The U.S. House has approved the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act, bringing sesame one step closer to becoming the ninth major allergen, as defined by federal law. Currently, the US has “8” known Allergens.
The legislation requires that sesame be labeled on packaged foods and prioritizes food allergy research. The bill now goes to President Biden for his consideration. No timetable is set for his review, but this could happen soon as it is on the FASTER Track.
According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the world’s leading non-governmental organization engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest private funder of food allergy research, there are more than 1.5 million Americans who are allergic to sesame.
The FASTER Act has been the highest legislative priority for FARE. The FASTER Act would require that sesame be labeled as an allergen on packaged foods. Sesame would become the ninth food allergen for which the U..S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires plain-language labeling. Sesame is often used when a label reads “natural flavors” or “natural spices,” adding another layer of difficulty when consumers review product labels at their local grocery stores. If approved, this would be the first time since 2006 that a new allergen has been added to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA).
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