April 16, 2021

FASTER Act Needed For Food Allergen Research and Labeling

The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act is needed for food allergen research and labeling. Thirty-two million Americans are allergic to many foods other than the eight major food allergen groups (milk, eggs, wheat, finfish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts) and more ingredients should be classified as food allergens.

Some of these allergic reactions are life-threatening, and others result in hospitalization. Many of the pieces posted at Food Poisoning Bulletin focus on recalls for undeclared allergens in different food products.

FASTER Act Needed For Food Allergen Research and Labeling

Sesame is probably the next in line to be added to the FDA’s list of food allergens. More than 1.5 million people are allergic to sesame, but that ingredient does not have to be listed on product labels.

On a personal note, I am allergic to Yellow No. 5, which is often disclosed on ingredient lists. But if it is and ingredient in a sub-ingredient, such as pickle relish, it doesn’t’ have to be listed on the label. I do have to read all ingredients lists on all products carefully, and also know which sub-ingredients it may be a part of.

The federal government spends just 19 cents on food allergen research. There is only one treatment for food allergies – for peanuts, which is admittedly the most potentially severe and life-threatening allergy.

FASTER has been introduced in both the House and Senate, but has not yet passed. The Act would also require the government to analyze the most promising research opportunities so scientists can help develop treatments, and someday a cure.

You can contact your Congress members and ask them to co-sponsor the FASTER Act, which is S. 3451/H.R. 2117. At the link above you  will find a draft letter you can personalize according to your opinions and experience. The FASTER Act is needed to help protect people with food allergies.

Comments

  1. Please list allergens on all foods

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