Whatever your opinions about the oh-so-many issues related to the food on our plates, we can all agree that we, as eaters, have a right to the information needed to guide our decisions to feed ourselves and our families.
Here at Farm Aid, we believe the best way to get key information about your food is to get as close as possible to the farmer who grows it. But when that isn’t possible, we all rely on labels to learn about who grew our food, where it was grown and how it was produced.
It is around that fundamental right to know that many states have explored labeling laws for genetically engineered (GE) food. In 2014, Vermont became the first state to require mandatory GE labeling, while Connecticut and Maine have passed similar laws that would go into effect once neighboring states pass labeling bills. Increasingly, states across the nation are having this civic dialogue unfold through bills and ballot initiatives – 30 states in 2013 and 2014 in fact – several of which we’ve supported here at Farm Aid.
Meanwhile, 64 countries require the labeling of GE foods, including our trading partners in Asia, the European Union, Russia and even countries like Brazil where GE crops are raised by many farmers. But here in the U.S., a handful of agribusiness and food corporations have spent over $100 million to block state labeling initiatives. This week, their latest swing at these efforts is a federal bill – the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act – introduced by Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo that would block state labeling laws and further confuse the public.
That’s why several of our partners have dubbed Pompeo’s bill the “Denying Americans the Right to Know” or DARK Act. Pompeo’s DARK Act would:
- Preempt state laws to GE foods and prohibit confusing “natural” claims on food products.
- Create new barriers to federal mandatory GE labeling.
- Further entrench our broken voluntary labeling system through new FDA rules and a new USDA program.
- Create a loophole-riddled GMO “safety” review system based on industry science.
Call your Congressman and tell them to reject Pompeo’s “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.” Find your Representative here or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
The introduction of the DARK Act comes on the heels of a new report from scientists convened by the World Health Organization revealing that the herbicide glyphosate – commonly known as Monsanto’s Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Roundup Ready crops like corn, soybeans, alfalfa and others are the most commonly used GE crop varieties raised for animal feed and ingredients in processed foods – they are currently ubiquitous in our food system.
Over 90% of Americans support labeling of GE food, regardless of party, income or education level. Tell Congress you’re one of them and you want them to support GE labeling and reject the Pompeo Bill!
- Visit our Genetic Engineering page for more on this issue & what family farmers have to say.
- For more on all the many food labels out on the shelves today see our Food Labeling page.