On Wednesday, October 14, FARE was joined by Dr. Robert Wood, for a webinar titled Understanding and Managing Sesame Allergy. Dr. Wood is a professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Wood began the webinar by highlighting the apparent rise in sesame allergy, noting that there is not yet enough data to know for sure why sesame allergy is increasing or the exact prevalence.
He cited two studies, one from Canada and the other from the United States, which both suggests that sesame allergy occurs in 0.1 percent of the population, or one in every 1,000 people.
Dr. Wood also reported the following during the webinar:
- Two natural history studies have shown that 20 to 30 percent of children outgrow sesame allergy.
- Most individuals with a sesame allergy are not allergic to other seeds (but it is advised to consult with your doctor when considering adding a food of concern to your diet).
- Reactions can differ with ingestion of sesame in different forms, e.g. paste or ground form vs. intact seeds.
- Sesame oil is usually not refined, so it is not safe for people with the allergy.
Dr. Wood was then joined by Scott Riccio, FARE’s Senior Vice President of Education and Advocacy, to discuss current food labeling regulations as they relate to sesame.
Mr. Riccio encouraged webinar attendees to share their sesame allergy stories with FARE, sign up for advocacy alerts, and let their congressmen/women know that adding sesame FALCPA is an issue important to their families.
At the conclusion of the webinar, Dr. Wood answered questions from attendees, including inquiries related to outgrowing a sesame allergy and the current state of research into sesame allergy.
Join our next webinar
Speaker: Kyle Dine
Wednesday, November 18, at 4 p.m. ET