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Food Allergy Advocacy Win: The President Signs the FASTER Act and Makes Sesame a Major Allergen

 

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.
Under the FASTER Act, food manufacturers have until Jan. 1, 2023, to update labels of products containing sesame. But you may see sesame appear on labels sooner as some food companies update their labeling practices. Remember that you still need to read every label every time.
“This is a life-changing bill for the tens of millions of Americans impacted by food allergies,” said Kenneth Mendez, president and CEO of AAFA. “We are overjoyed including sesame on the major allergen list is a part of it. Well over one million people in the U.S. have sesame allergy. Adding sesame to the list of major food allergens manufacturers must label by law, has long-been one of AAFA’s top priorities. AAFA is proud to be one of the leaders in the allergy community's push for clear sesame labeling. There’s also an immense need for more research across the board which can help dramatically improve and save lives of people living with food allergies. The FASTER Act is a strong step in the right direction.”
This is a huge advocacy milestone for people with food allergies. We will post information on what the FASTER Act means to you soon. Join our community so you can receive future updates.

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.”

Kids With Food Allergies is the food allergy division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. With your support, we will continue our advocacy efforts to fight for protections for people managing food allergies. Your generous donations also allow us provide food allergy education, research, and support.

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Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). AAFA is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. KFA educates families and communities with practical food allergy management strategies to save lives and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in. Registered members have access to additional specialized support forums for food allergies. Registration is free!

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Comments (3)

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@Nutfreemama1 @akkerber

Happy to help! This was a huge victory of course, but we're certainly not done. We're going to keep pushing on these issues.

JR Denson, EMT

Support Center Manager

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

wonderful job!! mustard and lupine next pretty  please :-) and refined peanut oil too.

(no hidden ingredients really should be standard now).

we have many allergies (sesame isn’t one of them) but thank you for fighting for those w that allergy.

Last edited by Nutfreemama1
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A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
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