In what is perhaps the biggest blow ever to the Right to Know movement, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599 (275-150) in the Summer of 2015 (the bill was dubbed the “Deny Americans the Right to Know”—or DARK— Act). This sweeping bill would prohibit any current or future state law requiring GMO labeling, and it would dramatically undercut federal, state and local government oversight and regulation of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
In a cunning and strategic move, the revised bill that passed the house also includes a mandate for the USDA to create its own non-GMO certification program. This program would operate to drastically lower standards than the Non-GMO Project, offering an easy out for companies not wanting to do the real work of going non-GMO. While it wouldn’t remove the Non-GMO Project Verified seal from the marketplace, the bill—as written—would create a competing label that would confuse shoppers and undermine the tremendous progress we’ve made on setting a high standard for non-GMO claims.
From start to finish, the DARK Act is a dangerous bill that erodes democracy and represents the interests of the biotechnology industry over the interests of the American people. 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.
In February 2016, Senators introduced a new DARK Act based on the bill passed by the House. The new bill would be even more detrimental than the first as it details of how the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture will promote the GMO industry.
The Non-GMO Project is active in Washington, D.C. doing everything in our power to ensure that this destructive bill does not make it through the Senate.
We appreciate all the emails and phone calls that poured into our offices over the past six months. Concerned citizens across the country are asking how they can help fight this bill.
Please watch our Facebook page for regular updates and calls to action. If you are one of the 9 in 10 Americans who wants GMOs labeled, your active participation is critical. This is the most important fight there will ever be on the GMO issue. Send a letter to your senators. It’s time for all hands on deck.