Broad Coalition Opposes Hill Efforts to Deny Consumers the Right to Know
In a letter to Congressional leaders sent this week, nearly 300 environmental advocacy, farming and fishing groups and food companies voiced strong opposition to a plan to tack a provision onto the omnibus appropriations bill that would deny consumers the right to know what it is in their food and how it is grown.
Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly favor labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Yet some members of Congress are proposing to amend the government spending bill now under consideration with language preempting GMO disclosure laws enacted by Connecticut, Maine and Vermont. As well, the measure would block a new Alaska law that requires the labeling of GMO salmon, a species recently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration without mandatory disclosure.
With Vermont’s labeling law set to go into effect July 1, 2016, it is no surprise that those lawmakers opposed to labeling would attempt to slip in some sort of preemption language into the “must pass” omnibus bill.
Last July, the House of Representatives passed what critics call the Deny Americans the Right to Know, DARK, Act. This legislation would overturn state labeling laws and bar the FDA from requiring labeling nationwide
This week’s letter is the latest effort by a broad coalition of food and farm organizations, food companies, fishing associations, chefs and business leaders who have called on Congress to oppose the DARK Act and instead support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods.