The Biden Administration Just Approved This Major Change To Food Labels

Every few years, the guidelines that regulate food allergens shift. Though they're now ubiquitous, gluten-free labels didn't become standardized until 2014 (via FDA). With the latest food label law, Americans can now expect to see these guidelines revamped once again, and this change should come as welcome news for anyone who wanted to see more attention given to those with nut allergies. 

According to The New York Times, President Joe Biden signed the FASTER Act into law, adding sesame to the list of food allergens that producers need to warn consumers about. This seed joins milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans on the official list of major allergens. Sesame must be listed as an ingredient on product labels starting in 2023. This new expansion of allergen information comes as great news to a huge portion of Americans, as 1.1 million people across the country deal with some form of sesame sensitivity (via JAMA Network Open). While the allergen expansion now includes a common product that gives many people issues on a daily basis, the new law still leaves off a number of ingredients that consumers may want to be warned about.

What ingredients didn't make it onto product labels?

While you can expect to see sesame warnings pop up on labels in the coming years, don't expect to find mustard or certain types of legumes on the list of allergens just yet (via The New York Times). While the U.S.'s official list of allergens now constitutes nine products, Australia's warning labels cover 10 ingredients, Canada lists 11, and the U.K. cautions shoppers against 14 allergens. Despite the fact that America lags behind other countries, the large steps it has taken by enacting this law should provide peace of mind to shoppers who have had to second guess their product purchases. The law also helps open the floodgates to future bills that could regulate other food allergens.

If you count yourself as one of the many Americans — both adults and children — with a sesame allergy, your shopping experience is about to get more streamlined. Thanks to the FASTER Act, all shoppers can feel confident knowing if their food contains one of nine major allergens.