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Issue:- 20 June 2013

Final chance for those affected by allergies to get their views heard in Liverpool

THE Anaphylaxis Campaign is recruiting for a vital focus group key to the world's biggest ever study of food allergies. The European Commission sponsored research project Allergic Reactions in the Community (AlleRic) launched in March 2013, is being spearheaded by the University of Manchester, has a budget of around €9million and will involve the world's leading experts in the UK, Europe, Australia and US, including the UK based patient charity, the Anaphylaxis Campaign.

Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy. However management of food allergy by individuals, healthcare professionals and industry is thwarted by lack of information to either prevent food allergy developing, or protect adequately those who are already allergic. The research project aims ultimately to design and enforce regulations on food manufacturing and inform health and nutritional advice for allergy sufferers, as well as wider groups including non-allergic pregnant women and young children.

The study's leader, Professor Clare Mills, part of the Allergy and Respiratory Centre of The University of Manchester's Institute of Inflammation and Repair, said;- "This is a massive research project which will have far reaching consequences for consumers and food producers. The evidence base and tools that result from this will support more transparent precautionary 'may contain' labelling of allergens in foods which will make life easier for allergy sufferers as they try to avoid problem foods."

Nigel lives in Liverpool and has a nut allergy. He is also a practising Doctor. He said:- "My allergy to nuts has had a big impact on my life since it was first identified as a child. Unless I eat food which is prepared at home, I need to be constantly aware of the ingredients. Everything bought in a shop and everything eaten in a restaurant needs to be checked before I can eat it. Carrying adrenaline around with you all the time is a nuisance and if I forget it, I won't eat until I arrive back home…  All..."
[the times I have been hospitalised] "... have…  been the result of misinformation regarding the ingredients of food I have eaten.  A lot of current food labelling is lazy and meaningless. I need to know definitely, one way or the other, whether the food I intend to eat contains nuts or not. 'May contain' labelling is pointless and potentially dangerous. It really can't be that difficult for clear, accurate labelling to be the norm."

To try and resolve this issue, the Anaphylaxis Campaign is recruiting participants for the study's crucial 1st stage focus groups. Participants will be asked questions aimed at generating content for the development of an online questionnaire which will eventually be used by allergy sufferers to record food allergy reactions as soon as possible after they occur.

The focus groups will be held in central Liverpool on the 25 and 26 of June 2013. In order to be eligible, participants must:-

Have been diagnosed by a doctor as having a food allergy.

Experienced an allergic reaction to any type of food.

Be between 8  to 18 years old, or be an adult (18+) or Be the parent of food allergic children who meet the 1st 2 requirements

Each focus group will consist of between 10 to 15 participants and will last no longer than 2 hours. 

For more information and to register for participation, those interested should go to  Alternatively, they can email  the Anaphylaxis Campaign call on:- (0)1252 546100.

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