May 12 – 18, 2014 Experts call for urgent action on food allergies.

Experts are calling on the government to urgently recognise allergy, including food allergy and anaphylaxis, as a National Health Priority and support an Australia-wide allergy register to capture the true number of food allergy fatalities and severe life-threatening reactions.

Australia has one of the highest incidences of food allergy in the world with one in 10 babies born today developing a food allergy by the age of 12 months.

Maria Said, President of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), says food allergy is a rapidly growing public health issue that requires urgent attention. “In the absence of mandatory reporting of severe anaphylaxis, or mandatory coronial inquests as in the UK, we are potentially underestimating the number of food allergy related fatalities and

near misses. It also means we are failing to identify the gaps in knowledge that puts people at risk,” said Ms Said.

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Epipen image by Image by Greg Friese 2012 under creative commons licence