Category Archives: DARK Act

Victory!! Monsanto’s DARK Act (Barely) Blocked By Senate

The efforts of millions of concerned citizens, numerous phone and email campaigns, dozens of online petitions, and trips to D.C. to lobby for our right to know were not in vain.

Leading the charge today, Senator Jeff Merkely demolished the pro-industry talking points that many of our senators lean on in order to further their agenda. The Senate blocked Senator Pat Robert’s cloture, 48-49, that would have allowed for the advancement of a bill to deny Americans the right to know what is in the food that lines our store shelves.

 

“Do not crush state’s rights, do not steal consumer’s right to know, and try to do it in the dark of night while the nation is distracted by major primaries. It is wrong on policy, it’s wrong on process, and it’s an injustice to every citizen in our nation,” proclaimed Senator Merkley.

 

While today is a huge victory for the safe food movement and consumers everywhere, a dark cloud does hang over the vote as nearly half of our senators voted in favor of the bill rather than against it. The required 60 votes needs to move the cloture forward did not happen, so despite a corrupt attempt by nearly half of the Senate body, the bill was blocked.

Nearly 100% of Americans are in favor of a mandatory, on-package labeling standard, yet our elected officials are far more concerned with campaign finance money they are receiving from biotech and big food corporations. According to the FEC website, this week alone hundreds of thousands of dollars have been pumped into senate re-election campaigns. GMO labeling is a right afforded to citizens in over 60 countries, including Russia and China. In fact, numerous countries are making moves to ban GMOs, while our government officials are making every nefarious stride to ban GMO labeling.

I must commend Sen. Jeff Merkley’s courageous speech on the Senate floor today. He is a beacon of hope in a cesspool of biotech-loving scum. Senator Merkley called out the sham proposals offered by his associates which include a 1-800 number, QR codes, and social media investigating in order to obtain information on the food that lines our shelves. Calling it a “house of mirrors”, Merkley implored his fellow senators to honor the ‘one second test’ demanded by 9 out of 10 Americans. This ‘test’ would simply require a symbol or a few words to be mandated on food packaging so the average consumer can quickly determine if an item contains GM ingredients.

Senator Merkley went on to question his fellow senators, “Why is this bill before us? I ask you, why a bill that say the interests of a few titans in crushing a state laboratory are more important than the views of 90% of Americans?”

We must flex our muscle and show our politicians, as well as unethical corporations, that we the people have the power. Remember how your senator voted in November. It is time to clean house and get rid of career politicians who cashed in their morals long ago. Continue to vote with your wallets. Clearly, this is where our strength lies. They can take away our rights, but they cannot force us to buy toxic, chemical-laden products. Vote wisely with your dollars. Do not support companies who pump millions into denying our right to know.

Pledge to join March Against Monsanto’s global action on May 21, 2016. Hundreds of cities all across the globe will march in solidarity in an effort to raise community awareness about Monsanto, their atrocious crimes against humanity, and the complicity of our elected officials. Find your local event here. For questions or to register a city not on our list, please email addmymarch@gmail.com.

This fight is far from over.

What You Need to Know About the DARK Act (Plus How to Stop it In Its Tracks)

The DARK Act passed the House on July 23, 2015 in what was yet another major step toward passing into law a measure that could effectively ban GMO labeling at the statewide level.

Despite nationwide polls by major media outlets consistently showing that over 90% of Americans want GMO labeling, a right afforded in over 60 countries around the world, the Right to Know what’s in our food is at now stake more than ever before.

For weeks news updates surrounding the mysterious DARK Act, introduced as HR1599 by Mike Pompeo of Kansas (who has taken contributions from both Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association), was hard to come by as the House vote drew near.

Word began to spread on Facebook that it was even being censored on newsfeeds everywhere preventing it from being read and people from knowing and calling their reps.

Now that the bill has passed, all of a sudden it is actually trending on Facebook.

While the bill passing the House is a setback, Anthony Gucciardi from the website Natural Society came out recently with the video below on how the news of its passing can help increase awareness and lead to positive momentum toward stopping it.

You can view it on our Facebook page by clicking here.

You can also help stop the DARK Act by calling your Senator and telling them to oppose any legislation that would ban mandatory GMO labeling, a right afforded in 60+ countries around the world. A vote is expected soon in the Senate; you can find your Senator by clicking on the links below:

http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

http://govsm.com/w/Senate

Remember the Monsanto Protection Act? It’s Back, and Worse Than Ever Before

The Monsanto Protection Act became one of the most infamous pieces of legislation in recent U.S. history, prompting a massive backlash in 2014.

But now a new bill disguised as a “GMO labeling” act has been introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, causing one major consumer group to label it perhaps even worse than the Monsanto Protection Act.

According to the Center for Food Safety, Rep. Pompeo’s bill has been greatly expanded to actually prohibit all labeling of GMO foods, while making it unlawful for states of local governments to restrict GM crops in any way.

The bill, H.R. 1599, will be discussed at a House hearing on Thursday.

“The Monsanto Protection Act is back, and it’s even worse than before. This bill would strip away a state or local government’s basic rights of local control, and hands the biotech industry everything it wants on a silver platter. No Member of Congress that cares about the rights and concerns of his or her constituents should support this bill,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety in this press release from the CFS.

PHOTO: Common Dreams/OCA

PHOTO: Common Dreams/OCA

 

State, Local Laws Undermined

The center also said that the bill would further weaken the federal regulation of GM crops while also forbidding local communities to create laws against them, such as the recent ban in Jackson County, Oregon.

Other similar ordinances have passed in Hawaii, California and Washington State, but would be voided under the bill, which has been dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act.

The bill would “undemocratically nullify” GM crop regulations that have been on the books in across the country for years.

For more on the “New Monsanto Protection Act” check out the press release here.

National GMO Labeling Bill Reintroduced as U.S. Reps, Citizens Demand the Right to Know

A new bipartisan bill that would give Americans more information about what’s in their food was reintroduced on Thursday, Feb. 12 in both the U.S. Senate and House, as announced on the Center for Food Safety’s website.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, would require that food manufacturers label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

“We cannot continue to keep Americans in the dark about the food they eat,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio.

“More than sixty other countries make it easy for consumers to choose. Why should the U.S. be any different? If food manufacturers stand by their product and the technology they use to make it, they should have no problem disclosing that information to consumers.” 

Chef Tom Colicchio also joined them to add his voice to the discussion.

“The public wants more information about the food they are buying and how it’s grown,” said Colicchio, owner of Craft Restaurants and co-founder of Food Policy Action. “I applaud Senators Boxer and Blumenthal and Representative DeFazio for their leadership and urge their colleagues to join them in standing up for the 93 percent of Americans who want to know whether their food has been genetically modified.”

In total, over 1.4 million signatures have been collected on behalf of people demanding their right to know whether their food contains GMOs, a right which is afforded to residents in over 60 countries.

“The industry promise that planting GMO crops would reduce the need for harmful weed killers has been broken,”  said Mary Ellen Kustin, EWG senior policy analyst. 

“We’ve run the first 20 years of the GMO experiment and now know that in fact GMOs require more herbicides over time. With even more toxic compounds like 2,4-D and dicamba being approved for use on GMO crops, consumers should be able to make informed decisions about what food they’re buying.” 

gmo labeling bill introduced

As noted by the Center, Labeling opponents are pushing a bill that would pre-empt GMO labeling laws already in effect in Vermont, Maine and Connecticut, as well as pending legislation in more than 20 other states.

The legislation pushed by the opposition is known much-maligned (and misleading) “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” which has been dubbed by activists as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act.

The DARK Act was actually introduced by a powerful pro-GMO food lobby (learn more about it here along with how you can help stop it).  

Nick Meyer writes for March Against Monsanto and the website AltHealthWORKS.com.