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Tools & Extras / Food Allergy Campaign / European Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Public Declaration

Food allergy is a growing public health concern, affecting more than 17 million people in Europe alone. 3.5 million European sufferers are younger than 25 years old and the sharpest rise in food allergies is amongst children and young people. Furthermore, the number of severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), due to food allergies, occurring in children is also increasing.

In light of these worrying statistics, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) launched its Stop Anaphylaxis! Food Allergy Campaign in June 2012. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the sharp increase of anaphylaxis, especially in children. It aims at educating the public to recognise the symptoms of anaphylaxis and its triggers, and to explain how to react in case of emergency. The EAACI Patients Organisations Committee also supports the Food Allergy Campaign, with more than 25 country representatives from across Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. This document is a key part of the campaign as it contains a public declaration, calling on European Union (EU) policy-makers, health professionals and the public to take concrete actions in order to improve the management and treatment of food allergies and anaphylaxis.

Europe-wide evidence-based guidelines for healthcare professionals and improved training for healthcare professionals in diagnosing food allergies could improve the current situation. It should be noted that most food allergies currently go undiagnosed, or are subject to self-help methods, not supervised by a medical professional.Setting clear guidelines for labelling foodstuffs for allergens would lower the risk of allergic reactions for food allergy sufferers. Better access to emergency treatment in public spaces would save lives. This is particularly true for the youngest of food allergy sufferers who are increasingly experiencing life-threatening reactions (anaphylaxis). EAACI calls for autoinjectors to be made available in schools: a simple solution that could save lives. EAACI will publish the Minimum Standards for the treatment of the allergic child in school to guide policy-makers in the implementation of such a policy change.

Much more research is needed to help develop strategies for prevention and management, and to improve the health and quality of life of food allergy sufferers. EU-funded research programmes should therefore continue to support work on food allergies, and
bring more effective diagnostic tools and treatments to the market. EAACI also encourages the inclusion of anaphylaxis as a cause of death in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and the creation of national and European allergy and anaphylaxis registries, both of which would further enable the generation of better-quality data and help develop a stepwise approach for better treatment of these conditions.

Download the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Public Declaration here.

To download the declaration in Dutch please click here.

To download the declaration in French please click here.

To download the declaration in German please click here.

To download the declaration in Italian please click here.

To download the declaration in Spanish, please click here.