The U.S. Senate has supported a move to begin debate on the Roberts-Stabenow GMO labeling bill, also known as the new DARK Act, that would wipe out states’ ability to require GMO labeling and replace it with an ineffective federal program. Senators voted 65-32 in favor of advancing the misleading bill.
U.S. Presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, tweeted Wednesday; “The Stabenow-Roberts GMO bill is confusing, misleading and unenforceable. It does nothing to make sure consumers know what they’re eating.”
The new DARK Act proposes the use of QR codes on food packages instead of the use of the simple words ‘Produced with Genetic Engineering’, in an obvious move to confuse consumers. Senator Sanders ridiculed this part of the bill before the vote, on Twitter:
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 6, 2016
Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, issued this statement following the cloture vote:
“We’re disappointed that the Senate has pushed this bill forward when important questions remain about potential loopholes that would sharply limit its effectiveness. The FDA raised issues about language that could exempt most GMO products on the market. Moreover, this bill, which blocks state GMO labeling laws immediately, doesn’t require the USDA to establish the new national standard for two years, leaving a legal vacuum that would undermine GMO labeling already occurring in the marketplace. We urge Senators to listen to the nine out of ten consumers who support mandatory, on-package GMO labeling and oppose this bill.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued its technical comments to the Senate Agriculture Committee on the proposed GMO labeling Dark Act bill being put forward by Senators Roberts and Stabenow, and they were strongly critical of many aspects of the bill.
During the vote, members of the Organic Consumers Association showered money from the U.S. Senate gallery onto the floor to protest against the bill. The protesters shouted “Monsanto Money” and “Senator Stabenow, listen to the people, not Monsanto”.
Wow, someone threw real money in the US Senate chamber! pic.twitter.com/zGK5wAs1pB