DARK Act stopped in the Senate!

Thanks to you and the thousands of Americans who spoke up for labeling GMOs and states’ rights, the Senate did not get the 60 votes needed to move Monsanto’s Dream Bill forward.

 

The bill, dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, would have preempted the GMO labeling law in Vermont and all other state laws on the issue, taking power away from our state legislatures. In place of the state laws for mandatory, on-package labeling, the DARK Act would have continued the failed approach of voluntary labeling, together with secretive QR codes, websites, and call-in numbers, none of which serve to inform the majority of consumers about what is in their food.

 

The defeat of the DARK Act is a major victory for the food movement and America’s right to know – thank you for taking action!

 

Yesterday’s vote was mostly along partisan lines, with most Democrats voting against the DARK Act and most Republicans voting for it, but with members of both parties breaking ranks.…

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DARK Act moving forward

 

This week, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted to undermine states’ rights and deny you the right to know what’s in your food.  By a vote of 14-6, the Committee approved S.2609, Senator Roberts’ version of the DARK Act to prohibit mandatory state labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods.

The next step is the full Senate, and we have to stop this disastrous bill there!Big Food Doesn't Label Image

There’s talk of a “compromise,” which is likely to include a proposal for QR codes — patterned boxes on a package that you can scan with a smart phone, which then takes you to the company’s website which you have to search to find out whether or not the food has GMOs.

There’s a reason why we call the bill that passed the House last summer the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act).…

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Is your fish GMO?

Last December, the FDA caved to industry pressure and approved GMO salmon for introduction to the food supply.

It’s not in stores yet, but when it is, shouldn’t you have a right to know whether you’re eating it?

The FDA has proposed voluntary labeling for GMO salmon. But “voluntary labeling” almost always translates to “no labeling,” keeping consumers in the dark about what they’re eating and feeding their families.

The FDA is accepting comments on this labeling policy until this Monday, January 25. Tell them labels need to be required, not optional.

FDA’s proposal is in the form of a guidance document, and normally we would not urge you to take the time to comment on a non-binding guidance document – particularly since FDA has so consistently refused to require labeling.

But the issue of GMO salmon is unusual because even Congress has weighed in to support mandatory labels.  At the end of last year, Congress expressed disapproval of the FDA’s decision not to require labels and even included a provision in the annual spending bill that called for GMO salmon labels to be mandatory.…

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Congressional spending bill good on GMOs, bad on COOL

(December 16, 2015) This week, the Republican and Democratic leadership agreed on an omnibus spending bill, which  must pass in order for the federal government to stay open for another year.

Buried in the thousands of pages are numerous provisions that go beyond the issue of funding the government and into the policies.

There is some good news:

1) The bill does NOT include the Monsanto rider that would prohibit states from labeling genetically engineered foods (a.k.a. the DARK act).

The fight isn’t over. Key Senators have pledged to work on legislation that would overturn state labeling laws when they return in January. The only way this would be acceptable is if the federal government legislation mirrors the state laws that have been passed in Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine, requiring on-package labels that clearly state if a product contains genetically engineered ingredients. Illusory voluntary labeling or QR codes are not a substitute.…

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Good news – but action is needed

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it is revoking the registration of “Enlist Duo,” a toxic herbicide developed to be used with genetically engineered “Agent Orange” crops!

The agency approved this combination of glyphosate and 2, 4-D (one of the main ingredients in Agent Orange) just over a year ago, to be used on genetically engineered crops designed to withstand this potent herbicide cocktail. But after being challenged in court, the EPA has stated that it realized that the combination of these chemicals is likely significantly more harmful than it had initially believed.

This decision means that the Agent Orange crops will not be widely planted this spring, relieving the fears of many non-GMO farmers who could have seen their crops wiped out by herbicide drift.

But, even as we celebrate this good news, Monsanto, Dow, and their Big Food allies are working on a new, underhanded approach to hide information about GMOs.

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Stop Monsanto’s Dream Bill in the Senate

The U.S. Senate has scheduled a hearing next week on Monsanto’s and Big Food’s dream bill to crush the right of states to require labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients.

The House has already passed this dangerous bill, so we must stop it in the Senate! H.R. 1599, the so-called “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015,” has been dubbed the “Deny American the Right to Know” or DARK Act by grassroots organizations, because it will:

  • Overturn state laws that require the labeling of genetically engineered or GMO foods, such as Vermont’s law that is supposed to go into effect next year;
  • Enshrine FDA’s failed policy of voluntary labeling – under which not a single company has labeled GMO foods in the last 14 years;
  • Allow food companies to continue to make misleading “natural” claims for foods that contain GMO ingredients;
  • Create a federal government bureaucracy for non-GMO labeling, usurping the private system that’s already working well (the non-GMO Project); and
  • Pre-empt state and local regulation of the planting of GMO crops (although the exact scope of the pre-emption is unclear).

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House passes bill to ban GMO labeling

Last week, a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives sided with giant biotech and food companies instead of their constituents. By a vote of 275 to 150, the House passed H.R. 1599, the so-called “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015,” which has been dubbed the “Deny American the Right to Know” or DARK Act by grassroots organizations.

The DARK Act would overturn state laws that require the labeling of genetically engineered or GMO foods, such as Vermont’s law that is supposed to go into effect next year. In their place, it would effectively enshrine FDA’s failed policy of voluntary labeling – under which not a single company has labeled GMO foods in the last 14 years.

The DARK Act would also allow food companies to continue to make misleading “natural” claims for foods that contain GMO ingredients, while creating a federal bureaucracy that ethical food companies who wish to label their products as non-GMO will have to pay to comply with.…

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HR 1599 Fact Sheet

You can download a pdf version of this fact sheet here

Oppose HR 1599: Protect States’ Rights and Consumer Choice

 

H.R. 1599 would improperly pre-empt state and local control over genetically engineered foods, often referred to as genetically modified organisms or GMOs.  In place of state laws, H.R. 1599 would establish a federal policy of voluntary labeling for GMOs that is doomed to failure.  The bill also creates a federal government bureaucracy for non-GMO labeling, even though there is already a private system that’s working well, and prevents state and local governments from implementing any sort of oversight of GMO crops, even when the federal government has declined to regulate them.

 

1.  States should have the right to decide for themselves whether to require GMO labeling.

It is inappropriate to take away states’ autonomy on the issue of GMO labeling.  The supporters of H.R. 1599 claim that preemption is needed because food manufacturers would have trouble complying with a patchwork of state laws. …

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Stop Monsanto’s Dream Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote as early as next week on a bill that would block all local and state laws that regulate genetically engineered foods (GMOs), whether through labeling or anything else.

H.R. 1599 would:

  • establish a federal policy of voluntary labeling for GMOs that is doomed to failure;
  • create a federal government bureaucracy for non-GMO labeling, usurping the private system that’s already working well (the non-GMO Project); and
  • prevent state and local governments from implementing any sort of oversight of GMO crops, even when the federal government has declined to regulate them!

This is Monsanto’s dream bill — it would allow big corporations that make and use GMOs to continue to hide them from consumers, Big Food Doesn't Label Imagekeeping Americans in the dark about what is in their food.  It also means an end to all local or state efforts to protect non-GMO farmers from contamination, damaging family farmers and posing a serious threat to a valuable segment of the agriculture industry.…

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Texas House to vote on a “Sound science” resolution

 

Using science to address agricultural issues is vital.  But due to the money and power of large companies with vested interests, the studies that are conducted on agricultural technologies, from GMOs to pesticides, are often deeply flawed.  Scientists who want to conduct impartial studies are often blocked by a lack of funding, or outright attacked if their study results contradict the industry’s position.

The Texas House of Representatives is considering  a resolution, HR 1508, that opposes any regulation of GMOs, pesticides, or other “modern agricultural technologies” except when based on “sound science.”  The premise of the resolution is that these technologies are the key to an abundant, safe food supply — a premise that is contradicted by multiple studies and reports.   The full text of the resolution is below.

We need support for independent, objective studies on these issues — not a blind vote of confidence in the industry.

HR 1508 will be voted on by the Texas House on MONDAY, May 18 (the originally scheduled vote was delayed)

 

TAKE ACTION

Call or email your State Representative to urge him or her to vote NO on HR 1508.…

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