Sesame and mustard seed allergies represent a relatively small part of the population, approximately .1% for sesame seed. There has been talk in the past of adding sesame seed to the list of major food allergens as it is associated with peanut allergies.
- Read more on sesame allergies here
However, mustard seed allergies can be just as life-threatening, and mustard seed is quite prevalent in many common food items. Some of those food items are barbecue sauce, ketchup, processed meat, and salad dressing.
- Read more on mustard allergies here
Mustard and sesame seeds are already on the list of major food allergens. Sesame seed is considered a major allergen in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Mustard seed has been recognized as a major allergen by the European Union and more recently by Canada.
Here in the United States, the Food Allergen Labeling laws declare that 8 of the major food allergens must be declared on a processed food package in one of two ways.
- Include the food allergen in parathesis after the common name in the ingredients list if not otherwise listed. For example, Enchriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley…..)
- Under the list of ingredients place the major food allergen after the word, “Contains.”
The major food allergens that must be called out following these rules are as follows:
- tree nuts
There is a current motion to update the United States Food Labeling laws to include sesame and mustard seed. The motion states that approximately 3 million Americans are affected by sesame allergies, with no mention of statistics on mustard allergy. The opinion of this examiner is to support the addition of sesame seed to the labeling laws. In fact, the United States would already be one of the last to do so. The addition of mustard seed to this motion seems to be an add-on. I believe more evidence is necessary to deem mustard as a major allergen.
The sesame and mustard seed petition needs many more signatures by November 5th. If you would like to support this petition, click here to input your online signature.
Click here to read more about the U.S. Food Labeling Law.
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