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Media Room July 27, 2023

Statement of Robert Earl, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, FARE regarding FDA’s response to the CSPI petition on manufacturers adding sesame to products in response to FASTER Act

“On behalf of the 1.6 million Americans allergic to sesame, FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is profoundly disappointed that the FDA will continue to allow companies to intentionally add sesame to its products to avoid following the letter and spirit of the FASTER Act. Yesterday’s decision limits safe choices for our food allergy community.

“We are pleased that the FDA does recognize and grants in the CSPI petition that ‘allergen cross-contact risks cannot be addressed by naming the allergen in the ingredient list or the “Contains” statement, if they are not added as an ingredient.’ This always has been an illegal labeling practice. FARE also supports FDA’s ongoing exploration of additional solutions in evaluating food allergen cross-contact on a case-by-case basis when risk of a food allergy reaction is very low.

“We are committed to safeguarding the health of the over 33 million Americans who suffer directly from life-threatening food allergies, and the more than 85 million that are directly and indirectly affected by food allergies or intolerances to one of the top nine food allergens. FARE will continue to pursue legislative and regulatory solutions to find a way to close the sesame loophole and protect the spirit and letter of the FASTER Act and are committed to doing everything possible to help our community reduce the risk of allergic reactions and ultimately save lives.”

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About FARE

FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest food allergy charity supporting research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more, visit: foodallergy.org.

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