President Biden has signed into law the “Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2021” (H.R. 1202 / S. 578). It previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives on April 20 and the U.S. Senate on March 3.
The FASTER Act would improve the health and safety of those living with food allergies and related disorders. Specifically it adds sesame as one of the top food allergens. The legislation has been a priority for Allergy & Asthma Network and a host of healthcare and patient organizations.
The FASTER Act would:
- Collect national information on Americans’ exposure to food allergens and prevalence of food allergies to specific allergens;
- Update allergen labeling laws to include sesame;
- Expand current guidance on patient experience data to include food allergies; and
- Study the economic costs of food allergies.
There are an estimated 20 million Americans living with food allergies, including 4 million children under age 18. Food allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis – a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction. Sesame allergy has increased over the years in part due to the growing number of products containing sesame seeds and sesame oil – foods, cosmetics, lotions and pharmaceutical items.
We thank all patient advocates for their robust advocacy efforts on the FASTER Act and other key issues affecting people with asthma, allergies and related conditions!