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Important day for people with food allergies as new food labelling regulations come into force August 4th

TORONTO, August 1, 2012 - After a decade of advocacy by allergy organizations, medical professionals, and thousands of Canadians, consumers with food allergies will be able to count on clearer, more complete information on food product labels when new federal regulations come into force August 4th. Anaphylaxis Canada, the national advocacy organization for people with food allergies, welcomes the new rules announced by Health Canada last year. The regulations will require food manufacturers to clearly identify common food allergens, gluten sources and sulphites in plain language on the label of pre-packaged food products.

“All Canadians have a right to know what the ingredients are in the food products they are buying”, said Laurie Harada, Executive Director at Anaphylaxis Canada, and mother of a teen with multiple food allergies. “For people with a potentially life-threatening food allergy, this information is critical.”

Anaphylaxis, the most serious form of allergic reaction, is a growing public health concern. Recent research reveals approximately 2.5 million Canadians self-report at least one food allergy*. As there is no known cure and no way of predicting the severity of an allergic reaction, avoidance of allergens is the only means of staying safe. The new regulations reflect the increased awareness of the challenges people with food allergies – as well as family members, friends and caregivers who shop for them – face in staying safe.

Anaphylaxis Canada is proud of its role in getting the regulations passed, working closely with  several national organizations -  The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, The Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation, Allergy/Asthma Information Association, Association québécoise des allergies alimentaires, Canadian Celiac Association, Fondation Québécoise de la Maladie Coeliaque and Allergic Living Magazine.

“We appreciate the efforts of many in government – including the Minister of Health, Members of Parliament and staff at Health Canada – and the food industry, for their commitment to protect a growing number of consumers with food allergies and celiac disease,” said Harada.

Anaphylaxis Canada will continue to advocate for clear and accurate food labelling rules that will keep those at risk safe, as well as address any gaps that may exist in current labelling practices.  We look forward to working with Health Canada and the food industry on this very important issue.

In order to help educate Canadians on the new regulations and what consumers can now expect to see on food labels, Anaphylaxis Canada will be hosting an educational webinar later this month. For more details, please visit www.anaphylaxis.ca.

About Anaphylaxis Canada
Anaphylaxis Canada is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping those at risk for anaphylaxis and those who care for them. The organization is committed to creating a safer world for people with life-threatening allergies through education, advocacy, and research. For more information, visit www.anaphylaxis.ca.

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* Overall Prevalence of Self-reported Food Allergy in Canada, L. Soller et al, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology February 2012 (Abstract)


For more information please contact:
Christopher Holcroft            
Empower Consulting for Anaphylaxis Canada         
416-996-0767/ Chris_Holcroft@yahoo.com


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