Promising Prospects for Defense Department Funding of Food Allergy Research

On Dec. 16, negotiators from both houses of Congress reached an agreement on legislation to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2020. The spending deal includes money for various medical research initiatives, including an additional $2.6 billion provided to the National Institutes of Health. Also funded by the agreement is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD).

The spending deal includes an important provision that FARE has championed during the past year to facilitate DoD investment in food allergy research. In the agreement, Congress has instructed DoD to add food allergies to the list of conditions eligible for funding in 2020 under DoD’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, which is part of the CDMRP. The CDMRP helps to fuel scientific discovery by investing in high-impact research that isn’t typically supported by other agencies. Given the importance of this funding to support innovative research, FARE has been advocating for the inclusion of food allergies in the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, sending a letter in March 2019 to request this change.

The spending deal is widely expected to pass. If it does, 2020 will be the first fiscal year that food allergies are listed as eligible for the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program since FY2015. Congratulations to the many members of our dedicated food allergy community who have reached out to federal lawmakers to raise awareness of the food allergy epidemic. Your voices have been heard and are making a difference! For questions about this and other FARE advocacy initiatives, email Jon Hoffman, FARE’s Director for Advocacy and External Affairs, at jhoffman@foodallergy.org.