Apr 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden signs law naming sesame the ninth major food allergen

Joe Biden

Photo: Bloomberg / Getty Images

President Biden signed into law a bill that names sesame the ninth major food allergen and increases research to address growth in deadly allergies.

Why it matters: The number of life-threatening childhood food allergies has increased 4% annually since 1997, and hospital emergency room visits for food allergy-induced anaphylaxis have tripled in the last decade, according to research from Northwestern University, McKinsey & Company, Global Strategy Group and Food Allergy Research and Education.

  • More than 1.5 million people in the U.S. have sesame allergies, according to FARE.

Details: The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research Act of 2021 will require that foods containing sesame be clearly labeled by January 2023.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services will also be required to report to the House its research on food allergens.

The big picture: The legislation received bipartisan support from both chambers. It passed the Senate in March and the House this month, The Washington Post reports.

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