On Friday, the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Roberts (R-KS), released a draft bill that is best described as the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. But this bill, which would forbid states from requiring GMO labeling while also erasing already-existing state labeling laws for genetically engineered (GMO) foods, is anything but “safe” or “accurate.”
With over 90% of Americans supporting GMO labeling, this bill is an affront to democracy. In effect, it denies people their right to know what’s in their food and prevents them from having their voices heard in their own states. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents food companies like Kraft and Pepsi, has spent millions of dollars lobbying in favor of the DARK Act, while also working to block GMO labeling initiatives in the states. Follow the money, and it’s clear whose interests this bill serves.
Thankfully, public outcry keeps growing louder. Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine have all passed legislation for clear and fair labeling of genetically modified foods (which this bill would make obsolete). Even some companies are responding to pressure from their customers: Campbell Soup Company recently announced its plan to label GMOs in its products, and withdrew its support for anti-labeling laws.
Still, the corporations that don’t want you to know what you’re eating won’t give up, and we need to do everything we can to stop the DARK Act and make sure people are informed about what they’re buying. Before the Senate Agriculture Committee discusses the bill this week, we need to let senators know it’s time to make on-package labeling a requirement for all GMOs, instead of allowing big food processing companies to mislead the country for profit. Tell your Senators to vote against the DARK Act and support mandatory on-package GMO labeling.