Articles for Advocacy

WI Governor Signs “Dillon’s Law 2.0”

Dillon Mueller was an 18 year old Eagle Scout when he died Oct. 4, 2014, after suffering a severe allergic reaction from a bee sting. There was no epinephrine available in the first aid kits of either the friend with him, or the arriving volunteer first responders. From this tragedy, “Dillon’s Law”, was enacted in Wisconsin, in 2018, to help promote greater access to life saving epinephrine. Recently Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed “Dillon's Law 2.0”, building on the previous legislation that helps greater access to life saving epinephrine.

WI Governor Signs “Dillon’s Law 2.0”

Dillon Mueller on Dirt Bike
Dillon Mueller

April 10th, 2022
MADISON, WI

“Dillon’s Law 2.0,” which expands the availability of epinephrine auto-injectors for individuals having a life-threatening allergic reaction, was signed into law today by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

State Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere), lead Senate co-author, and Assembly co-author Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Gibson), said this new law is a common-sense expansion of the original 2018 Dillon’s Law that will make saving lives even easier.

“Dillion’s Law is especially important, because it is life-saving legislation born from tragedy, and a continuing legacy,” said Sen. Jacque.

Eighteen-year-old Dillon Mueller died Oct. 4, 2014, after he suffered a severe allergic reaction from a bee sting when no epinephrine was available in the first aid kits of either the friend with him, or the arriving volunteer first responders.

“Dillon himself was an Eagle Scout preparing to take over the family heritage farm,” Rep. Sortwell said. “Had there been an epinephrine auto-injector available to counteract a simple bee sting, a fine young man with his whole life ahead of him would very likely be alive today.”

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We Need Anaphylaxis Emergency Training for NYS Teachers

“One in 13 children has food allergies. That equals two kids at risk for anaphylaxis in every classroom across America”, according to data from the nonprofit advocacy group Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). If ever there was a statistic that proves the need/importance/value of anaphylaxis emergency training for NYS teachers, that stat would be it. Learn more about the challenges that parents face, the ongoing efforts to promote emergency training for NYS teachers and the "Teacher Training'' bill (A523 and S587) re-introduced this year.

We Need Anaphylaxis Emergency Training for NYS Teachers

Epinephrine First! Period! on School Chalk Board

Jon Terry
15 April 2022

Greetings. Concerning life-threatening allergies and anaphylaxis, just how safe are kids in New York State public schools? What laws are currently in place to protect kids from anaphylaxis emergencies? Are there loop-holes, gaps or errors in childcare at schools that need to be corrected? While discussing these questions in this article the Allergy Advocacy Association provides new developments and context.

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New Report Finds Major Gaps in Child Care Policies for Food Allergy Nationwide

Having a food allergy can be difficult and at times very frightening. For the parents of a child with a life-threatening allergy, both are true. Parents are vigilant but can’t be with their children 24/7 to monitor what foods they encounter. Often a child-care facility is the one to do monitoring for a portion of the day. But what is required for this important role? A new report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the Elijah-Alavi Foundation (EAF) titled "Child Care Policies for Food Allergy: Elijah’s Law Report for the U.S. States and Territories compare state-level child care licensing regulations against nine core policy standards that protect children with food allergy in a child care setting.

New Report Finds Major Gaps in Child Care Policies for Food Allergy Nationwide

Elijah Silvera poster

By News Wire ~ 3rd Party Press Release

2022/02/25
The report evaluates child care policies in U.S. states and territories and includes an advocacy toolkit to promote Elijah’s Law to strengthen protections for young children.

Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

Today, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the Elijah-Alavi Foundation (EAF) released “Child Care Policies for Food Allergy: Elijah’s Law Report for the U.S. States and Territories.” The report compares state-level child care licensing regulations against nine core policy standards that protect children with food allergy in a child care setting.

“Our report identified major gaps in child care regulations for food allergy,” states Kenneth Mendez, AAFA’s CEO and president. “To improve protections, the report also includes a toolkit to help advocates and legislators introduce and enact Elijah’s Law in their states.”

Elijah’s Law is named in memory of Elijah Silvera. On Nov. 3, 2017, 3-year-old Elijah died after having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) at his child care facility. Though the facility had documentation of Elijah’s life-threatening milk allergy, asthma, and other allergies, the staff fed Elijah a grilled cheese sandwich. The child care did not follow emergency protocols to treat anaphylaxis.

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It’s a Brand-New Year But Labeling in the US Remain s a Danger to the Allergic Community

If you have food allergies, then reading a product's label is second nature. It's what you do to help keep you safe. But what happens when a product’s label doesn’t tell the whole story? Listing the ingredients is essential, and required by the FDA, but what about how a product is made? The FDA doesn’t require what is known in the allergen community as Precautionary Allergen Labeling (PAL).

Without that type of information, those suffering allergies can still be at risk. Learn more about PAL and how you can tell the FDA of its importance.

It’s a Brand-New Year But Labeling in the US Remain s a Danger to the Allergic Community

Snacksafely FoodLabel with text
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom

Dave Bloom
2022/01/10

Welcome to 2022! You’ve made your resolutions, hung that brand new “World’s Cutest Puppies” calendar, and are ready to start a fresh new year bursting with endless opportunities!

But what hasn’t changed with the new year are the regulations that govern how manufacturers are required to warn you about the potential for allergen content in the food products you buy. In many cases you are flying blind, relying on manufacturers to decide whether and how to disclose the potential for allergen cross-contact in the foods you purchase for your family.

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A New Beginning in New York State

With the changes in New York State leadership, it is a good time to reflect on our legislative accomplishments over the past ten years and the future for other potential opportunities. Working with activists, medical professionals and legislators and their staff, the Allergy Advocacy Association has helped create a positive change for those suffering from life threatening allergies. We look forward to even more progress in the years to come.

Albany NY skyline illustration

August 19th, 2021
By Jon Terry

Dear friends;

Greetings from Brockport. I sincerely hope all readers of our monthly e-newsletter have had a safe and healthy summer.

Now that a new state governor is taking over in Albany, I think it’s a good time to review legislative achievements of activist advocates on behalf of individuals at risk for anaphylaxis and families dealing with life-threatening allergies.

During the last 10 years in NYS, the governor has signed into law five very important bills.

    1. The Nurse Authorized Stock Epinephrine Act.
      This law authorizes public central schools the ability to obtain a non-patient prescription so they can possess and administer epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices in anaphylaxis emergency situations.
      NASE has been enacted in 47 states across America, including NY. According to data from the America Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, in just a few years after enactment, NASE has saved THOUSANDS of lives in central school districts all across our country.1
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Researcher Wins Grant to Study Impact of Maternal Antibody on Development of Food Allergies in Infants

When it comes to food allergies, what does a mother pass on to her child? Food allergies are a major cause of neonatal morbidity. And food allergies also significantly affect young infants.

Kang Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Wayne State University School of Medicine has been awarded a $1.93 million, five-year grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to look at this issue.

Researcher Wins Grant to Study Impact of Maternal Antibody on Development of Food Allergies in Infants

Smiling mom and baby boy

News Wire ~ 3rd Party Press Release
-2021/08/10

DETROIT — A Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher has been awarded a $1.93 million, five-year grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the impact of maternal immunoglobulin D (IgD) transferred to the fetus during pregnancy and its impact on protecting against food allergies.

Chen Kang
Kang Chen

Kang Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology will use the grant, “Mechanism and function of transplacental IgD,” to tackle early infant morbidity due to increasing incidences of food allergies.

IgD is an antibody isotype present in the blood and tissue fluids, including human respiratory mucosa. Chen discovered that IgD is important in respiratory immune defense by inhibiting mucosal adhesion of pathogens and activating antimicrobial and immune-amplifying functions of basophils. IgD activation of basophils also suppresses Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-induced allergic functions, and increased food allergen-specific IgD production correlates with protection against food allergy after oral immunotherapy in children. Maternal tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (TDaP) vaccine and food exposure in pregnancy induces the production of vaccine- and food-specific IgD, which is transferred across the placenta to the fetus in humans and mice.

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Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Allowing Park Rangers to Administer Epi-Pens to Treat Allergic Reactions

As a direct result of Food Allergy Awareness Day NY at the end of May, Governor Andrew Cuomo has enacted S.4375/A.4652. The law authorizes Forest Rangers, Park Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers to Possess and Administer Epinephrine through an Auto-Injector Device in NYS parks. Senator James Tedisco and assembly member Angelo Santabarbara share why this law is so important in protecting individuals with life-threatening allergies at risk for anaphylaxis.

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Allowing Park Rangers to Administer Epi-Pens to Treat Allergic Reactions

Govenor Andrew Cuomo signing bill

Legislation (S.4375/A.4652) Authorizes Forest Rangers, Park Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers to Possess and Administer Epinephrine through an Auto-Injector Device Legislation Signed as New York State Parks See Record Visitation in 2020

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.4375/A.4652) authorizing forest rangers, park rangers and environmental conservation police officers to possess and administer epinephrine auto-injectors. Epinephrine is commonly used to treat serious allergic reactions such as bee stings, insect bites, food allergies or exercise-induced shock.

"More New Yorkers than ever are taking advantage of the natural beauty our state has to offer, but it's important to stay safe, especially if you're prone to severe allergic reactions," Governor Cuomo said. "This commonsense legislation allows a wider range of professionals in our state parks and other natural areas to use epinephrine auto-injectors and keep New Yorkers safe in the wild. This will give hikers, bikers and other outdoor travelers a greater sense of security as they navigate New York's serene natural areas."

Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, occurs in roughly one in 50 Americans. Many parks and forests in New York State are far from medical facilities, and this legislation allows professionals in state parks and forests, which are often far from medical facilities, to administer epinephrine auto-injectors to people who have allergic reactions.

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Grothman Introduces Dillon’s Law In US Congress

After their son Dillon suffered a fatal attack of anaphylaxis after being stung by a bee, Angel and George Mueller became dedicated advocates for individuals and families with life-threatening allergies. Since being enacted in Wisconsin, Dillon's Law has saved several lives; Minnesota and Indiana promptly adopted the same legislation. Now Dillon's Law has gone to Washington DC; its' introduction in Congress provides hope to all allergy activist advocates across America.

Grothman Introduces Dillon’s Law In US Congress

Dillon Mueller with tractor
Dillon Mueller
June 22, 2021

By Timothy Svoboda
Washington, DC

Congressmen Glenn Grothman (WI-06) has introduced Dillon’s Law, a bill that will incentivize states to allow “good Samaritans” to save lives. This bill will allow states to use existing federal grant money for preventative health services to be used to train individuals to carry and administer epinephrine.

The bill was inspired by Dillon Mueller, a Mishicot, WI native who tragically passed away in 2014 at the age of 18 after being stung by a bee and falling into a coma due to anaphylaxis. Dillon was unable to receive epinephrine in a timely manner.

Versions of Grothman’s bill have already been signed into law in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Indiana with overwhelming bipartisan support. While similar legislation passed Congress in 2013 providing incentives for states to develop emergency epinephrine programs within school systems, this legislation would make epinephrine training more widely available, enabling more individuals to prevent tragedies involving anaphylaxis from occurring.

“Dillon Mueller’s passing was a tragedy,” said Grothman. "No parent should have to endure the loss of a child, and that is what Dillon’s parents, Angel and George, are working to prevent.

"This bill isn’t limited to children, however. The legislation incentivizes states to allow any properly trained individual to administer epinephrine to someone experiencing a severe allergic reaction.

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Legislature Passes Tedisco, Santabarbara Bill to Enable State Park Rangers, Park Police to Carry Epi-Pens(c) to Help Save Lives

New York State has some of the greatest parks in the nation. And as we continue to emerge from our post pandemic world, New Yorkers could be utilizing our parks in record numbers. And with park recreation comes insect and bug bites. For most these are annoyances but for some, these stings and bites could be life threatening. Fortunately, a recently passed law has given our park rangers, forest rangers and environmental police the opportunity to provide life saving epinephrine to those in need. Our association is very grateful to lawmakers and activist advocates who made passage happen. Now it's up to the Governor of New York State to sign and enact this bill as soon as possible.

Legislature Passes Tedisco, Santabarbara Bill to Enable State Park Rangers, Park Police to Carry Epi-Pens(c) to Help Save Lives

New York State Senators Tedisco and Santabarbara Celebraate EAI Bill Passage

James Tedisco
May 26, 2021

Tedisco and Santabarbara’s legislation adds park & forest rangers, environmental conservation police, who are first to respond to emergencies in parks, to long list of professionals who can treat those with severe, life-threatening allergic reactions.

In advance of the busy Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial kick-off of summer as millions of New Yorkers head outdoors to our state parks, the New York State Legislature has given final passage to a new bi-partisan law sponsored by Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C-Glenville) and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D,C-Rotterdam) to help save lives by enabling forest and state park rangers to carry EpiPens to treat people with severe allergic reactions in an emergency.

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Elijah’s Law Headway in 2 States

After the death of their three year old son, Elijah-Alavi Silvera, Thomas Silvera and his wife Dina Hawthorne-Silvera successfully spearheaded the passage of “Elijah’s Law” in their home state of New York in 2019. The law “tells early education programs in New York they must follow state food allergy guidelines and protocols to prevent, recognize and respond quickly to life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.” Now Thomas and Dina are expanding their efforts to bring “Elijah’s Law” nationwide.

Learn about their efforts in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Elijah’s Law Headway in 2 States

Illinois flag (left) Pennsylvania seal (right)

Gwen Smith
April 26, 2021

In March 2021, Allergic Living reported that Illinois had introduced an Elijah’s Law bill. On April 22, the Illinois House voted unanimously in favor of the bill. Officially called the Childhood Anaphylactic Policy Act (HB0102), this legislation would require the state health department, in consultation with the board of education, to establish anaphylaxis policies and procedures for school districts and daycare settings.

Representative Jonathan Carroll, the bill’s sponsor, says the bill would add daycare centers to existing school food allergy policies currently required in Illinois, and tighten anaphylaxis training across school levels. The bill has now headed to the state Senate for consideration.

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Biden signs law that makes sesame the ninth major food allergen

Biden signs law that makes sesame the ninth major food allergen

In late April, President Biden signed into law The Food Allergy Safety,Treatment, Education and Research (Faster)Act. This bipartisan measure designates sesame as the ninth major food allergy, ramps up allergy research, and will attempt to address marked growth in certain deadly allergies. It is estimated that 1.6 million Americans have sesame allergies and the Faster Act requires clear labeling of foods containing sesame by January 2023. In addition, it requires the Department of Health and Human services “must prioritize regular reviews of promising food allergy treatments and research.”

President Joe Biden
The Faster Act, signed by President Biden, is a bipartisan effort to address an increase in certain deadly allergies.

The Faster Act will also step-up allergy research

By Laura Reiley Business of food reporter
April 23, 2021

President Biden on Friday signed into law a new measure that designates sesame as the ninth major food allergy and ramps up allergy research, enacting a bipartisan attempt to address marked growth in certain deadly allergies.

The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (Faster) Act passed the Senate in March and the House of Representatives this month. It received bipartisan support.

In the past two decades, life-threatening childhood food allergies have risen steadily, growing by about 4 percent per year to afflict 32 million Americans, according to research by Northwestern

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