Food Allergy Research Funding

Research is the answer to solving the growing problem of food allergies—and this requires a bigger commitment from public funding.

The Need for Public Support

Some 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies. This potentially deadly disease affects one in every 13 children in the U.S. That's roughly two in every classroom. Furthermore, many more Americans are living with food allergies today than ever before, and with more severe consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there was an 18 percent increase in food allergy between 1997 and 2007 and every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room. The numbers are growing and becoming more serious -- but there is no clear answer as to why. 

The increasing impact of food allergies is being felt in schools, playgrounds, restaurants, workplaces and emergency care facilities and constitutes a growing public health issue with substantial financial, educational and medical implications. 

The federal government’s commitment to identifying food allergy causes and treatments has not kept pace with the increasing incidence of food allergies – particularly in the youngest Americans – and the impact of this life-threatening disease on patients, the healthcare system, and society. In 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent $78 million on food allergy research, which is double the amount allocated in 2015. But it’s still not enough.

NIH’s total budget for 2017 is $33 billion, or $102 per person living in the United States. But of that $102, less than one quarter ($0.25) goes toward food allergy research.

FARE thanks the Congress for increasing funding for the NIH in 2018, rather than implementing the proposed 24 percent cut. FARE, along with the millions of patients and families affected by food allergies, strongly urges Congress to protect and increase current levels of funding to find the causes of food allergy and develop effective means of prevention and treatment.