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The Big 8 Food Allergens May Become 9

FDA urges food manufacturers to declare another allergen on labels.

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Sesame food allergen

After years of urging from consumer advocates, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that manufacturers should voluntarily declare sesame an allergen ingredient on food labels and noted that sesame allergy has roughly the same prevalence as fish and soy allergies.

Shortly after the FDA announcement, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to add sesame seed to the official list of major food allergens—a list that also includes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans. Products made with “natural flavors” or “spices” may contain small amounts of sesame without consumers knowing it, and this legislation would change that.

Research published in JAMA Network Open estimated that at least 1 million children and adults in the U.S. are affected by sesame allergies.

See also: Cure For Peanut Allergies On the Horizon

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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