Food allergens

Food allergens are typically naturally-occurring proteins in foods that cause abnormal immune responses. At least 32 million Americans are now living with potentially life-threatening food allergies – of which there is no cure and few treatments available. One in every 13 children has a food allergy. Our CDC reports that 25% of severe reactions experienced at school involve children who have no previous diagnosis of food allergy. Food allergen patients and families must think about every bite of every meal, every day. A single mistake, such as inhaling particles or ingesting the residue from food left on a desk, can cause severe illness or even death. Allergies also compound other illnesses, including asthma, emphysema, and adult obstructive pulmonary diseases, leading to social and economic costs for families and HMOs. There is only one FDA-approved allergen treatment, and it only helps those with peanut allergies. Undeclared or mislabeled allergens are the primary reason for food recalls in the U.S. Allergen recalls may be initiated by the FDA, food manufacturers, and sometimes by consumer complaints.

Currently, some Medicare and Medicaid coverage policies deny access to common prick or scratch tests, as well as in vitro specific allergen-specific immunoglobulin testing, which detect specific types of allergens in food, animal dander, pollen, mold, medicine, dust mites, latex, or insect venom.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.4114 - Allergy Testing Access Act of 2021
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY)

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May 22, 2023
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May 28, 2023

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