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Sesame to Become Officially Recognized as the Ninth Top U.S.Allergen

April 16, 2021 2 min read

In big news for the food allergy community, the FASTER Act has been unanimously passed by the U.S House of Representatives and is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.

The Food Allergy, Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, legislation that has been led by FARE, will require sesame to be added to the existing list of eight major allergens subject to plain-language labeling requirements by the FDA.

"There are 1.5 million Americans living with a sesame allergy. I am thrilled to see sesame added as the 9th top allergen. Parents often forget about the importance of getting sesame into the diet early, around 4-6 months of age. My hope is this will empower parents to feed sesame and serve as a reminder that early and routine feeding of common allergens can reduce food allergy risk." - Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, Pediatrician and Chief Medical Officer of SpoonfulONE. 

In addition to adding Sesame as the ninth top food allergen in the U.S., the FASTER Act would establish a process for determining what additional allergens should be covered by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. 

The FASTER Act also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to report on scientific opportunities in food allergy research that examines prevention, treatment, and new cures.

This legislation will benefit over 85 million Americans who are impacted by food allergies or intolerances, of which almost 40% suffer from a potentially life-threatening condition.

The Bottom Line: Previous to this legislation, only the top eight allergy-inducing (peanut, tree nut, dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, soy, and grains) foods were required on food labels, making Sesame a hidden, and often dangerous, ingredient. 

Learn about how to introduce Sesame to your baby.