With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

18 May 2015

Food Allergy Hostility or Community?

This is truly such an anomaly in the online food allergy community, I feel I should share it. Early this morning, I posted on the Facebook page for Food Allergy Buzz the following:

I also posted on Twitter:

It breaks my heart to read posts and tweets from families who struggle to pay for the life saving epinephrine injectors, even with the co-pay cards, and who can't quite make the low-income affordability programs. So many families need to purchase multiple sets in order for their children to have a set of injectors at school, home, etc.

Apparently my post really hit a nerve, but not the way I expected! I always am proclaiming how supportive and helpful the online food allergy community is, but something was very different today. When I got out of work, I received a tweet from another food allergy blogger saying "So you're against pharmaceutical companies spending money on spreading food allergy and anaphylaxis awareness?" It seemed a strange reply to my post. Anyone who has followed Food Allergy Buzz over the last 7+ years knows I am an ardent advocate for food allergy awareness.

Another tweet stated "education is key & I support initiatives even if I'm not invited that can reach more people to spread awareness."  It was like two ships passing in the night. I really did not know what these bloggers were talking about. Little did I know, a bunch of food allergy bloggers were meeting at that very moment at an event in Disneyland, sponsored by Mylan!! 

It feels silly even explaining this, but rest assured the fact that I didn't go to Disneyland with Mylan did not prompt me to post to Facebook early this morning. Mylan and Sanofi have invited me to events previously, and I continue to receive emails from Mylan and Sanofi. For various reasons, I just have chosen not to take advantage of opportunities they have offered to me. That is my choice and it is ok.

This is the first time since 2008 that I have witnessed and been drawn into a public debate, and not a good-natured one, in the online food allergy community. We usually have great, informative and enlightening discussions on Twitter and on Facebook, but not today. It was very disappointing, but I hope for increased food allergy awareness, education, and community. I know the future is bright!

Note: Post updated to include photo of my tweet.

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