Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative Asking for Your Help

Petition Asks Government to Protect Anaphylactic People

by: Alex Thom
Sign the petition to ask the federal government to protect anaphylactic passengers

The Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) is a network of Canadian families who are working with Members of Parliament to raise awareness in Ottawa regarding severe, life-threatening allergies. They work to educate about allergies, advocate for those with life-threatening allergies, and work to change legislation in order to protect those with severe allergies. 

From their website:

CAI has a 5-point Policy request of the Federal Government. These policy objectives are the group’s primary goals:

1. Federal Coordination — of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information; seeking a comprehensive and coordinated response by federal government offices and agencies to the various health and quality of life issues relating to anaphylaxis.

2. Coordinated Awareness Campaigns — of national, general public information initiatives, and accurate and targeted information to groups such as medical professionals, first aid and emergency training providers, child care workers, food service providers and to those who work in the hospitality industry.

3. Long Term Commitment to Research — supporting a strategic response and more dollars for research, and standardized and evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis, management and treatment of food allergies and anaphylaxis needs to be developed.

4. Improved Allergen Labeling — for foods, drugs, cosmetic and personal care products. Welcomed labeling regulations were announced February 2011, but more needs to be done, for example, regulating the use of precautionary allergen statements such as “may contain,” and consideration of an “allergy aware” symbol indicating that an item has indeed been reviewed for the 10 major allergens; and Health Canada should follow-through on commitments to improve allergen labeling.

5. Improved Transportation Safeguards — relating to airline and public transportation policies that reduce risks for food allergic passengers; made in consultation with the anaphylaxis community

With specific regards to the fifth point, I was speaking to Debbie Bruce, Co-Director of CAI and member of the Mississauga Anaphylaxis Group, and she has asked to reach out to the Canadian allergy community to ask that we all work together, and sign the petition, as detailed below:

For the past three years, Debbie has tirelessly worked on a Federal Anaphylaxis Motion-230 that was passed unanimously in the House of Commons May 22, 2013. The motion reads:

Anaphylaxis Motion-230 
“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.”  
May 22, 2013 — Dean Allison, MP Niagara West-Glanbrook

One of the objectives of the motion is "Improved Transportation Safeguards." To that end, Debbie has met with the Minister of Transport, who is working on this. According to Bruce, "After consulting with supportive MPs (and there are many) a petition was started. A petition will bring attention to the issue, in the House of Commons and Parliament is required to respond within 45 days of the petition being tabled."

The petition requests the federal government enact a "Policy to Reduce the Risk for Anaphylactic Passengers." The background information and the petition are HERE, along with all the work Bruce and others have been doing with the federal government. 

The first petition was presented to Parliament by Brad Butt, MP Mississauga-Streetsville Wednesday, April 30th. It is urgent we get the petitions and letters done ASAP (before June), so please help Debbie spread the word.

I'll be downloading the materials and sending them to my MP...will you?