Its nigh on February already in this New Year and the 114th Congress has been busy setting their agendas. With a multitude of new things underway, one of the sneakiest is a little pernicious bill that originated from a House Representative in the state of Kansas. Last April Representative Mike Pompeo and G.K Butterfield introduced the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014” (HR 4432)” which they claim would protect consumers by eliminating confusion and advancing food safety. Sounds great until you look into the verbiage more closely where it becomes evident something else is afoot. The man behind that curtain doesn’t want you to know what’s in your food. This bill would assure that no GMO labeling laws happen in any state and for quite some time!
If passed it would give absolute labeling authority to the FDA on a national level. The bill would mandate voluntary labeling of GMO ingredients, which is exactly what we have now… nothing! Most importantly the bill would prevent states from adopting GMO labeling laws that have gained widespread support from consumers. The states of Vermont, Connecticut and Maine have all passed laws requiring labeling in some form. Consequentially the state of Vermont is embroiled in a lawsuit with the Grocery Manufacturers Association and several other trade organizations, the same soldiers who have spent millions fighting state initiatives from Oregon to Colorado. Now they’re sending in the flying monkeys to prevent Vermont from implementing the law of the people.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), The Center for Food Safety and the Just Label it Campaign have wisely christened the bill the “Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act” because it would take away the rights of all Americans to know what they are eating and feeding their families. Polls show that over 90% of Americans want GMO ingredients to be labeled so they have that choice. We get to know if we’re drinking juice from concentrate so why not GMOs? What have they got to hide? What’s behind that curtain is a rampant industrial agriculture industry that has run amok with pesticide and herbicide tolerant crops that are poisoning the land.
While attending the EcoFarm Conference in Pacific Grove I was lucky enough to be in a session with my elected House Representative Sam Farr. He spoke vehemently on the power that individuals can make by reaching out and writing or calling their elected officials. He stressed that simple people, like you and me are the ones that elected them into office, and to us they must listen. Despite exorbitant outside campaign contributions our elected officials still look to us as their ultimate boss.
The Dark Act is moving swiftly through the House and will have a counterpart soon in the Senate. This twister will gain momentum and could literally tear our world asunder in terms of ever getting national GMO labeling. This is where we come in. WE CAN make a difference by speaking out to all our elected leaders. It’s easy and quite powerful.
First locate your Representative and Senator by clicking here.
Call or email and tell them some or all of the following:
DO NOT support Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014” (HR 4432), introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) because it would:
- Preempt states from requiring labeling of genetically engineered food;
- Prevent FDA from requiring GE labeling;
- Codify the current voluntary labeling system;
- Allow “natural” foods to contain GE and other un-natural ingredients;
- Ignore the environmental impact of GE crops, such as increased herbicide applications.
- Permit meat, milk, and eggs raised from animals fed GE-feed to be labeled as non-GMO.
You can also sign the Food Policy Action petition to Congress here.
Voluntary labeling will not work because companies have been allowed to make voluntary GMO disclosures for over a decade and not a single company has ever revealed whether their food contains GMO ingredients.
Americans deserve the right to know what’s in their food. Polls show 93% of Americans support labeling of GMO food. While 64 nations require labeling including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, the EU and trading partners in Asia the US denies it. Additionally almost 1.4 million Americans have joined a petition urging FDA to require labeling of GMO food.
Most importantly GMO technology is an environmental train wreck! The use of GE crops has increased herbicide applications between 1996 and 2012 by 527 million pounds. As weeds and pests have become more resistant to GMO herbicides, farmers have been forced to resort to even more toxic weed and bug killers, including herbicides that have been linked to Parkinson’s disease and reproductive problems.
It’s going to take more than clicking our heels to get us home to National Mandatory GMO labeling. It is going to take the time and energy to reach out and speak up. Once you make that call or write that email tell a friend or colleague to do the same. Better yet put good old social media to work and send a tweet and a post on Facebook. Let’s get this bill put to bed and call it dead, before our right-to-know balloons away. Let’s make it happen!
© 2015, Melody Meyer. All rights reserved.