The DARK (“Deny Americans Right to Know”) Act is back, and Vermont’s GMO labeling law is being attacked again.
Thanks to persistent citizen action across the country we succeeded in stopping the DARK Act this winter, but with four months to go before our labeling law is fully implemented, it’s now or never – for both sides of this issue.
In typical D.C. fashion, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the Senate version of the DARK Act late Friday and wants to vote the bill out of committee this week. This bill threatens not only Vermont’s GMO food and seed labeling laws, but it would codify our broken voluntary labeling system and stop any state or local government from passing future laws. Instead of siding with the majority of Americans and the 64 countries around the world that already require labels for genetically engineered food, some lawmakers are following industry suggestions to block state rights to inform their citizens.
The new DARK Act is once again putting big-moneyed special interests above the public interest; corporate food and biotech lobbyists are racing the clock to push legislation through the Senate, in order to stop Vermont’s law from taking effect this July. Sen. Roberts’ version could in fact be worse than the original bill, as it also eliminates Vermont’s seed labeling law, which has required genetically engineered seeds to be labeled for years.
Thankfully, Vermont’s federal delegation has strongly supported the labeling law, as well as championing efforts to create a federal mandatory GMO labeling standard. Now their colleagues need to hear that voters will not stand for this corporate power grab at the expense of the people of Vermont and our right know about the food we eat and feed our families.
Over two thirds of our state legislators signed on to a letter urging Senators to respect the people of Vermont and our democratic process, and now it’s your turn. We expect that this bill is likely to move out of the Agriculture Committee before the week is over, so we need you to act now!