Well, of course this is close to my heart but it should also be on your heart or, at least, on your mind. What is it? It's the ADINA Act. It is a proposed bill, H.R. 4263, ADINA is an
acronym: Allergen Disclosure In Non-food Articles Act.
This proposed legislative bill is specifically for those of us with food allergies or life-changing dietary restrictions that require us to stay away from certain foods. If passed, can be life-changing for us or someone you know. I am all in for supporting the effort to push this through Congress.
If you know anything about me you know
1) I love calling my legislators for things I think they need to know.
2) Food, and the restriction of certain foods, plays a big part in my family's life.
3) When I believe in something, latch on to something or have any downtime I'm ALL-IN 100% for that particular thing... it's a virtue and a fault!
A bit of background for some context:
I have celiac disease, one of my daughters (who are12 and 8 years old) has celiac disease and one has Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE), an autoimmune-like disease that attacks the esophagus (I simplify it by saying, it's like chrons but on the other end). EOE is an autoimmune-like disease that is affected by food allergies, usually top 8 allergens, but can be environmental as well. We are gluten and diary free in our house and are crossing our fingers we don't have to go further than that to control the EOE.
I had heard about this ADINA Act only on Instagram very recently and I invited the dad behind it to chat about it recently on the StressLess Lifestyle podcast. After talking with him, I decided I want to help get more exposure for the ADINA Act. He has support from many allergy organizations and congress members already, it reached 17 in less than a year!
The man I spoke with is Seth Togal, and his daughter Adina, is 12, also has Celiac and EOE, like my daughters, and she ended up in the hospital after getting glutened by medicine
supposed to treat Strep. Medicine that is supposed to save
you, doesn't always save you when you have allergies/autoimmune. The same thing has happened to me.
Did you know allergens don't have to be listed on medicine labels?? I spend hours of my life calling manufacturer after manufacturer trying to get info on what is in the medicines we have to take and sometimes they can't even tell us if it is safe. The companies either don't know where they source their ingredients from or they don't want to say it's safe or not due to liability. I didn't know this before our journey started and Seth and his wife found out the hard way.
Due to his anger over the unknown ingredients in the medicine leading to Adina's hospitalization they contacted their Representative in Minnesota, Rep Dean Phillips, and after talking with Seth he realized this is a huge issue for many Americans. Rep Phillips jumped immediately on board and is now co-sponsoring H.R.4263. It is a bipartisan bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the label of a drug intended for human use to identify each ingredient that is derived directly or indirectly from gluten-containing grains or the top allergens. It now has 17 sponsors coast to coast but needs more in order to get passed and through to the Senate and eventually turn into law.
Why it should be an easy thing for you do support:
This bill, if it becomes law, will not add to the national debt, it doesn't require a lot of funding for pharmaceutical companies to comply with and it affects Americans across the board on "all sides of the aisle", about 20 million Americans have food-based allergies. I bet everyone knows someone they love who has an allergy, whether it is deadly, or simply "annoying", allergies affect so many people. And us parents could use a lot of help keeping our kids (and ourselves) safe, especially with medicine that is supposed to help you but it ends up hurting.
The best part about this is it doesn't take any money! No money is needed, just voices. It's just about garnering support from Congress and that happens when people simply speak up and tell them what we want. You vote for them to pass legislation that you want passed, but if we don't tell them, they don't know. This bill needs about 30 more sponsors to support it so we know it will pass the House and move on from there.
Even if you don't have time to write or call, you could very easily click a couple links that will automatically send an email to your legislators urging them to support The ADINA Act. (Technology is great, isn't it? *Find the link below.) You could make a phone call as well, they usually just get sent to voicemail if you live in a larger state but they do get them! (I should know I did a stint in a Representatives office, they listen and write down what people want.)
Another idea is having your kids get into the game and have them handwrite letters. It's a great way to get writing skills, give them something to do and allow them to take part in how an idea becomes a law. This is a great way to also teach your children that even if they don't have allergies, it's important to help others who are different from them, they may even have a friend you could point out who this might help!
Here are some links that may be helpful if you would be interested in learning more: *FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education organization) has set up a great link where you plug in your name and address and it populates an email to the congress people associated with your area! https://bit.ly/FARE-take-action
Another sample script you can copy and paste written by Gluten Free Watch Dog:
Two very large organizations have announced their support, both FARE and The Gluten Free Watchdog:
Here is a news report interviewing the family about the ADINA act:
This is the press release about the act from Rep Dean Phillips' office:
Want to get involved, learn more or show support?
here's a facebook group to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3347959928865461/
I'd love to have you join the effort!
As always, reach out to me for questions or simply to let me know you support it, I love hearing from you and I appreciate your time too!