foreign to them-I'm sure they are very busy people.

Of those who knew someone, half thought they knew how to use an epipen. One MP who was a teacher earlier in her career spoke of recognizing an anaphylaxis reaction and administering the epipen (not while teaching but years later). She said the medication was extremely fast acting but the allergic individual still spent a week in the hospital.

It was a very interesting afternoon indeed. The hope is, that in the coming months, these MP's will be better able to vote on issues if they know more of the facts.

Author:  alberta advocate [ Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Luncheon @ House of Commons talk of allergies Dec 07/10?

Well, YEAH!!! I should have done something like that before the voted on Mr. MacDonalds putting forward motion 504 in Alberta last March. Apparently I must have said or shown something to Mr. Horner for him to vote for the opposition. Food for thought.
Susan, thanks for going and reporting back to us.


Author:  Julie [ Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Luncheon @ House of Commons talk of allergies Dec 07/10?

Wow, this is really great to hear!!!! Thanks to everyone for their hard work in getting this to the House of Commons. Thank you Susan, for having our collective voices heard!

Author:  alberta advocate [ Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Luncheon @ House of Commons talk of allergies Dec 07/10?
Dean Allison p.c.
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, 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 can be taken by society that 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, Motion No. 546, when it comes before the House next year.


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