The American Medical Association has released updated guidance for private practice physicians navigating the provision of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource emphasizes ways physicians and practices should protect their employees, patients, and visitors while also operating within the…
By Beth Wang / April 15, 2021 at 11:57 AM
The House on Wednesday (April 14) passed a bipartisan bill that will require food makers declare sesame as an allergen on their food labels. The bill, which cleared the Senate in March, now heads to the president’s desk.
FDA has urged manufacturers to voluntarily disclose whether their products include sesame, but Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2021 (S. 578) makes it mandatory.
House lawmakers passed the bill by a 415–11 vote Wednesday evening, a little more than a month after the Senate passed the bill March 3. Rep. Doris Matsui’s (D-CA) companion legislation passed the House last year.
FASTER will help the more than 32 million Americans, including 5.6 million children, that live with potentially life-threatening food allergies, Matsui and Scott said in a joint press statement Wednesday evening.
“Critically, this legislation extends these labeling protections to the nearly 1.6 million Americans allergic to sesame, while also laying the groundwork to help understand, treat, and one day prevent food allergies,” Matsui said.
Food allergies can also pose hardships for low- and middle-income families who have children with allergies, Scott said. FASTER takes action by making families aware of allergens included in their foods.
“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 applaud the House and Senate for working in a bipartisan fashion and look forward to the president signing this into law,” Scott said.
Food Allergy Research & Education, the group that worked with Matsui to craft her version of FASTER, has said the bill could foster new therapies by encouraging government agencies such as FDA to collect more data on the patient experience and economic costs of living with food allergies. — Beth Wang (email@example.com)