Last month, the Senate blocked a bill best described as the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act—a huge victory for Americans who want to know what kind of food they’re eating. But the fight is far from over. Monsanto, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), and other Big Food companies have already invested millions of dollars to shut down mandatory, on-package labels for GMO food, and they have too much at stake to stop fighting now. And as long as they keep at it, we need to keep fighting back.
Here are five reasons we need to keep working to make sure the DARK Act never becomes law:
Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law
Vermont is scheduled to become the first state to require mandatory, on-package labeling laws for GMO foods in July. The biotech and Big Food industries are now pouring out millions of dollars to stop Vermont from putting this law into effect. The DARK Act would pre-empt all state GMO labeling laws and establish voluntary labeling standards instead. Obviously, this bill was designed with Vermont’s labeling law in mind—and now, the urgency and persistence we’ve seen to get this bill passed shows how worried these companies are.
False Compromises Are Coming
Now that this first attempt at passing the DARK Act in the Senate has been stopped, we can be sure Senator Roberts and other opponents of GMO labeling will try to introduce measures that are a far cry from what we need. QR codes that you have to scan with a smartphone, 1-800 numbers, and voluntary labeling requirements are being talked about as “compromises,” but they would really be victories for Big Food that would continue to keep Americans in the dark about what they’re eating.
Keep Senators Voting for Us
We need to keep our members of Congress accountable to us, the people, not big corporations. Thanks to the efforts of activists and volunteers from across the country, key senators that Food & Water Watch targeted voted against the DARK Act. But with possible compromises on the way, it’s more important than ever to make sure our senators stay on our side. For example, Senator Klobuchar (D-MN), who voted against the DARK Act when it came before the entire Senate, was a critical vote in passing the same bill in the Senate Agriculture Committee earlier in the month. We need to keep the pressure on her and other key senators to make sure they keep the American public in mind, who overwhelmingly support mandatory labels for GMOs.
GMO Labeling Is Feasible
Opponents of GMO labeling have claimed mandatory labels would increase food costs for American families—but the figures they cite simply aren’t true. In the past few weeks, large food companies like Campbell’s and General Mills have announced that they will label their products nationwide, proving that the food industry has the capacity to label our food—and that excuses keeping Americans in the dark are running out.
We Can’t Let Corporations Drown Out Our Voices
The fight against GMO labeling has been pushed substantially by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which has spent millions of dollars to influence politicians and sway public opinion in favor of the DARK Act. However, thanks to volunteers and activists across the country, we’ve been able to show that corporations can’t drown out our voices. So far we’ve been able to keep the DARK Act from becoming law—but we need to remain vigilant to ensure corporations don’t get the final say in our food choices.
Help keep the pressure on. Tell your senators today to protect GMO labeling!