US President Joseph Biden has signed into law a new food allergy bill requiring that sesame be labelled on all packaged foods from 1 January 2023.
The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act of 2021 also requires that food allergy research be given greater priority by the federal government.
Nearly 1.6 million Americans are allergic to sesame, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
In addition, FARE says that the law’s broader focus on food allergy research means that it will also benefit the wider group of 85 million Americans affected by food allergies and intolerances.
With the new law, sesame will become the ninth food allergen for which the US Food and Drug Administration requires plain-language labelling.
Currently, FARE says that sesame is often included under the generic labels of “natural flavours” or “natural spices”.
The legislative milestone marks the first time since 2004 that a new allergen has been added to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.
The US House of Representatives previously passed the FASTER Act on 14 April, while the Senate passed it on 3 March.
The law will also require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a report on scientific opportunities in food allergy research and institutes a risk-based scientific process and framework for establishing additional allergens covered by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
“The President’s signing today of the FASTER Act is a major victory for the entire food allergy community across the nation,” said Lisa Gable, chief executive officer of FARE.
“I cannot thank President Biden enough, along with the thousands of food allergy champions who made today a reality, most notably Senator Tim Scott, Senator Chris Murphy, Representative Doris Matsui and Representative Patrick McHenry who garnered overwhelming support for this bill in Congress.
“It was because of our champions and advocates that the FASTER Act was introduced, passed and signed into law during President Biden’s first 100 days in office.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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