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What we've done: our impact

Discover how we have influenced government, legislation, and policies. And how we are continuing to make an impact to improve the lives of Canadians with food allergies.

Jennifer Gerdts, our Executive Director, on a panel discussion.

We are focused on our mission to educate, advocate, and support those living with food allergy. Check out a few of our past advocacy initiatives and how we have helped to create a stronger voice for our food allergy community and improve the quality of live for Canadians living with this medical condition.

Man doing grocery shopping at the supermarket and reading a food label on a box.

We helped make food labels easier to understand.
For more than a decade, we were at the forefront of discussions and meetings with Health Canada and the food industry to improve food allergen labelling. We led letter writing campaigns to politicians, and created awareness campaigns to advocate for clearer and simpler ingredient information for food allergens. In August 2012, the Canadian government finally introduced new regulations that require manufacturers to list common food allergens in simple language and make it clearer to consumers when they are present in pre-packaged foods. More recently in 2019, our efforts contributed to the declaration of priority food allergens in beer products.

School children standing in a row

We ushered in groundbreaking legislation to protect students at risk of anaphylaxis.
We worked tirelessly to ensure the successful passing of Sabrina’s Law (2005), landmark legislation that supports children with severe allergies in Ontario public schools. The law has served as a model for legislation across other provinces and worldwide. As well, it helped to inform Ryan’s Law (a law to protect students with asthma), which received Royal Assent in 2015 in Ontario. We continue to advocate for improved anaphylaxis management policies and practices in all school environments across the country.

Young adults in school, sitting on a bench with their laptops and other devices

We helped to increase allergy awareness on campuses.
We have been committed to ensuring as many post-secondary campuses as possible across the country are allergy-aware and can better support their students with food allergies – allergy-aware campuses can help youth transition to post-secondary school more confidently and help them to develop their self-management skills. Visit our post-secondary page which includes resources for educators and families, such as our post-secondary guide.

Child holding an epinephrine auto-injector, with another one shown in a small pouch around the child's waist.

We helped to secure a second supplier of epinephrine auto-injectors during a crucial shortage period.
In 2018, there was ongoing uncertainty around EpiPen supply – currently the only auto-injector available in Canada. Our advocacy with Health Canada, the provinces and territories, pharmaceuticals, and other key stakeholders, helped to secure temporary alternate supply to ensure every Canadian with severe allergies could access this life-saving medication.

More recently in 2020, our advocacy initiatives helped to bring additional epinephrine auto-injector suppliers to Canada (ALLERJECT®, Emerade™). Now, Canada is no longer a single-source market and has a minimum of two device options, providing greater access to epinephrine, which can ultimately save lives. 

Head chef posing with the team behind him in a profesional kitchen

We worked with the Ontario Ministry of Health to improve food safety training on food allergens for foodservice operators.

As part of our ongoing work to create safer dining experiences for our community, we worked with the Ministry to provide more comprehensive guidance on food allergen management for food handlers in Ontario. We’re continuing our efforts to work with the other provinces to improve similar training.

Policy on abelism and discrimination based on disability document

We helped with getting anaphylaxis recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
This helped to ensure people with food allergies are not discriminated against because of this medical condition. This also provides individuals with food allergy the rights to have reasonable accommodations in various environments.

Hon Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education and Beatrice Povolo of Food Allergy Canada

We ensure our voice is heard on issues that matter to you.
We participated in government-led consultations in key areas, including allergen labelling on self-care products and standardized beer; improved legibility of ingredients and nutritional facts on food products; allergen safety on airplanes and other modes of transportation; and school policies and training. These consultations lead to impact and change, helping to improve your quality of life.

With our advocacy, we have helped make Canada a more inclusive place for people with food allergies, helping them manage their food allergies more confidently. We couldn’t advocate effectively without the support of our members, partners, and donors. Please consider making a donation today.

Read about our current advocacy initiatives.