A 265% Increase in the Past 10 Years
Since 1998, there has been a 265% increase in hospitalizations related to food allergies among children under 18, according to a 2008 CDC report. In ten short years, the number of children in grave danger due to consumption of a food allergen has nearly tripled. What is causing this unprecedented increase, and what is being done to prevent the unimaginable from happening to our nations' children?
A “Typical” Breakfast Sends a Child to the Emergency Room
Unfortunately, not much can be done. Robyn O'Brien, a former food analyst and mother of four, found this out the hard way. One morning over breakfast, her life changed forever. Her youngest daughter suffered an acute allergic reaction to her standard breakfast of Eggo waffles and was rushed to the hospital. Fortunately, O'Brien's daughter survived, but the mother's confidence in the nation's food system did not.
Over 3 Million Child Sufferers
To O'Brien's astonishment, she learned that an unbelievable 3 million children now suffer from food allergies. Unfortunately, these trends are not merely related to a general population increase. It is the very food we feed our families that is turning their immune systems against them.
3 Shocking Discoveries
In her search for answers, O'Brien made three surprising discoveries:
- Many food allergies are caused by synthetic proteins manufactured and inserted into our crops – proteins which were never tested for possible side effects.
- An allergic reaction to food is not only related to possible genetic predisposition, but an industry that willingly experiments on it's unsuspecting consumers.
- Our government's response to the food industry's frankenfoods is “safe until proven dangerous.”
How Many Children Sacrificed?
How many more children will be sent to the hospital before we realize the food is not safe? As more and more money is spent on disease management instead of economic growth, our international competitiveness dwindles.
Defending Our Nation's Children
Though never a foodie herself, Robyn O'Brien has become what many call “Erin Brokovich” of the healthy food movement. She recognizes that this is an issue that bridges the gap between progressive and conservative. Democrats, Republicans and independents alike all have children that they love and for whom they want the best. As an economist, she reminds us that we must ensure the future of our nation is in strong, healthy hands.