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Experiences at the interface of life, law, and motherhood in Cali

The DARK Act: AKA Congress BANS GMO Labeling

In case you missed it, in another example of how our elected officials are so corrupt it will make your head spin, The House passed a bill that will ban states from requiring food manufacturers to label GMOs in their products.

Friends of the Earth voiced deep disappointment at yesterday’s passage of H.R. 1599, a bill which preempts state and local authority to label and regulate genetically engineered food. Dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, the bill was backed primarily by Republicans and passed by a vote of 275-150.

  1. As reported by ABC, “The bill prevents states from each passing their own labeling laws”– the tired as hell argument being that these laws will increase food costs. Um no. You may or may not be aware that after a HUGE outcrying of moms regarding the alleged GMOs in Cheerios, gasp! the recipe was changed. No more GMOs in the cereal marketed to babies as a finger food. Eventhough it was clearly a bottom line decision, I applaud General Mills on that point.
  2. “While companies wouldn’t be required to disclose their products containing GMOs, they would have to get certified if they wanted a label that certifies their products do not contain GMOs — meaning you’d still be able to spot those products easily at the supermarket.” THIS IS where the increased costs will come in. You will have to go through a special process and have your product certified to label it as NON GMO. Whereas those who use GMOs would have an incredibly negligible task of simply adding a sticker to previously designed packaging, with no additional process required, those wishing to label their NON GMO foods would not only have the labeling issue, but also an entire additional process. Now that sounds like an added burden and increased food cost. Let us all pray to the universe that Congress doesn’t ban that bane of hope for real food.

Further troubling:

“The evidence is piling up that Monsanto’s glyphosate and other pesticides that go hand in hand with genetically engineered crops may be harming our health. Americans have more reason than ever to want to know whether they are eating GMOs,” Archer said.

In fact: “More than 300 farmer, consumer and environmental groups and the nation’s second largest farming group, the National Farmers Union opposed the Dark Act.”

H.R. 1599 would preempt more than 130 existing local and state statutes, regulations and ordinances in 43 states and block any future similar oversight of GMOs. GMO labeling is required by more than 64 countries around the world and higher food costs have not been reported in these countries as a result of labeling. In 2013 and 2014 more than 30 states introduced legislation to require GMO labeling, and Vermont, Connecticut and Maine recently passed GMO labeling laws.

Friends of the Earth supports the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), that would direct the FDA to require labeling of GMOs.

In writing to my Congressman, I stated how HR 1599 is counter intuitive. Not only does it favor corporations over people– who is it again Congress is supposed to serve? It also eliminates the ability for consumer to know and choose what they are eating. If individuals do not care whether they are eating GMOs or not, then they would continue to eat foods that contain GMOs, despite the labels. If, however, what is more likely the case, consumers do in fact care whether they are consuming GMOs, the label may serve as a warning, and discourage consumers from buying those products– which is likely what is occurring here. Rather than giving Americans the ability to determine what’s in their food, The House voted to keep us in the DARK, pun intended. Disappointing.

Filed under: Congress, Corporate America, Corporate Interests, GMOs, House of Representatives, Legislation, , , , , , , , , , ,

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