A new report has detailed how difficult it is for consumers with a sesame allergy to find safe products at the grocery store. This report is adding fuel to the growing push to add sesame to the list of top allergens that the Food and Drug Administration requires be present on food labels.
Three U.S. Senators have joined the lobbying effort and a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest are spearheading the effort. Currently, the report says, only three major food processing companies voluntarily label foods containing sesame. Other brands, the report found, either don’t divulge the presence of sesame at all or do so only when contacted.
Label reform is demanded.
CSPI and associated food allergy advocates are pressing for changes in the FDA’s policy governing food manufacturers. Specifically the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, which became law in 2004. The FDA says they are currently reviewing the petitioners’ requests to add sesame.
Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), the nation’s leading food allergy organization, supports the calls for adding sesame as the ninth allergen on the FDA’s list. Currently, numbers regarding how many people in the United States suffer from an allergy to sesame are not available, but documented cases of the allergy are growing more prevalent.