Problem Solvers Caucus Endorses Bipartisan Bill Boosting Treatment, Education, and Research on Food Allergies

December 11, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, December 11, 2019, the Problem Solvers Caucus formally endorsed H.R. 2117 — the bipartisan Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act (FASTER Act).  When enacted, the legislation will help improve the health and safety of Americans with food allergies and related disorders, by updating allergen labeling laws, increasing research, expanding patient experience data to include food allergies, and studying the economic costs of food allergies.

In backing this initiative, the 24 Democrats and the 24 Republicans of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, Co-Chaired by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Rep. Tom Reed (NY-3), have come together to make sure food allergies are regarded as a critical public health issue.

The FASTER Act recognizes that food allergies can be potentially life-threatening, and this bill will help to make progress to better understand their prevalence and risk factors.  It instructs the (CDC) to collect data on food allergy prevalence and add food allergies to the FDA’s priorities for collecting patient experience data to support drug development. The bill was first introduced in the House by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and has 41 cosponsors.  

Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Josh Gottheimer said, "I'm proud that the Problem Solvers Caucus is rallying around this bipartisan legislation to better help Americans living with food allergies. These allergies can be life-threatening and the FASTER Act puts the health and safety of Americans first, by focusing on updating labels, boosting research, and supporting new drug development."

“We care about providing certainty to people with food allergies so that they have fair access to the most accurate food labels and ensuring we are putting enough emphasis on research to combat this critical issue so many Americans are forced to deal with on a daily basis. I am proud the Problem Solvers Caucus could get around this common-sense, bipartisan bill as work to improve the lives of the people we were sent to Washington to represent,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Tom Reed.

“Over 30 million Americans live with food allergies and have to worry everyday about what they come in contact with and consume. We need more research and support to examine this rising public health crisis,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. “I’m glad to see the bipartisan FASTER Act moving forward, and I thank Rep. Matsui for her hard work on this commonsense bill.”

“Families across Upstate New York are struggling with food allergies every day. As a parent, I know how important access to safe food is for families and especially our kids. This bipartisan legislation will provide important updates to our food safety laws and better protect the millions of American with food allergies,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi.

Rep. John Katko said, “I am proud to join the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in supporting the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act to improve the health and safety for Americans living with food allergies. This bipartisan legislation will update allergen labeling laws and increase research to ensure Americans with food allergies have the necessary information to better understand their prevalence and risk-factors. I am pleased to support this measure and will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve the health and well-being of Americans.”

“For many Coastal Virginians, food allergies are a life-threatening condition,” said Rep. Elaine Luria. “It is important that we continue to research this growing public health issue to find better treatments and a cure. I am pleased to join this bipartisan effort that will improve the lives of people suffering from food allergies.”

“It is estimated that roughly 32 million Americans – nearly a tenth of our country – suffer from food allergies. H.R. 2117 will truly change the lives of these Americans by allowing for more research to be done on food allergens and how to minimize the impact that they have on the American people,” said Rep. Fred Upton. “Food allergies are very sensitive and, if not treated right, can result in permanent ailments or death. This bill will protect Americans with food allergens from worry and harm.”

“The prevention and treatment of life-threatening food allergies is something we can all get behind. Research and education are two of the best tools to help children and adults living with this disorder and I am proud to support this critical life-saving bipartisan legislation,” said Rep. Tom Suozzi.

“The everyday lives of nearly 32 million Americans are impacted by food allergies and related disorders,” said Rep. Dave Joyce. “I’m proud to be a cosponsor of this legislation to update allergen laws, increase research into these complex diseases, and study the economic loss caused by them. The FASTER Act is a step in the right direction to finding more effective solutions and treatments for serious food allergies.”

 

The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprising 48 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. It is co-chaired by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).

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