After two states have passed GE labeling bills and more than 30 are poised to consider similar labeling bills and ballot initiatives, the food and biotech industry have goat-roped some members of Congress into introducing legislation to block state GE labeling laws.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kans.) has introduced the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act [known by its sponsors as the "Safe And Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014"] to keep consumers, well, in the dark about whether or not their food contains GE ingredients. The bill would also allow foods labeled as “natural” to contain GE foods, and prevent the federal Food and Drug Administration from requiring mandatory labeling.
Apparently, Pompeo is among the 7% of Americans who tell pollsters they don’t want to know what they’re eating. Most Americans want the right to know what’s in their food. And why not? Some 64 nations already require GE labeling — including Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. Why should Americans be any different? Americans want to know more, not less, about their food.
Nearly 1.4 million Americans have joined a petition urging the FDA to require labeling of GE food — the most on any petition pending before the agency — and more than 200 food companies recently signed a letter to President Obama urging him to honor his 2007 pledge to require GE labeling.
Pompeo’s Dark Act would instead allow companies to disclose voluntarily whether their food contains GE ingredients. And in fact, since 2001, companies have had the power to disclose the presence of GMOs in their products.
Guess how many have?
That’s right, zero.
Fortunately, Rep. Pompeo has to disclose his donors. They include big food companies like General Mills and the Koch brothers.