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Leading Food Allergy Research and Advocacy Groups Merge to Find Cure for Life-Threatening Childhood Disease
Date:2/2/2009

d president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), noted that the two organizations have played a key role in advancing food allergy research over the past decade. "Food allergy research was very limited until concerned families founded these organizations," he said. "This merger couldn't have come at a more critical moment. In this challenging economy, competition for federal research grants will be more intense than ever. If we want to attract more investigators to the field, they need to know that they have a powerful voice in Washington -- and that substantial funds are available from a sound, trusted private source as well."

There are no medications to cure or control food allergies. A strict diet and avoidance of the allergenic food is the only way to avoid a reaction, yet the most common allergens -- peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy -- are staples of the food supply and virtually impossible to avoid completely. Accidental exposure to even a minuscule amount of the offending food can cause an allergic individual to react within seconds, often leading to life-threatening anaphylaxis that causes throat swelling, a dramatic drop in blood pressure, vomiting and even death within a matter of minutes. Although researchers estimate that food allergies cause tens of thousands of emergency room visits each year, they do not understand why rates are increasing so alarmingly, particularly among children. As the CDC report indicated, in a recent five-year period, the rates of peanut allergies among children literally doubled, and allergies to other foods are similarly increasing.

The Food Allergy Initiative (www.faiusa.org) was founded in 1998 by concerned parents and grandparents to support: basic and clinical research worldwide; better public policies to make the world safer for those afflicted; and educational pro
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SOURCE Food Allergy Initiative
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