Starting January 1, 2023, products derived from or using sesame seeds will have to be so labeled following legislation signed by President Biden, Friday, April 23.
The long-awaited legislation has been on the federal government’s docket since 2018 when the FDA began looking into the prevalence and severity of allergies related to the seed.
According to FoodDive.com, “The bill also mandates a detailed report on federal government activity to classify, measure, diagnose and prevent food allergies in the United States. This report also tasks the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with presenting a plan for modifying the federal government’s list of major allergens in a timely fashion through regulation. The report must be presented to Congress and posted on the HHS website in 18 months.”
Sesame will now join dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, eggs, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish as ingredients that must be specifically called out on food packaging.
FoodDive.com cited research published in JAMA in 2019, “as many as 1.6 million people in the United States — about 0.49% of the population — could be allergic to sesame. Another study done by the National Institutes of Health and published in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology found that 17% of children with other food allergies are also allergic to sesame.”
See the FASTER Act of 2021 here.