Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act Becomes Law
Much Needed National School Food Allergy Guidelines Will Be Created
FAIRFAX, Va. (Jan. 5, 2011) – The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (FAAMA), legislation that will result in the creation of national food allergy management guidelines for schools, was finally signed into law after spending five years pending in the U.S. Congress.
FAAMA, which was written largely by FAAN (the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network), was initially introduced in 2005 to coincide with FAAN’s inaugural Kids’ Congress on Capitol Hill. Although the legislation earned bipartisan support over the years in both the House and Senate, it was never enacted – until now.
“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 on January 4, 2011.
“All of our nation's children deserve a safe and healthy learning environment,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). “The bill being signed into law today is an important step toward providing relief for the children and families of those who struggle daily with food allergies.”
“As a parent of a child who suffers from severe food allergies, I know firsthand the distress this can cause young children and their families. As the number of children with food allergies continues to rise, FAAMA will establish guidelines for the management of food allergies in schools - protecting the well-being of millions of children with life-threatening allergies.”
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.