US Congress Blocks GMO Labeling DARK Act

Posted on Dec 16 2015 - 10:37pm by Sustainable Pulse

Center for Food Safety today praised the US Congress for not including a policy rider in the must-pass federal omnibus spending bill that would have blocked states from implementing mandatory genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws.

Three states, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont, have passed such laws, with Vermont’s slated be to be the first to go into effect in July 2016. All three democratically passed laws would have been nullified, while any future state GE labeling legislation would have been preempted. Over 30 states have introduced bills to labeling GE foods in just the past few years.

“We are very pleased that Congress has apparently decided not to undermine Americans’ right to know about the food the purchase and feed their families,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “Adding a rider to the budget bill that would nullify state laws requiring labeling and even forbidden federal agencies from mandating labeling would have been profoundly undemocratic and nothing short of legislative malfeasance. We will remain vigilant over the coming days and into the next legislative session to ensure our right to know is protected.”

In July, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, dubbed by opponents the “Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act,” which preempts state and local authority to label and regulate GE foods. Instead, the bill sought to codify a voluntary labeling system approach, block FDA from ever implementing mandatory GE food labeling, and allow food companies to continue to make misleading “natural” claims for foods that contain GE ingredients. The Senate chose not to take up that bill, despite heavy pressure from the food and biotechnology industries.

Anti-labeling interests then began pushing for the inclusion of the preemption rider in the must pass spending bill. Numerous Senators vocally opposed the inclusion of the preemption rider, successfully keeping it out of the bill. In particular, Senators Blumenthal (D-CT), Markey (D-MA), Sanders (D-VT), Leahy (D-VT), Reed (D-RI), Heinrich (D-NM), Warren (D-MA), Tester (D-MT), Merkley (D-OR), Boxer (D-CA) and Booker (D-NJ) led a Dear Colleague letter opposing the rider. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairwoman Mikulski (D-MD) also worked to keep the rider out.

“In the absence of federal leadership, states have led the way by passing legislation intended to prevent consumer deception and give consumers the right to know,” said Kimbrell. “We thank those Members of Congress, as well as the thousands of Americans who contacted their Senators recently, for preventing this grossly unethical rider from seeing daylight.”

The omnibus spending bill does include language directing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop guidelines for mandatory labeling of GE salmon and prevent its sale until such labeling is in effect.

​”As of right now, the newly approved GE salmon could be deceptively marketed as ‘Atlantic salmon’ to consumers. We are pleased the Senate had the wisdom to include language to correct this so that consumers are not denied important information,” said Jaydee Hanson, senior policy analyst at Center for Food Safety.

By an overwhelming margin, American voters say consumers should have the right to know if their food is genetically modified, with 89 percent in support of mandatory GE labeling, according to a new national poll. Nearly the same number of consumers would like to see the labels in an easy to read format.

Center for Food Safety supports bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Boxer and Representative DeFazio called the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would require that food manufacturers label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. This common sense bill would guarantee all Americans the right to know what is in their foods while respecting the need by companies for a uniform, federal standard.

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3 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kendra Bearden December 17, 2015 at 05:29 - Reply

    I agree! I want the right to know and have clear, easy to read labels.

  2. Will Wiegman March 13, 2016 at 18:43 - Reply

    Monsanto have deleted the Gene HMDB25030 from all their patented food and feed seeds and their patented vegetables foods and it is missing from nearly all processed food as well because it breaks down at 210F during the preparation of processed foods. It is the compound that represents most of the Immune System of Plants and the ONLY compound in foods that our Immune System incorporates directly into our Immune and Cellular Repair Systems to protect Neutrophils internally from the compounds produced to Kill Bacteria and Process Vaccines.
    It is responsible for the production, in Human and all mammalian metabolic systems, of a Single Antioxidant, Thiocyanate (HMDB01453), which is the ONLY antioxidant the Immune System can utilize inside of Neutrophils to Process Vaccines, Remove Heavy Metals (including viruses and even readioactive particles in the presence of Iodide), repair wounds, kill bacteria, rebuild muscles, repair aging host cells, kill cancer cells before they can divide out of control and much, much more.
    A normal Minimum Daily Requirement of HMDB35030 in the diet would be 1 mg. per 3 pounds of body weight from vegetables and food grains (non-GM, non-GMO and non-processed foods including soy baby formulas and baby food in jars have NONE now).
    This study done in the UK [… ] clearly shows less than a few 100ths of what should be in the foods listed instead of the naturally occuring amounts which should fall between .1- 17 mg. per gram of food. Statistically, because of the wide variance of HMDB35030 content of the many foods tested, there should be a similar ratio in the processed foods but they are consistantly Completely Devoid of the Essential Nutrient across the variety spectrum.
    The undeniable importance of Thiocyanate in the Human Metabolic System is clearly detailed in this well done research:…
    Where has all the HMDB35030 and the resulting Essential Metabolic Compound HMDB01453, Thiocyanate gone and why? The ‘why’ is Trillions of dollars in profit for the medical industry made in treating the symptoms of Thiocyanate Deficiency in Vaccine Induced Child Autism, Gulf War Syndrome, MS, Cystic Fibrosis, Fibromyaglia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s, and many other diseases with ‘unknown causes’ related to the dysfunctional neutraphils which self-destruct in the presence of a Thiocyanate Deficieny.
    Give us back our HMDB35030!

  3. Shiloh March 16, 2016 at 08:43 - Reply

    The Codex Alimentarius will be labeling supplements as toxic and trying to limit the amount and type of supplements you can get. For instance, instead of taking 2000 mg of V-C they will allow 250 mg. Or, you certain supplements won’t be available to everyone. Look here to see where they put supplements as a risk score, yet at the same time label it toxic. Control the supplements because they cannot be patented. Codex also reintroduced 7 or the 9 POPs that were considered the absolute most dangerous pesticides. The limitations on supplements is a global plan by the UN and WHO and already implemented in Canada and England.
    The globalists definitely want control over your health freedom and food.

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