After soliciting comments on a proposed peanut ban on airplanes, the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a clarification stating it did not have the legal authority to do so.
This clarification came after complaints from Georgia’s peanut growers and the politicians who represent them. The ban would have violated a 2000 appropriations act that funds the Department of Transportation. The 2000 Dot appropriations act specifies that no federal money can be used to ban peanuts or require a peanut-free buffer zone in any air carrier until at least 90 days after Congress and the DOT receive a peer-reviewed scientific study that determines peanut allergy sufferers can get a severe reaction on an airplane.
DOT will continue to accept public comments regarding peanuts on airplanes, but is currently unsure of what they will do with these comments.
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network has released a response to the original DOT proposal which includes information regarding severe reactions to peanuts on airplanes. The response can be found at FAAN Responds to Department of Transportation Proposal.