Written by Tigger Montague, as posted on ASBC.org under the title, “Foxes in the Henhouse: GMO Labeling Bill in Congress”.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) recently introduced legislation, backed by Monsanto, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and Koch Industries, to prevent states from passing laws requiring labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
The “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” – referred to as the “DARK Act” by critics – includes a “prohibition against mandatory labeling” which enforces the goals of powerful interest groups that have already been actively waging war against Right to Know labeling laws.
This coalition of powerful farming and biotechnology interest groups includes Monsanto, Bayer, and Dupont, who are also affiliates of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Snack Food Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers. The coalition includes the powerful Grocery Manufacturers Association, and together they have joined forces under the name Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, which pushes for a voluntary labeling standard for food, and a halt to individual states’ rights to require GMO labeling.
These are the same groups that successfully fought against California and Washington State’s GMOlabeling initiatives. On April 16, 2014, the Vermont Senate passed a bill to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with GMOs, and Governor Peter Shumlin (D) is expected to sign it. In response, several chemical companies have threatened to sue to try and overturn that bill.
This level of opposition is a shame, since GMO labeling is very popular among Americans of all political persuasions. A New York Times poll from July 2013 found that 92% of Americans favor labeling of genetically modified organisms. There are currently 66 active bills and ballot initiatives in process in 27 states to require labeling of foods made with GMOs. Currently, 64 countries around the world require labeling of genetically modified foods, including the EU, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and Brazil…
To read the remainder of this article on the GMO labeling bill in congress, please visit ASBC.org.
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