Efforts Continue to Add Sesame as Top Allergen

FARE continues to advance efforts to expand the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) to include sesame as a major allergen.

Last month, FARE worked with long-time food allergy champion U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), on a letter to FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf urging the Commissioner to respond with an assessment from the FDA on whether sesame should be added to the major allergen list.

Rep. Nita Lowey

“Consumers deserve the right to know what allergens are in products they consume. After passing landmark legislation a decade ago to label the eight main food allergies in plain language, I share FARE’s concerns that the FDA isn’t adapting to the risks to hundreds of thousands of Americans who are allergic to sesame and sesame derivatives. The FDA should apply this vital policy to changing trends over time so that the public can easily identify common allergens in food. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to make sure that FDA takes the steps necessary to protect public health and put information in the hands of consumers.” Lowey said.

Sesame allergy is estimated to affect 1 in 1,000 Americans. For more information about sesame allergy, click here.

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Submitted by Lauren Castellane (not verified) on Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:52

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Please strongly consider adding sesame to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. My 3 year old daughter who has a peanut allergy just experienced an allergic reaction while consuming a sesame-filled breadstick. Since the label clearly stated that no nuts were in the product I felt it was safe to give to her. I didn't know that she had a sesame allergy and unfortunately, her reaction led to the need for the epi pen and monitoring in the emergency room. For a 3 year old and her parents, this was quite traumatic. Thankfully, the product she ate was clearly labeled with sesame as an ingredient so I could trace the cause of the reaction to this food. However, so many foods that I currently have in my home and cooked with so often, contain sesame and I would have never known. Considering a sesame's size and popularity in American cuisine, please consider adding it to the top allergen list so that parents and children who already feel alienated by anaphylactic food allergies can consume products safely and without worry of potential cross contamination. Thank you.

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