On July 23 the House of Representatives passed The so-called “DARK” (“Denying Americans the Right to Know”) Act, or HR 1599 (official name: “the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015”) –– the bill that would preempt state and local authority to label and regulate genetically engineered (GE) foods –. This bill would prohibit mandatory GE labeling (federal and state) and would continue to allow use of the term “natural” on foods containing GE organisms.
But the DARK Act is not law yet, and it is time for everyone to get active to make sure that it never is.
Remember your government class in high school? The next step for this bill is the Senate, and then, if passed in the Senate with any different provisions, will have to go to a House/Senate Conference Committee, and back again to both houses. Finally, the President must sign the bill.
All those steps are opportunities for grassroots action to take hold. Your voice is needed now! Sign petitions, send letters, and remember that your elected officials work for you! Hold them accountable.
The DARK Act could undo over 130 existing statutes, regulations and ordinances in 43 states at the state and municipal level – including New York, where a NY GMO Labeling bill is still working its way through the State Legislature – as well as Vermont’s first-ever state labeling bill due to go into effect in July 2016. It would replace mandatory labeling with “voluntary” labeling, which has actually been in place at FDA for the past 14 years – during which time NO companies have used this volunteer labeling system.
While poll after poll shows that 90% of Americans want GE foods labeled, the vote in the House once again highlighted the power and money of big food and big Ag in Congress. Food/Grocery, chemical and seed companies not only contribute to the campaign war chests of both sides of the aisle, they have a very effective PR campaign that mis-characterizes GMO Label advocates as anti-science, and falsely claims that labeling will cause food prices to rise. So the vote in the House wasn’t unexpected.
But Thanks to the Work of NOFA-NY members (and all New Yorkers) acting on several NOFA and national alerts, the New York congressional delegation responded favorably – see the vote tally below. Of 27 New York State congress members, 19 voted NO to the DARK Act! Keep it up New York!
Your Congress member didn’t vote the right way? Continue to write and call them, and tell them why you want to see GE Labeling. And watch for news from NOFA-NY for continued information about this bill and about the New York State Labeling Bill’s progress.
Keep up the fight! – Watch for NOFA-NY Alerts for the right time to tell your state Senate and Assembly Members as well as your federal Senators, Congressman, and the President that you want Labeling of GE Foods.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – NEW YORK DELEGATION VOTE ON HR 1599: “THE DARK ACT”, July 23, 2015
Who’s YOUR Congressperson? Look It Up https://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup
|District No.||Representative||Vote on HR 1599
[A YES vote = A vote against GMO Labeling]
|2||Peter T. King||Yes|
|3||Steve Israel||didn’t vote|
|11||Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.||Yes|
|15||José E. Serrano||No|
|18||Sean Patrick Maloney||No|
|20||Paul D. Tonko||No|
|22||Richard L. Hanna||Yes|