AAAAI Supports the FASTER Act
The AAAAI supports the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act. This bill would improve the health and safety of Americans living with food allergies and related disorders.
December 15, 2022
Sesame labeling in effect January 1, 2023
New federal requirements for food labeling under the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act, passed and signed into law in 2021 with broad support from the Allergy/Immunology community, take effect January 1, 2023. With it, the eight major allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans) subject to food labeling requirements become nine, with the inclusion of sesame. This is important news for the more than 1 million individuals in the US who have sesame allergy, and their caretakers. For more information and tips to reach out to patients, click here.
April 26, 2021
President Biden has signed the FASTER Act into law. The AAAAI and our partners supporting this legislation will continue to keep you updated on the implementation of this important law for the safety of patients with food allergies.
April 14, 2021
The FASTER Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and now awaits President Biden’s signature. It was first introduced in the 116th Congress, reintroduced in the 117th Congress and passed by overwhelming majorities - unanimous in the Senate and 415-11 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
March 5, 2021
The AAAAI has sent a letter of thanks and congratulations to Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) acknowledging their leadership in getting the FASTER Act passed through the Senate.
March 4, 2021
Yesterday evening the United States Senate passed S. 578, the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, which was reintroduced by Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) earlier in the day. The legislation will improve the health and safety of Americans living with food allergies and related disorders, and reflects the culmination of ongoing AAAAI advocacy efforts, and those of its affiliated Patient Advocacy Organizations, including FARE.
The FASTER Act advances recommendations set forth in the National Academy of Medicine report “Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy: Assessment of the Global Burden, Causes, Prevention, Management, and Public Policy,” including adding sesame to the list of allergens required to be listed on food labels. The legislation also requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to prepare a report on Federal activities related to surveillance and data collection on the prevalence of food allergies and severity of allergic reactions, development of effective food allergy diagnostics, prevention of the onset of food allergies, and development of new therapeutics, as well as recommendations and strategies to expand, enhance, or improve federal food allergy activities.
Identical legislation was passed by the Senate in December. However, because the language differed from the House-passed bill, the legislation did not become law before the 116th Congress adjourned.
AAAAI looks forward to passage in the House of Representatives noting that Representatives Matsui (D-CA), McHenry (R-NC), Luria (D-VA), Gonzalez (R-OH) introduced H.R. 1202 in February, which is identical to the Senate-passed FASTER Act legislation.
February 18, 2021
The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act is being introduced in the 117th Congress today. The AAAAI has sent a letter of support to the bill’s sponsors, Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who are joined by Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and Elaine Luria (D-VA) in the introduction of the bill.
Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) are also in the process of establishing a new congressional Food Allergy Research Caucus. The two will co-chair the caucus to provide a forum for interested Members of Congress to work with stakeholders to pursue common objectives and increase awareness. AAAAI has worked with both Reps. Matsui and McHenry over the past several years to advance food allergy research through authorizing legislation and the appropriations process. AAAAI is excited to work with the caucus co-chairs and other stakeholders to build its membership and advance support for food allergy research.
November 17, 2020
FASTER Act Passes the House of Representatives
The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act (H.R. 2117), a bill supported by the AAAAI, has passed the House of Representatives with a unanimous voice vote. The FASTER Act directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand data collection of information related to food allergies and specific allergens and revises the definition of major allergen to specifically include sesame. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), and Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) spoke in support of the bill.
H.R. 2117 is sponsored by Representative Doris Matsui, who was joined by more than 90 bipartisan cosponsors. “Food allergies impact the daily lives of so many Americans, including our friends and family members,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “Some of these food allergies can be serious and potentially be life-threatening diseases, and it’s become abundantly clear to me that we need more research and evidence-based solutions to help understand, treat, and maybe one day prevent food allergies. I hope this legislation will provide progress treating allergens and improving the lives of those suffering from them.”
The AAAAI continues to advocate for congressional adoption of H.R. 2117 which would advance recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine report “Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy: Assessment of the Global Burden, Causes, Prevention, Management, and Public Policy,” including strengthening data collection on the prevalence of food allergies, and adding sesame to the list of allergens required to be listed on food labels, as well as providing flexibility for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to add any other food ingredients determined by regulation to be a major food allergen. The AAAAI joins its stakeholder partner FARE in support of this important legislation.
Passage of the FASTER Act comes after the Food and Drug Administration recently issued a draft guidance titled Voluntary Disclosure of Sesame as an Allergen. The document encourages food manufacturers to voluntarily declare sesame in the ingredient list on food labels. Comments on the draft guidance are due January 11, 2021. Additionally, the recently released Senate appropriations bill included a statement about allergen labeling expressing concern that the FDA has failed to take further action to require labeling for sesame and urging the agency to act swiftly to address this risk by requiring the same labeling for sesame as other major food allergens. Also included was report language requested by the AAAAI and other stakeholders which recognizes the prevalence of food allergy in the pediatric and adult communities, commends the ongoing work of the NIAID and the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR), and encourages the NIAID to expand its clinical research network to add new centers of excellence in food allergy clinical care and to select such centers from those with a proven expertise in food allergy research.
AAAAI’s professional governmental relations team and staff physician leadership continues to make a priority of encouraging federal research support for food allergies and related advocacy activities.
November 16, 2020
The AAAAI is reaching out to sponsors and supporters of HR 2117, the FASTER Act, which will be heard on November 17 in the House of Representative.
May 17, 2020
The AAAAI sent a letter of support on HR 2117, the FASTER Act, to The Honorable Doris O. Matsui, the sponsor of H.R. 2117.
January 28, 2020
The AAAAI sent a letter of support to the leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee regarding H.R. 2117, the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2019.