*Article provided by Foodallergy.org*
House Passes Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act
On April 8, 2008, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2008 (FAAMA) was passed by the House of Representatives.
This important legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) as H.R. 2063. It calls for a uniform guidance document to be created for schools so that any school in the country looking for help in managing food allergies will have a place to turn.
In addition to Rep. Lowey’s strong support, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) was instrumental in securing House passage of the bill and spoke eloquently on the House floor about his own granddaughter’s allergy to peanuts.
“This is a wonderful first step to ensuring that the 2.2 million school-age children with food allergy are safe at school,” says Anne Muñoz-Furlong, founder and CEO of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. “We would like to thank Congress and, most of all, our members for all their help.”
Now that the bill has been passed by the House, it will be reviewed by the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee, who will consider the bill within the coming months. Known as S. 1232 in the Senate, this bill was introduced by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) on April 26, 2007. If the HELP Committee approves the bill, then it will be presented to the full Senate, and with their agreement it would go to President Bush for final approval.
“We are looking forward to working with Sen. Dodd on the Senate bill and will continue to keep you posted,” says Muñoz-Furlong.
What Will FAAMA Do?
If passed, FAAMA will provide schools across the country with uniform guidance on how to create appropriate management and emergency plans for children with food allergies. The bill will direct the secretary of health and human services to develop a voluntary policy for schools to implement measures to prevent exposure to food allergens and to ensure a prompt response if a child suffers a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction.
How You Can Help
Senator Dodd has sent a letter to all Senators encouraging them to co-sponsor S. 1232. We are asking you to contact your Senators (by email or phone) in follow up to Sen. Dodd's letter to encourage their support and co-sponsorship of S. 1232.
Congress will soon adjourn for its summer recess, so now is the time to take action to encourage Senate support for S. 1232. You can make a difference! Call or email your Senators today!
How to Contact Your Senators
To e-mail your Senators or find appropriate phone numbers, go to: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
If you call, please be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles health issues.
If you email, feel free to download and use this sample letter for guidance. (.doc ~25 KB).
Need More Information?
Please contact our Washington Representative Courtney Gray Haupt at email@example.com if you have any questions, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the text of The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act, click here.
To see which Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of HR.2063, click here.
To see which Senators have signed on as co-sponsors of S.1232, click here.