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By: | AFAA CEO & Editorial Contributor
Lianne Mandelbaum is a mother and advocate in the food allergy community. Lianne runs the site, "No Nut Traveler", and has subesquently started a petition and movement that led to the introduction of S. 1972 that will essentially, if passed, require: stock epinephrine; require airline crew members be trained on how to administer stock epinephrine; and require guideline changes to food allergy policy for airlines.
Lianne Mandelbaum is a mother and advocate in the food allergy community. Lianne runs the site, "No Nut Traveler", and has subesquently started a petition and movement that led to the introduction of S. 1972 that will essentially, if passed, require: stock epinephrine; require airline crew members be trained on how to administer stock epinephrine; and require guideline changes to food allergy policy for airlines. On Monday, August 10th, 2015 FARE sent out an email to support groups nationwide calling us to action as a community to support Ms. Mandelbaums efforts. You can see the email below, as well as the downloadable template to fill-out and send to your state Senator. 

For those in Arizona it is as follows: 

Flake, Jeff - (R - AZ)Class I413 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510(202) 224-4521Contact:

McCain, John - (R - AZ)Class III218 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510(202) 224-2235Contact:

Call to Action from FARE:

Background:  FARE has been working with Senators and Representatives to encourage improved airline policies with respect to food allergies.  We are pleased to report that Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), along with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) have introduced S. 1972, which includes the following provisions:

-a requirement that airlines stock epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) in all aircraft within six months;

- an interim requirement that the 1:1,000 epinephrine vials currently included in airline emergency kits be labeled for the treatment of anaphylaxis;

- a requirement that airline crew members be trained on how to administer EAIs; and

- a report to Congress by the General Accounting Office on current airline policies regarding issues including the extent to which airline food allergy policies are transparent and accessible,  the steps that could be taken to develop a model policy, and the incidence of inflight allergic reactions and administration of epinephrine.

Requested Action:  FARE is asking all support groups to send letters to their Senators asking that they co-sponsor S. 1972  Attached is a model letter. PLEASE PARAPHRASE THIS LETTER SO THAT SENATORS DO NOT RECEIVE MULTIPLE COPIES OF IDENTICAL LETTERS.  Please prepare two letters (one to each of your Senators) on your group’s letterhead (or with the name of the group clearly visible at the top and contact information at the bottom) along with information that supports who your group is, the geography you serve, etc..  In the body of each letter, be sure to insert the names of each Senator and the name of your support group (in the blank in the first line).  

If you are uncertain who your Senators are, please go to:

The mail to the Capitol is extremely slow.  In order for your Senators to receive your letters promptly, please email them to me and I will share with FARE’s Capitol Hill representative:

We will bring your letter to the attention of each Senator’s office.  
If you have questions about the bill or this request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

As with the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine bill enacted in 2013, FARE’s chances of success in advocating for this legislation requires active involvement of all support groups.  Thanks for working with FARE in our efforts to make airline travel safer for individuals with food allergies.

We also acknowledge the important support of our coalition partners at AANMA, AAFA, and The No Nut Traveler, who have all also endorsed this legislation.  

Thank you all,

Scott Riccio
Senior Vice President, Education & Advocacy
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
7925 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 1100
McLean, VA 22102
Direct: 703-563-3081 Cell: 202-341-5177 Fax: 703-691-2713

FARE’S mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments.  Learn more at

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By: Lilliana DeSantiago Cardenas | AFAA School Epinephrine Advocate & Editorial Contributor
With the passage of SB 1421 allowing school districts to provide stock general use epinephrine for emergencies it is important that we understand what this means.
Exciting times are here; our children are off to a new school year.  Unfortunately these are also times of anxiety and fear for many families. With the passage of SB1421 allowing school districts to provide stock general use epinephrine for emergencies it is important that we understand what this means.  Also what we can do while schools in AZ become more competent on Food Allergies, Anaphylaxis and how to help our children either with their own epinephrine or with stock.

  1. Most schools will not have stock epinephrine available this year.  By law they are only required to stock if funds have been allocated via the annual budget.  Schools may opt to purchase these through their own funds.  Check with your schools.
  2. Stock epinephrine should never take the place of your child’s prescribed epinephrine.  Bring your child’s prescribed medication to school, make sure it is not expired, label it clearly and provide clear and detailed information to all classroom teachers, aides, and any other adults that will work with your child during the school day on how and when to use it. 
  3. Be prepared and communicate, 504 Plans are essential if your child has food allergies that lead to anaphylaxis. They not only provide information and guidance on how and when to help your child, but it is a legal and binding document that is developed in agreement with school administration, teachers, and parents.   504 Plans also provide you the leverage you need to ensure that necessary accommodations are made in regards to food, medication access, and class room environment.  Also if there are violations to the 504 Plan it is much easier to take legal action and hold people accountable.  Some schools may challenge your child’s ability to carry their epinephrine if there is not a 504 Plan and information outlining your child’s condition and medication requirements.  Make sure you check in with your school administrator and nurse about this.
  4. Share training resources on how to administer epinephrine to all adults who work with your child: The thought of injecting epinephrine is scary for most people.  Ease concerns through education and practice with demos.
  5. Be a team! Work with the school as much as possible and understand that they are afraid too. Schools are set up to be educational institutions not healthcare providers so this is totally out of their comfort zone.  They don’t want to put your child in danger.  The more you work with them in a patient and respectful manner, the more responsive they will be.  They need to be educated on the issue, treatment, risks, and emergency management.  The more they understand that the danger is in the lack of responding vs giving someone epinephrine the more they will become comfortable and willing to help.
My experience working with schools for over 8 years on asthma, food allergies, and diabetes is that they want to help, but they don’t really know how.  They are scared and don’t want to get into legal troubles. They don’t want to hurt your child and they sure don’t want a tragedy on their hands.  Education and awareness is key and the way to achieve this is through collaborative partnership between parents, students and school.   

By: , AFAA Director of Operations
"A new nonprofit organization launched today is taking the American public and the food allergy community to a whole new level of support and compassion"
Photo courtesy of FAACT
Very exciting news for the food allergy & anaphylaxis community today! There has been much change and what seems like organized chaos amongst the national organizations in our community over the last couple years. Merger's, new start-ups, bloggers taking center stage, state level organizations morphing from support groups to nonprofits in their own right, and more!

The buzz from the community is that of contentment, hopefulness, confusion, and a lot of disappointment. Without pointing the finger at any one organization - there has been lack of compassion, lack of support, lack of advocacy, lack of education, and lack of awareness. This coupled with a general sense of "trying to be everything to everyone".

I have personally worked with each one of the leaders at the new FAACT on multiple levels. Some more than others. I have positive things to say about each and every one of them. How will they fill a void that is greatly in need of repair to help our community?

I could write to tell you about each of their bio's. You can check that out first hand for yourself HERE. Instead I will tell you this: Each and every one of these leaders for the new FAACT, is A MOTHER OF A CHILD WITH LIFE-THREATENING FOOD ALLERGIES! Each of them have also been successful in their own right on a state and national level educating, advocating and supporting the community. They know first hand what it is to have their child diagnosed, work with schools, restaurants and more. They get it!

What exactly are they bringing that hasn't already been brought to the table? They have worked in the food allergy community for YEARS, and know what is working and what wasn't working. Here's what you can find on their site and look forward to in 2014:

Annual Food Allergy Conferences in California, Georgia, Colorado and Pennsylvania.

CAMP TAG, The Food Allergy Gang Summer Camps in California, New Jersey and a Midwestern location TBA.

Teen Conference & Advisory Council

Adult Resources

Civil Rights Advocacy


Government Relations

and more!

Arizona Food Allergy has a great working relationship with FAACT, and their leadership. We are excited about the opportunities to work together with a national organization that can help us on a state level here in Arizona, as well as what they can bring to the Nation. Congratulations not only to FAACT and their leadership, but to our food allergy & anaphylaxis community. Let's celebrate this new organization and all the great things we have to look forward to in 2014... Happy New Year ... Here's to new beginnings!

By: , | Arizona Food Allergy
PREFERENCE- The Secretary, in making any grant under this section or any other
grant that is asthma-related (as determined by the Secretary) to a State, shall
give preference to any State that satisfies each of the following requirements:... (Excerpt from Text of S. 1884)
President Obama has the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act sitting on his desk awaiting signature. Many in the food allergy & anaphylaxis community have seen a lot of buzz about this recently passed School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. There are many that are under the impression that this Act is putting epi-pen's in their schools. It. Is. Not. Not directly anyways, although the hope is that it would or may encourage it. So what exactly is this Act all about?

In Arizona, AFAA spearheaded the bill that was already signed into law by Governor Brewer, known as SB 1421. SB 1421 at State level, if budget is provided in that school year - mandates Arizona schools to stock general use epinephrine. If a budget is not provided - allows Arizona schools to stock general use epinephrine. Additionally, SB 1421 provides for school staff to administer epinephrine in good faith and have "good sam" coverage. Arizona also ALREADY has on the books a law for self-carry of epinephrine and asthma medications that predated SB 1421.

So how does the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act come into play and what does the bill language say? Well, it is AN INCENTIVE ACT. What does that mean? Does it mean that every state will now supply and stock epinephrine? No. What this means is that if states are able to "check off" all of the requirements listed in the bill, then they will be given preference for ASTHMA EDUCATION GRANTS. It is not guaranteed that they will receive these asthma education grants, only that they will at least be "top of the list" for preference. So for Arizonan's there is no change in our law here, and SB 1421 stands to provide epinephrine in schools as described above.

Where is the silver lining for the food allergy & anaphylaxis community? That said, it sounds like it doesn't really do much for the food allergy & anaphylaxis community - as it is an incentive for the asthma community. The silver lining here is that many in our community have asthma so it is helpful to them, and if anything it is creating more awareness for  the food allergy & anaphylaxis community.