January, 2011 – After its initial introduction to the U.S. Congress in 2005, The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (FAAMA) was finally signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011.
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) led the effort to encourage Congress to enact FAAMA, which calls for voluntary national guidelines to help schools manage students affected by food allergy and anaphylaxis.
The bill will:
- require the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and make available to schools a voluntary policy to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis in schools
- provide for school-based food allergy management incentive grants to support implementation of food allergy management guidelines in public schools
“We are thrilled with the passage of FAAMA, which provides schools nationwide with the resources to easily put policies in place that will protect students with food allergies,” said FAAN CEO Julia Bradsher. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for the food allergy community.”
The road to passage was not easy. FAAMA was ultimately inserted into a Food Safety Bill, which was approved by Congress during the lame duck session on December 21, 2010 and signed into law by President Obama two weeks later.
As a result of FAAMA, the federal government will create voluntary, national guidance materials for managing food allergies in our nation’s schools. This will have a tremendous impact across the country as schools face the challenges presented by the increasing prevalence of children with food allergies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in fact, reported that food allergy among children under 18 increased 18 percent from 1997 to 2007, and estimates that these children experience more than 300,000 ambulatory care visits per year related to food allergy.
Founded in 1991, FAAN (The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) is the world leader in information, resources, and programs for food allergy, a potentially life-threatening medical condition that afflicts approximately 12 million Americans, or one out of every 25. A nonprofit organization based in Fairfax, Va., FAAN has approximately 25,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and 58 other countries. It is dedicated to increasing public awareness of food allergy and its consequences, to educating people about the condition, and to advancing research on behalf of all those affected by it. FAAN provides information and educational resources about food allergy to patients, their families, schools, health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, and government officials. For more information, please visit FAAN at www.foodallergy.org.