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CAI urges MPs to Advance Anaphylaxis 5-Point Action Policy

CAI urges MPs to Advance Anaphylaxis  5-Point Action Policy

Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative urges action at Federal level

June 17, 2013 – OTTAWAA volunteer network of families celebrate the recent historic Parliamentary vote and, at the same time, urge MPs to push for action that can improve the lives of Canadians coping with the medical condition anaphylaxis. The Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) would like to have the Government follow-up the House of Commons unanimous vote for greater anaphylaxis awareness with a coordinated plan of action led by Health Canada. On May 22, the House of Commons wholly supported a motion to raise awareness of anaphylaxis. Motion M-230 calls for the government to take “the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.” Cindy Paskey, a CAI founder, says, “We are all encouraged that the federal government has anaphylaxis on its radar screen. Our group has spent years with MPs Dean Allison, Rick Dykstra, Bob Dechert and others, to raise an appreciation for the seriousness of this life-threatening medical condition that affects 2.5 million Canadians.”We celebrate the unanimous vote and thank all MPs for their support,” says Ms. Paskey. Debbie Bruce, another CAI founder says, “The MPs’ vote was great recognition of the need for government and the public to gain a greater understanding of severe allergies. Now is the time for the Federal Government to act.” Ms. Bruce adds, “The CAI is moving forward to reach out and have greater numbers of MPs involved with our efforts, greater numbers of Canadians speaking out, and a movement within Health Canada that will prompt activity on some specific policies we know will make a difference.” With the passage of the Parliamentary motion, CAI is stepping up its efforts in advocating for a 5-Point Action Policy. The group is calling for action in the following areas:

  • Federal Coordination – of programs and services dealing with anaphylaxis and food allergy information; seeking a comprehensive and coordinated response by federal government offices and agencies to the various health and quality of life issues relating to anaphylaxis.
  • Coordinated Awareness Campaigns – of national, general public information initiatives, and accurate and targeted information to groups such as medical professionals, first aid and emergency training providers, child care workers, food service providers and to those who work in the hospitality industry.
  • Long Term Commitment to Research – supporting a strategic response and more dollars for research, and standardized and evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis, management and treatment of food allergies and anaphylaxis needs to be developed.
  • Improved Allergen Labeling – for foods, drugs, cosmetics and personal care products. Welcomed labeling regulations were announced February 2011, but more needs to be done, for example, regulating the use of precautionary allergen statements such as “may contain,” and consideration of an “allergy aware” symbol indicating that an item has indeed been reviewed for the 10 major allergens; and Health Canada should follow-through on commitments to improve allergen labeling.
  • Improved Transportation Safeguards – Request that Parliament enact a “Policy to Reduce the Risk for Anaphylactic Passengers”.

Ms. Bruce, who is taking the lead position in future CAI efforts, commends core families who are today stepping away from the central management of the organization. “Thank you to Cindy Paskey and Chris George, who have helped our cause so much and for their invaluable contribution to our efforts in Ottawa these past five years. As a group we have captured MPs’ attention.” She adds, “The CAI will continue to push for action on policies that are recognized as raising the quality of life for Canadians with anaphylaxis.”

For more information on CAI, visit or contact:

Debbie Bruce – 905 828 1954 /

Mindi Ferkul – 905 938 9100 /

Cindy Paskey – 905 934 0681/

Gladys Vergis-Mayo – 905 893 4675/

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