United Plates of America

UPDATE:  President Obama signed S 764 on July 29th, 2016 (this blog was originally published on July 15th, 2016).

On July 14th, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congress’ National Bioengineered Labeling Bill, dubbed by supporters of transparency as the DARK (“Deny Americans the Right to Know”) Act. In absolute defiance of the will of the American people who widely want true GMO (genetically modified organism) food labeling, this vote has sent a jolt across the U.S.

More than 60 countries around the world require labeling of GMOs – the U.S. and Canada are not among them. Time and time again, people have stated that they want to know what’s in the food they eat and feed their families. Continued studies shows that 9 out of 10 consumers believe genetically engineered ingredients should be labeled.

To date, no commercially produced GMO provides consumer benefit. Increasingly, North Americans are questioning the negative impacts of GMO agriculture. These concerns are mainly centered on the environment, health, farmers’ rights, and seed sovereignty.

What is the DARK Act?

The Senate’s legislation was co-sponsored by Pat Richard (R-Kan.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The sweeping bill crushes states’ rights by prohibiting any current or future state law requiring GMO labeling; while at the same time dramatically undercutting federal, state and local government regulation and labeling of GMOs. By preempting all state and local oversight of GMOs, the bill would negate more than 130 existing statutes, regulations, and ordinances in 43 states at the state and municipal level.

Here is a summary of the bill that has cleared Congress, and now rests on President Obama’s desk:

  • Manufacturers have the option of using a QR code, website address, toll free number, USDA approved symbol or other text (TBD: something like “Scan Here for more Information”)
  • Genetic modification only includes DNA or the transferring of genes
  • Biotechnologies like RNA interference and gene editing, including CRISPR, are exempt
  • Livestock is exempt – even if the animal eats genetically modified feed
  • Animal products as the main ingredient: meat, poultry, eggs are exempt
  • Smaller quantities of ingredients (like high fructose corn syrup) are exempt
  • Organic can now make the non-GMO claim without additional testing
  • Will override Vermont Act 120, but can take up to two years to go into effect

Will this threaten the work of the Non-GMO Project?

While the DARK Act won’t remove the Non-GMO Project Verified seal from grocery shelves, the bill as written could create confusion in the marketplace with many foods containing GMOs going unlabeled due to loopholes in the law. Shoppers may purchase a food thinking it is non-GMO, when really the product may have GMO ingredients that were just not recognized as such by the government. The bill will undermine the progress we’ve made on setting a high standard for GMO avoidance.

Nearly 2,700 brands have gone through the Non-GMO Project’s independent, third party testing, representing more than 36,000 products. Non-GMO Project Verified remains one of the fastest growing and most trusted seal in the retail sector. This is the power of the consumer. Every purchase you make impacts the non-GMO supply chain with ripples of positive change. Together, we truly are protecting a non-GMO future.

What can we do to help? Take Action Now

Despite the frustration you may be feeling, we must stay unified in our efforts. Email your concerns to President Obama through this petition to veto the bill. Read and share Reverend Jessie Jackson’s letter to the President, opposing the DARK Act. Now is the time to vote with more than our wallets—our collective voices matter. We must fill the White House with the resounding message that we have the right to clearly know if it’s GMO!

Please consider making a donation—we’ve been working since 2007 to successfully establish a consistent and rigorous standard for non-GMO claims. In the coming weeks, the Non-GMO Project will be doing everything in our power to ensure that this bill does not make it past the President.

From all of us at the Non-GMO Project, we appreciate your commitment and your support. United, we will win this food fight!

 

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38 Comments

Erick Price

It is certain that America is no longer a Democracy but ruled by puppet politicians whose strings are pulled by the highest bidder. What a shame, what a sham. Label our food, save our bees and end fossil fuels destruction of our planet and climate.

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Christa Carr

People deserve the right to know what is in our food. It is a God given right. Ingredients are listed so anything that does not naturally occur should be treated as foreign and should be listed just as an ingredient.

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Rebecca Anagnoson

I would like to read my ingredients on the actual package . I do not want to use a scan tag or an 800 #. I will just boycott the product if they cannot list their ingredients.

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Jamie

Please veto Dark Act… No questions .. You know the right thing to do. Please for all of us!

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Richard R. Schultz

If it isn’t labeled “non gmo” my dollars will buy what I know to be non gmo.
Our $ Our Vote.

Revoke corrupt unethical corp charters, simple as this.

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Crista Williams

Give Americans the basic right to choose. When you lost even the right to know what your eating, you have lost even the basic rights of humanity.

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Greg McNeal

I want to urge the President to veto this bill that denies States, local governments and all the citizens represented, the right to be honestly and clearly informed of what is in their food. The signing of this DARK act will be a victory for those who want to hide and obfuscate the known facts about the ingredients in our food, with no other purpose but to deceive and deny the information we consumers need to make decisions about our purchases.

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jason c

Every other developed country has at least instalated regulations around GMO foods, make a country for your children not your greed.

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Anne Hutson

Please veto the GMO bill. We want on package labeling written in English. We do not want Q our code’s, phone numbers or websites that we have to stop and deal with in the grocery store. No one has any right to overturn Vermonts labeling law. You made a campaign promise eight years ago that you would have GMO’s labeled. Please follow through with your promise.

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Ricki Woodruff

There is only one reason to keep Americans in the dark and that’s the bottom line. We have the right to know what’s in the food before we buy it and who the hell has time to call an 800 number for every grocery item. If it doesn’t say Non-GMO verified I’m leaving it on the shelf anyway. Regardless, passing the Dark Act is WRONG.

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Jacquelynn Perman

Please veto this bill. I need and want words saying what I am eating, I do not want to eat GMO.

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Darlene Ireland

I want my government to stand up and make sure that labels tell me what is in my food & drinks. I’m asking for GMO labels. Please put this in place if you are truly seeking to end diseases in our nation.

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Lorraine

We the people have a right to know what is I. Our food and choose to eat what we believe is best for our bodies.

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Sandra F k eury

We the public deserve to know, so we can make informed desicions.

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Suzanne Simon

Mr. President:
Please veto the DARK Act. All people in America have the right to know what is in their food.

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Sue Sherman

President Obama,
I am asking that you Veto the Dark Act.
Americans have a right to know what we are feeding our families. We have a right to be able to choose Non GMO foods if we want to.
I for one do not want to feed my family GMO’s. Please veto the Dark Act.

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Michael Purcilly

We have a right to know! Obama live up to your promise while running for POTUS.
Veto the Dark Act! 👎🏼

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Rachel

President Obama,
Please Veto this bill. We have the right to know what we are buying and putting into our bodies. Also, these non-labels put the burden on the consumer to take extra time to find out if the item contains GMO’s and makes it impossible for those without smart phones to obtain this information. In the meantime I will refuse to purchase any item that is not organic certified or at the very least nonGMO certified.

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Tonda Cooper

As an American, I want my food labeled so I am able to chose what I want to consume, especially as a vegetarian. It’s our right to know. As the White House chefs prepare organic food for you and your family, so we also should be able to do for our families. For my family. I’m healthy at age 60, even though I have suffered a work injury 10 years ago. I can’t take meds so don’t. I need my healthy non GMO foods to restore my body! Thank you very much.

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John kaeckmeister

We must not pass the dark act at all cost. Its time we are made aware. Of what’s in our food!

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Carmen Luz Buckley

We need to know exactly the ingredients by their real name on the label of the food that we are consuming. It is our right.

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Jenn

President Obama…please don’t sign the Bill…let the people of this country know what’s in their food…

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Marlene

I want the all GMO products labeled. I am the purchaser and have the right to know what is in any food. I am allergic to corn syrup, corn starch, any corn product and more items and want GMO items listed. The Non GMO item tag works great. I thought Mrs Obama was for more natural foods!??. I already have cancer.

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Vivian Korneliussen

The people deserve a clear, strong GMO labeling program, not GMO labeling that supports corporations & requires a smart phone with a special app.

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Valerie Morrison

Please veto the Dark Act. People deserve to have a choice about what they put into their bodies and to be informed about what is in their food so they can make that choice. If there are no possible drawbacks to GMO’s why do Monsanto and other food and chemical companies want to ban labeling? When it comes to our health, it is so much better to err on the side of caution. Please President Obama don’t let this happen.

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florence jutton

President Obama. You hsve children. Please do yhe corrrct thing. Veto veto. This bill. It would b e the greatest achievement before you are forced to l.eave office

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Bill Wilson

We deserve to know what we’re eating. Without having to use a smartphone.

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Erica

Do not let down the people who voted for you on your NON GMO stance you took before being put in the position you are in now. With my vote.

I will no longer eat GMO garbage. And I will not believe the junk science they tout..

I want to know what’s in my food, and how it’s made. A QR code doesn’t cut it. VETO this sham legislation! I demand it!

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Laura Lemire

Keep your campaign promise. The Approval of the DARK act proves that corporations run this country. It proves that my a opinion (an American citizen) doesn’t matter. Monsanto isn’t my president. You are! Veto this disputable bill to
instill trust in me again.

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Evelyn

This is so disturbing to me! We are Americans we have always had food labels we could go to if we needed to read the info. Why are they making it difficult for moms & dads to get rightful information? PLEASE we deserve the right to know!

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Stephen Kit Taylor

This is outrageous. A direct insult and derogatory use of the representation of the American People. This is disrespect at the greatest level. Especially threatening the HEALTH of the folks you will inevitably suffer from the law.
How can the two of you in good conscious sponsor this, your are moronic and extremely self serving. What ignorant people you are.
Dr. Stephen Kit Taylor, D.C., D.A,B,C,N.
Chiropractic Neurologist/ Functional Medicine

Reply

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