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Food Allergy Advocacy

NASK Anaphylaxis Initiative – Motion 546

The following is a news release from our friends at Niagara Anaphylaxis Support and Knowledge (NASK).

Motion M-546

Let’s join together, and ask the federal government to develop a strategic plan to decrease the risks for Canadians living with anaphylaxis, and to educate the public.

Write and visit your MP. Spread this message to your friends, families and support group members. Ask them to write and visit their MP. If we make a concerted effort to voice our concerns and needs, positive change that benefits individuals and families living with severe, life threatening allergies will result!

Media Release

Niagara Families and MP Dean Allison Raise Awareness for Anaphylaxis

June 7, 2010 – Niagara West – Glanbrook Member of Parliament Dean Allison gave notice for a motion in the House of Commons today:

“That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.”

Anaphylaxis is a medical condition describing people with severe, life-threatening allergies. Reactions are rapid in onset and may cause death without immediate treatment. Food is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, but insect stings, medicine, latex or exercise can cause reactions. In Canada, the most common food allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, shellfish, fish, sesame and wheat. Anaphylaxis has no cure, though important research and efforts to find a cure are underway. Avoidance is the required preventative measure.

The MP’s motion is welcomed by hundreds of family members of the local group Niagara Anaphylaxis Support and Knowledge (NASK). They seek to motivate support across Canada for the Niagara MP’s efforts to raise greater awareness on Parliament Hill and prompt responsible action with Government officials.

NASK President Cindy Paskey explains, “As more and more Canadian families face the challenges of raising a child with one or multiple severe allergies, a coordinated, thoughtful set of government initiatives will help to raise public understanding of anaphylaxis, and provide greater safety of its children and citizens. We ask government to take steps to help to reduce the risk of unnecessary and preventable anaphylactic attacks. Everyone benefits. Medical emergencies are avoided. Lives are saved.”

Ms. Paskey adds, “Of necessity, there is a great deal of personal responsibility when living with anaphylaxis. Avoiding your allergens is the only way to stay alive. With the support of MPs and government officials, we can raise greater public understanding, promote responsible safety measures, educate people on the signs of a reaction and how to help a person in need – similar to CPR education. This coordinated government approach will lead to reducing risk and to safer environments for those living with life-threatening allergies and to those providing care and services. Canadians and our governments have successfully tackled a wide range of health concerns that has made Canada a safer, healthier, happier place to live. Anaphylaxis deserves the same attention.”

The NASK group is very optimistic about the prospects of their awareness drive given recent attention in Ottawa on anaphylaxis. Just weeks ago, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion to recognize May as Food Allergy Awareness Month. The Canadian Transportation Agency is about to make a ruling regarding airlines’ safety protocols respecting allergies. Also, Health Canada is reviewing new food labeling regulations that highlight the importance of listing ingredients and allergy information.

For more information, visit and contact:

Cindy Paskey, NASK President — 905 934-0681 /
Mindi Ferkul, NASK — 905 938-9100 /
Debbie Bruce, NASK — 905 828 1954 /
Don Tulloch, Legislative Assistant, M.P. Dean Allison — 613 995-2772 /

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