US State goes it alone on sesame labelling law

The US State of Illinois has mandated that packaged foods sold there indicate the presence of sesame on their labels. This comes as the FDA is still considering whether to add sesame to its list of major allergens that must be labelled according to federal law.

Sesame is said to be the 9th most common allergen in the United States and an estimated 0.2 per cent of children and adults are allergic to it. Among these is the daughter of Illinios state representative, Jonathan Carroll, who sponsored the sesame labelling legislation.

Requirements for sesame labelling on packaged foods sold in Illinois will potentially have a national reach, as manufacturers producing food for multi-state markets use the same labels on foods throughout the whole country. Canada, the European Union, Australia and Israel all require labelling for sesame.