Sesame will soon be the ninth allergen that must be identified by law on labels for American food products, following action by Congress.
The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act will require sesame to be listed on food labels as an allergen, along with peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, dairy, eggs and wheat. In addition, the law will require the Department of Health and Human Services to explore and make recommendations for the detection, prevention and treatment of food allergies.
The FASTER Act was passed by the House on April 14. It previously passed the Senate and is headed to President Biden for his signature.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that about 1 million Americans have sesame allergy, out of about 32 million who suffer from food allergies in general.
“This is terrific progress for our food allergy community,” Kenneth Mendez, CEO of AFFA, said in a statement. “Adding sesame to the major allergen list is a much-needed change and a significant part of this legislation.”