U.S. House of Representatives Unanimously Passes FASTER Act, Represents Significant Milestone For Those With Food Allergies Nationwide
Bill will add sesame as the ninth major allergen, require the federal government to analyze research opportunities to help develop more effective treatments for food allergy
McLean, Va. (November 17, 2020) – Today, FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the world’s leading non-governmental organization engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest private funder of food allergy research, commends the U.S. House of Representatives for its unanimous passage of The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2019, H.R. 2117.
The critical legislation, first introduced in the House by Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06) in April 2019, helps to improve the safety of those in the food allergy community by declaring sesame the top ninth allergen as recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) making labeling for it mandatory and by expanding research to find new treatments.
“There are more than 1.5 million Americans who are allergic to sesame and FARE has been advocating for the passage of the FASTER Act alongside Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06), Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18) and more than 90 other legislative champions for nearly two years,” said Lisa Gable, chief executive officer of FARE. “To see this bill move forward today, getting this much closer to becoming a law, is a true achievement and I am so proud of the work FARE and our champions in Congress have done on behalf of our community – a community that extends beyond those affected by a sesame allergy but who account for 32 million Americans living with food allergy and up to 85 million who avoid buying products containing a top 9 allergen.”
In March, FARE brought together more than 150 food allergy advocates from across the country for more than 100 successful meetings on Capitol Hill urging support for this critical legislation. Over the last year, FARE’s grassroots advocates have sent more than 8,000 emails and held hundreds of virtual and in-person district meetings with members of Congress and staff.
“I’d like to thank FARE, Lisa Gable, and the thousands of food allergy advocates who sent emails, made calls, and visited members of Congress and staff to build support and make sesame the ninth allergen to be labeled under law,” said Rep. Doris Matsui, who introduced the FASTER Act into Congress in April 2019. “Today is a big day for those living with potentially life-threatening food allergies and we will continue to keep working on this legislation until it is signed into law.”
Having been passed by the House of Representatives, the bill now heads to the United States Senate for consideration. The Senate version of the bill, S.3451, was introduced on March 12 just one week after FARE’s Advocacy Day. It currently has five cosponsors. FARE will seek to introduce both bills during the first 100 days of the 117th Session of Congress.
For more information on the importance of the FASTER Act, please visit: https://www.foodallergy.org/resources/why-we-need-faster-act.
FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy as well as the largest private funder of food allergy 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.