WASHINGTON – A new draft of the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act being circulated in the House of Representatives would not only preempt state laws that require labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients but would also strip away the right of local government to regulate GMO crops.
The bill proposed by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) was the focus of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing today.
“This new bill is actually worse for consumers than the first anti-labeling bill,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president of government affairs. “Rep. Pompeo is doubling down on his effort to keep consumers in the dark by also blocking state efforts to protect farmers and rural residents from dangerous herbicides used with GMO crops.”
Like the previous version of the bill dubbed the DARK Act by opponents, the new draft would block state GMO labeling laws, sharply limit FDA’s ability to create a national GMO labeling system and create new obstacles for food producers who want to use “non-GMO” labeling.
"The American people have a right to know what's in their food," said Dr. John Boyd, Jr., founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association. "As a farmer, I grow both GMO and non-GMO crops, and know that labeling would not hurt my bottom line. I firmly believe that no matter where people buy their groceries, they should be given basic information about the presence of GMOs in their food.”
Earlier this month the Mellman Group released a poll, funded by Just Label It, showing that nearly 90 percent of Americans – regardless of party affiliation, age, race or education – want mandatory GMO labeling.
“Consumers want simple information about the food they’re buying and how it’s grown,” added Faber. “They want to be trusted to make food choices for their families.”