Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas Food Allergy reactions cause approximately 50,000 visits to the emergency room and 150 deaths each year.  The deaths are caused by individuals unknowingly eating a food containing an ingredient to which they were allergic; and

Whereas Approximately twelve million Americans have food allergies; within this group, children account for the majority of those affected; and

Whereas Symptoms of an allergy include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, and swelling of the throat; and

Whereas Eight foods, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soy and wheat, cause ninety percent of all food allergy reactions; and

Whereas There is no cure for potentially fatal food allergies. Strict avoidance of the offending food is the only way to prevent a reaction; and

Whereas Anaphylaxis is a sudden, severe allergic reaction involving major organs in the body simultaneously. In severely allergic individuals it can cause death in a matter of minutes; and

Whereas Eating in restaurants and at school are the situations posing the highest risk for people with food allergies. Often, wait staff and cafeteria staff are not aware of the ingredients used to prepare the food they are serving, and are unprepared to handle a reaction,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim May 13th – 19th, 2012 to be

Food Allergy Awareness Week

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this fourth day of April, in the year two thousand and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

His Excellency                  
Deval L. Patrick                    
Governor of Massachusetts

William Francis Galvin            
Secretary of the Commonwealth   

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts