Update: The president has signed the FASTER ACT!On April 23, 2021, President Biden signed the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2021, also called the FASTER Act (H.R.1202/S.578), into law. This bill expands the definition of major allergens to include sesame and requires analysis of food allergy research.
On April 14, 2021, Congress passed the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2021, also called the FASTER Act (H.R.1202/S.578). This bill expands the definition of major allergens to include sesame and requires analysis of food allergy research.
It will be now be sent to the White House for the president to sign into law. Once law, manufacturers will have until Jan. 1, 2023, to label sesame as the ninth major allergen.
Statement from AAFA CEO and President, Kenneth Mendez, on Congressional Approval of FASTER Act for Food Allergies
“The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is elated to see the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, and Research (FASTER) Act clear Congress and head to the White House for the president’s signature. Because of this bill, sesame will now be recognized as a top allergen by law. This means food manufacturers will have to list the ingredient as a major allergen on all products that use sesame. Sesame is a serious allergy for over one million people in the United States. AAFA is proud to be a leader in the allergy community’s push for clear sesame labeling.
“We’re grateful to our counterparts at Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) for spearheading efforts on the FASTER Act and supporting our recommendation to add sesame to this legislation. AAFA’s happy we were able to bring food allergy groups together to support sesame labeling as we worked dual tracks with both Congress and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is because Congress can take legislative action and the FDA can use its authority to make food labels safer for everyone, especially those with life-threatening food allergies.
“We also thank Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for scheduling the House vote after AAFA requested the bill be brought up for consideration.
“A special round of thanks also goes to our incredible food allergy community for making sure their representatives voted in favor of this bill. More than 3,000 of our community members contacted Congress this year in support of the FASTER Act. This legislation is a game-changer for the more than 32 million Americans living with food allergies AAFA fights for each day.
“Not only does it create a new rule on sesame labeling, the FASTER Act directs more resources and expands public health knowledge toward food allergies. We’re looking forward to seeing this signed into law and implemented. AAFA is excited to continue its work with Congress and the FDA on ongoing and further protections for people living with food allergies.”