Food & Water Watch: House Passage of DARK Act Hinders Public’s Right to Know

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—July 23, 2015. Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter:

“Today the House of Representatives passed the so-called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, better known as the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. This bill would prevent states from requiring labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods and must be stopped in the Senate to preserve our right to basic transparency about the foods we purchase and eat.

“We are disappointed to see that the House passed a bill that will ensure that big food processing companies and the biotechnology industry continue to profit by misleading consumers. This bill is now one step closer to codifying existing failed policies that let the industry continue to use untested, unnecessary GMO ingredients without real disclosure, while stripping away the power of the states to democratically pass legislation that protects the public’s right to know what is in their food.

“The bill that passed includes provisions that would preempt states from labeling GMOs or enforce already passed GMO labeling provisions (like Vermont’s Act 120), and would prohibit states from having any oversight of GMO crops, for example, a county-wide ban on growing GMOs or GMO-free zones in certain organic seed-producing areas. Instead, this bill would create a voluntary federal GMO labeling standard for companies, weakening already deficient regulations.

“There is nothing in this bill that would make food ‘safe’ or ‘affordable’ as promised by its title. We need a mandatory labeling regime to give individuals the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they want to eat a food that has been produced using genetic engineering.

“We urge Senators not to support this bill. The majority of Americans are interested in requiring labeling for GMOs and will hold their elected officials accountable if they vote to strip away transparency about how their food is produced.”

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.