It is known as the DARK Act — Denying Americans the Right to Know. It was signed by President Obama last week as the Democratic National Convention, was going on so Amricans did not pay attention. The media for the most part did not cover this but it is goggleable. Without care and going against his own words President Obama scratched out the laws of Vermont, Connecticut and Maine that required the labeling of genetically engineered foods. When President Obama was campaigning in 2007, he stated there is no chance that he would have found QR codes or 1-800 numbers to be acceptable alternatives. The President also nullified the GE seed labeling laws in Vermont and Virginia that allowed farmers to choose what seeds they wanted to buy and plant. He preempted Alaska’s law requiring the labeling of any GE fish or fish product, passed to protect the state’s vital fisheries from contamination by recently approved genetically engineered salmon. It is called the Stabenow-Roberts GMO-Labeling bill (S. 764) which will allow, among many other things, companies to use QR codes instead of clear GMO labels on a food product’s packaging. It also violates several amendments of the Constitution. Polls consistently show that 90% of Americans want GMOs to be labeled.
The bill easily passed through both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Democrats and one Republican up for election again in 2018, were bought by Monsanto (it is listed in their campaign funding) to push the DARK Act. Senators Stabenow (D-MI), Klobuchar (D-MN), Heitkamp (D-ND) and Donnelly (D-IN) and Senator Roberts (R-KS). The DARK Act was not subject to hearings. No expert testimony was taken. It was the result of backroom dealing between a few senators and industrial food and biotech companies. Ironically the DARK Act was defeated in March in the Senate when Americans and those involved in the food movement were allowed to voice their objections.
President Obama’s main advisor at the FDA is Michael Taylor who was Monsanto’s attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA assigned by President Obama himself this is fraud. The White House justified the DARK Act’s massive on the grounds that the bill would create national standards. The bill would exempt most current GMO foods from being labeled at all, unless you accessed it on a smart phone. The bill also allows for labeling through 800 numbers and websites.
Reverend Jesse Jackson urged a veto, saying that the bill raised “serious questions of discrimination” and left “unresolved matters of equal protection of the law.”
The last provision in the bill, allows all organic foods to be labeled “non-GMO” without any testing. to see whether they contain any GMO contamination, as can happen with some organic products. If a non-organic companies wants to label non-GMO they will have to undergo testing and verification by third-party verifiers like the Non-GMO Project to ensure that they do not have any significant GMO content, that is not so for organic — they whave a “get out of jail free card.
Numerous groups have committed to fighting this bill in federal court. Food Democracy Now! sent out an email saying that it would be filing a lawsuit to block this bill. As will the Center for Food Safety. If you care about the quality of your food you should get involved before it is too late.