Sending Office: Honorable Ro Khanna
Support Robust Federal Investment in Food Allergy Research for FY20
Deadline to sign on: March 26, 2019
The most recent study published in the
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open found that nearly
32 million Americans suffer from food allergies. That is one in ten adults, and one in 13 children – or roughly two in every classroom. This means 32 million people (more than the population of the entire state of Texas) are afflicted with
a condition that, if serious enough, can cause death within 15 minutes of allergen exposure.
The rate of suffering from food allergies has continued to increase: In the past twenty years alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a 50 percent increase in prevalence of food allergies in children, with a tripling in reported
numbers of children sensitive to peanuts and tree nuts.
This problem will only continue to accelerate unless we make robust investments necessary to understand, treat, and ultimately cure food allergies and related conditions. Our country’s public research institutions within the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) and the Department of Defense (DoD) are uniquely positioned to make the advances needed that will help tens of millions of Americans.
In 2005, NIH established the Consortium on Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at NIH. CoFAR has identified genes associated with an increased risk for peanut allergy and has also identified
the most promising routes, doses and durations of egg and peanut immunotherapy for further study, such as the demonstrated success of the
four-year egg oral immunotherapy (eOIT) treatment, which allowed certain participants to safely reintroduce egg into their diet after years of abstention.
In DoD in FY09, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) established the Genetic Studies of Food Allergy Research Program (GSFARP)
with a $2.5 million appropriation “to provide support for scientifically meritorious genetic research focused on food allergies.” In FY10, the appropriation was $1.875
million. Food Allergies were also included in the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program’s (PRMRP) general list of conditions eligible to be studied in FY12 and FY16.
I ask you to join me in cosigning three letters to the relevant Appropriations subcommittees, so that we can make clear the desire from Congress to take on the important and widespread issue of food allergies. Two letters to the subcommittee on Labor, Health
and Human Services, and Education: one requests the addition of language into the subcommittee’s report praising NIH’s work and encouraging further robust investment while the other letter requests an increase in CoFAR’s budget from $6.1 million to $12.2 million,
annually. The letter to the Defense subcommittee requests the addition of “food allergies” to the list of conditions eligible to be studied under the PRMRP within the CDMRP.
Click here to view the bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education requesting food allergy
report language – co-led by Rep. Patrick McHenry.
Click here to view the bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education requesting an increase in
funding to the Consortium on Food Allergy Research within NIH – co-led by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez.
Click here to view the bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense the addition of food allergies to the PRMRP within DoD – co-led by Rep.
David P. Roe, M.D.
To sign on to all three letters click here.
OR, to sign on to only one or two letters, use the below links.
To sign on to the letter with Rep. McHenry to the LHHS Subcommittee requesting food allergy report language
To sign on to the letter with Rep. Gonzalez (R-OH) to the LHHS Subcommittee requesting an increase in funding for the Consortium on Food Allergy Research within NIH
To sign on to the letter with Rep. Roe, M.D. to the Defense Subcommittee requesting the addition of food allergies to the PRMRP
Please contact Will McKelvey in my office at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 5-2631 if you have questions.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0