Since earlier this week, FARE has been investigating the ways in which the shutdown may impact government services or initiatives related to food allergies. The advisory notice included:
USDA and FDA Food Recalls Due to Undeclared Allergens – These undeclared allergen recall notifications provide potentially life-saving information to our community. The information we have at this time indicates that many of the staff who are responsible for processing and distributing recall notices have been furloughed.
Access to USDA Medical Statement Form – The USDA’s website, which provides forms for special meal accommodations and substitutions for school lunches, is currently down.
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children – Federal funds for this program have been halted due to the shutdown. Most states are continuing to fund current WIC participants and honor WIC vouchers; however, some states indicate they only have funds to continue doing this for a short period of time, so recipients may soon stop receiving benefits.
Status of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act – The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors, was due for consideration before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee on October 2. However, because of reduced staffing the review was postponed until further notice.
Government-Funded Clinical Trials – FARE-funded clinical trials do not receive government funding, so they are unaffected by the shutdown.