Washington D.C., Nov. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2117. Named the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, and Research Act, it is easier known as the FASTER Act. The law will help speed and expand the collection of government data on food allergies. It also lists sesame as a major food allergen. It’s a move that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) applauds. AAFA's led the way in making sure sesame labeling gets included in legislation.

“This legislation lines up with our efforts to have sesame listed in food labeling. We’ve been working on two tracks to make this a reality. The first is to make sure the Food and Drug Administration uses its authority to make food labels clearer if a food contains sesame. The second is to get a law passed through Congress,” said Kenneth Mendez, CEO and president of AAFA. “We’ll take whichever route gets us there soonest to protect those living with life-threatening sesame allergies.”

Besides including sesame as a top food allergen under law, H.R. 2117 has other key functions. It will make the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) improve how it tracks food allergies nationwide. The legislation also directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the financial impact of food allergies.

“Seeing the FASTER Act pass the House with bipartisan support is an encouraging sign we’re moving in the right direction. It shows our community is being heard,” said Jenna Riemenschneider, director of advocacy at AAFA. “There's limited time for action on this in the current Senate. We look forward to getting this bill through the next Congress and signed into law.”

AAFA thanks Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) for her dedicated leadership on this bill.

AAFA encourages our community members to ask Congress to make the FASTER Act law. Advocacy efforts through AAFA’s Kids With Food Allergies division can be supported via secure donation here: Support Kids With Food Allergies

About AAFA

Founded in 1953, AAFA is the oldest and largest non-profit patient organization dedicated to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions through research, education, advocacy and support. AAFA offers extensive support for individuals and families affected by asthma and allergic diseases, such as food allergies and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Through its online patient support communities, network of local chapters and affiliated support groups, AAFA empowers patients and their families by providing practical, evidence-based information and community programs and services. AAFA is the only asthma and allergy patient advocacy group that is certified to meet the standards of excellence set by the National Health Council. For more information, visit www.aafa.org.

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Kafi Brown, Public Relations Director
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
2029741223
kbrown@aafa.org