Scott, Murphy Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Address Challenges Posed by Food Allergies

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act to help address the growing challenges posed by food allergies, which affect tens of millions of Americans. The bill modernizes our nation’s labeling laws by codifying sesame as a major food allergen and calls for a comprehensive report on food allergies in the United States that will assist future governmental and private-sector efforts to monitor, study, and combat these allergies. Approximately 1.5 million Americans are allergic to sesame.

“With approximately 32 million Americans living with food allergies, it’s important for us to take targeted steps to address the growing challenges posed by food allergies and to protect those who are vulnerable,” said Senator Tim Scott. “Nationwide, caring for children with food allergies costs an average of $25 billion annually, and can pose extreme hardships on low- and middle-income families. I look forward to my Senate colleagues supporting this bipartisan legislation and hope that we can continue to make progress for Americans affected by this issue.”

“Parents in Connecticut have told me about the dangers their children with food allergies face without clear labeling on food products. We now know that sesame allergies are widely prevalent and pose a real threat, and yet our federal labelling requirements have lagged far behind the need. I’m proud to partner with Senator Scott in introducing the FASTER Act, which ensures that sesame will be classified as a major food allergen and requires further reporting to Congress addressing a variety of food allergen issues. I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to advance this bill in the Senate,” said Senator Chris Murphy.

The FASTER Act would:

a. Codify sesame as a major food allergen under the FD&C Act, effective for products introduced into interstate commerce on or after January 1, 2022; and

b. Direct HHS, within two years of enactment, to submit a report to Congress on: 1) opportunities and challenges related to food allergy prevention, risk reduction, cures, and diagnostic and therapeutic development; 2) updates on data collection activities and gaps related to food allergies; and 3) recommendations for addressing current challenges posed by these allergies.

A one-pager on the legislation can be found HERE.

The full version of the bill text can be accessed HERE.