Within any community, a change in leadership is unsettling. Mergers are particularly nerve wracking because combining two similar entities requires compromise. Each party involved - from the upper levels of management down to each individual employed or served by an organization - has a desire to maintain certain aspects from the previous organizations. Different people have different priorities, and inevitably someone will not get what they want. The allergy community is currently undergoing one of these transitions.
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) formed to cause a new organization called Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2012. You can read the press release and FAQ regarding the merger for yourself. Multiple issues are addressed in these articles, including the reason that "anaphylaxis" was not included in the new name. To paraphrase FARE on this matter, it is important for people to recognize and appropriately address food allergies before anaphylaxis occurs. A small, but vocal, contingency within the food allergy community has taken exception to the omission of the word anaphylaxis in FARE's name. A petition has been started demanding that the organization's name be altered to Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Research and Education (FAARE) to more appropriately represent the anaphylactic community.
I disagree with the assertion that excluding the word anaphylaxis from the new name hurts anyone in the allergy community. I have multiple food allergies, as do my husband and both of our children. Three of us have experienced anaphylaxis related to one or more allergens. All four of us have less severe food allergies that, thus far, have not led to anaphylaxis. The assertion that anaphylaxis is the most important thing to know about food allergies is a fallacy. Ask anyone who "only" gets hives or profuse vomiting caused by food allergens whether their allergy is "no big deal" just because the their airway is not cut off. Even those food allergies that are milder and responsive to antihistamines (rather than requiring epinephrine) can have a serious impact on someone's livelihood. When is the last time you managed to remain productive despite severe vomiting or diarrhea or a "simple" case of hives that required sedating antihistamines? Increased awareness of food allergies means realizing that there can be a variety of symptoms up to and including anaphylaxis.
My position is that FAAN and FAI leadership made the right decision when they chose to omit "anaphylaxis" from the name of the new organization. Further, I believe that those who are creating such a fuss over the name are taking resources away from FARE's stated mission.