“My fierce, independent, beautiful 3-year-old daughter has several severe allergies: peanut, tree nut, egg, and sesame. I carry at least 1 (usually 2) EpiPens with me at all times. You know which allergy worries me the most? Her sesame allergy. The FDA does not require sesame to be listed as an ingredient on food labels, making it extremely difficult to determine which foods Lily can safely eat. This isn’t even just about sesame not being listed as an allergen – it isn’t even required to be listed as an ingredient!
You know how some ingredient lists include ‘natural flavor(s)?’ That can actually mean sesame along with other flavors. I have to look up what that means for each individual company. And some companies refuse to divulge what natural flavor includes due to it being ‘proprietary information.’ It can be so scary and anxiety-inducing at times to give my daughter a new food.
My daughter’s first experience eating sesame was when she ate less than a bite of hummus right before her 1st birthday. Lily ended up with swollen eyelids and face, hives all over her body, projectile vomiting, and extreme drowsiness. This was her primary reaction to sesame. The scariest moments of my life so far have been seeing my baby having this reaction. Knowing this could happen again, and possibly with a worse outcome is terrifying.
What makes this even worse is knowing that sesame can be hidden in foods and doesn’t have to be labeled. The FDA is currently taking comments on this very topic when it comes to food labeling.
Here is information about the regulation:
[sometimes it’s faster to go to www.regulations.gov and search “sesame”]
Here is where you can leave a comment:
I ask you to please request from the FDA that sesame be clearly labeled. They are taking comments until the end of the year (Dec. 31st) – which means we still have a few days to influence change in such a powerful, meaningful way. It could mean life or death for so many people – including my daughter.”