June 16, 2008

Survey Reveals Food Allergy Parents Uninformed About Food Allergy Product Manufacturing

An informal survey by Nutricia North America revealed that parents of children with food allergies are unclear about whether or not their child's amino acid-based formula is manufactured in a 100 percent milk-free environment.

Fifty-seven percent of the parents surveyed reported that the amino acid-based formula they fed their food allergic children was manufactured in a 100 percent milk-free environment. However, a question about specific product names revealed that only 38 percent of the parents were actually giving their children Neocate Infant, Neocate One+ or Neocate Junior, the only amino acid-based products manufactured in a 100 percent milk-free environment.

"Clearly, many food allergy parents are uninformed about which products offer the extra protection of 100 percent milk-free manufacturing facilities," said Steven Yannicelli, director of science and education for Nutricia North America. "This is very unfortunate, given how vigilant food allergy parents must be about product labels, product manufacturing conditions and food preparation in order to protect their children from coming in contact with dangerous food allergens."

Amino acid-based formulas, such as Neocate, are hypoallergenic formulas developed for babies and children with milk protein allergies, multiple food allergies and other related gastrointestinal conditions. Milk is one of the eight most common food allergens, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). The other seven are egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

Food allergy causes roughly 30,000 emergency room visits and between 100 and 200 deaths per year in the United States, according to FAAN.

Nutricia conducted the survey in order to gauge parent understanding of food allergy issues related to amino acid-based formulas. The respondents answered questions via an online form.

About Nutricia North America

Nutricia North America, based in Rockville, Md., is part of the Danone Medical Nutrition Division. A leader in clinical nutrition, Nutricia North America provides medical foods and infant formulas for the treatment of allergic, gastrointestinal, metabolic, neurological and genetic disorders. The range of quality products includes Neocate, the first hypoallergenic amino acid-based formula for infants and children who suffer from dairy/soy protein allergy and gastrointestinal conditions such as eosinophilic esophagitis. For more information, please visit www.neocate.com.