House Passes Matsui's FASTER Act
Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass Congresswoman Doris Matsui's (CA-06) Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, legislation that will improve the safety of those in the food allergy community and expand the research necessary to find new treatments. The FASTER Act passed the House with 93 bipartisan cosponsors.
This legislation makes labeling for the ingredient sesame mandatory and declares it the ninth major food allergen as recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The bill also allows FDA, through regulation, to add other food ingredients as major allergens based on scientific criteria that establish a public health concern. Additionally, the bill supports research opportunities to help develop more effective treatments for food allergies by expanding the collection of prevalence and patient experience data.
"There are more than 32 million Americans living with potentially life-threatening food allergies who rely on accurate food ingredient labels to make safe decisions for themselves and their family members." said Congresswoman Matsui. "While mandatory labeling is required for major food allergens recognized by the FDA like milk, eggs and peanuts, FDA labeling requirements do not include the ingredient sesame, leaving more than 1.6 million Americans with a sesame allergy in the dark about what foods and products to avoid. The FASTER Act is the solution -- legislation that would not only update labeling laws to include sesame, but also lay the groundwork to help understand, treat, and one day prevent food allergies. Today is a big day for those living with potentially life-threatening food allergies and we will continue to work on this legislation until it is signed into law."