Anaphylaxis Canada launches Food Allergy Awareness Month with annual
conference reviewing latest food allergy research

TORONTO, May 7 /CNW/ - Anaphylaxis Canada is welcoming the inaugural Food Allergy Awareness Month with a number of planned initiatives to support the 1.3 million Canadians who live with food allergies. This includes the organization's annual conference at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto on May 8th. The conference will feature some of the country's leading researchers who will discuss the relevance of their findings for families, educators, and healthcare professionals. This includes updates from AllerGen investigators on peanut allergy research (Dr. Susan Waserman and Dr. Manel Jordana, McMaster University); anaphylaxis in the community (Dr. Ann Clarke, McGill University); and anaphylaxis management in schools (Dr. Lisa Cicutto, University of Toronto). It will also include a talk on food labelling in Canada by Dr. Samuel Godefroy, Director General, Food Directorate, Health Canada.

Earlier this week Anaphylaxis Canada welcomed Parliament's unanimous motion recognizing Food Allergy Awareness Month. Allergy advocate, Sara Shannon, was in the visitor's gallery to watch Parliament vote on the motion as a guest of MP and anaphylaxis awareness supporter Cheryl Gallant. Sara's daughter Sabrina had her own advocacy efforts tragically cut short by a fatal anaphylactic reaction in 2003 when she was just 13 years old.

"The declaration of Food Allergy Awareness Month is a significant step in the ongoing effort to educate the public about food allergies," said Laurie Harada, Executive Director of Anaphylaxis Canada and herself the mother of a teenager with multiple food allergies. "We are thrilled that all political parties united to support this motion and thank MP Cheryl Gallant for moving the motion."

Food allergy is a growing public health issue in Canada. More than fifty percent of Canadians know someone with a food allergy. While allergic individuals must take responsibility for their condition, awareness and support of the community are key to keeping people, especially children, safe. Without treatment, anaphylaxis, the most severe form of an allergic reaction, can cause death.

Anaphylaxis Canada will also be launching two key initiatives for teens and young adults as part of Food Allergy Awareness Month: a new French version of its website especially created for allergic teens to help them manage their food allergies more effectively; and the Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award for youth involvement in community anaphylaxis education. The award is dedicated to the life of Sabrina Shannon.

Anaphylaxis Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those at risk for anaphylaxis and those who care for them. We are committed to creating a safer world for people with food allergies through research, education and advocacy. More information can be found at www.anaphylaxis.ca.

SOURCE Anaphylaxis Canada

For further information: For further information: Christopher Holcroft, Empower Consulting for Anaphylaxis Canada, (c) (416) 996-0767, Chris_Holcroft@yahoo.com

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