Written by Emily Yslas, 2L at the University of Wisconsin Law School and FLSN Co-Communications Chair

The FDA has identified eight major allergens that are regulated in the United States including wheat, peanuts, eggs, milk, tree nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish. Other countries have these same eight allergens but may have the additional cereals with gluten, buckwheat, celery, lupin, molluscan shellfish, mustard, sesame, sulfites, bee pollen/ propolis, royal jelly, mango, peach, pork, tomato and latex (natural rubber).(1) 

Of the developed world, Canada, the EU, Australia all consider sesame an allergen leaving the US an outlier. The Food Safety Modernization Act officially recognizes Australia as a comparable food system and is working on accepting Canada and the EU as comparable food systems. While the FDA has not added sesame as an allergen, in 2018 they released a comment period regarding sesame allergies.(2)

Illinois is the first state to require sesame labeling.(3) The state hopes that other states will follow and eventually the FDA. Sesame is the 9th most common allergen with .2% of children with sesame allergies. You can read the bill here — http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=2123&GAID=15&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=117799&SessionID=108&GA=101 

(1) https://farrp.unl.edu/IRChart

(2) https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/fda-asks-input-sesame-allergies-and-food-labeling  

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