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Let’s nip this in the bud!
Recent polling shows 93% of Americans in support of labeling that tells them what’s in their food and how it was produced. Despite such overwhelming support, on July 23, 2015, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599 – the misleadingly named “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.” Many Americans have accurately dubbed it the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know). We hope the Senate will defeat any version of the DARK Act that reaches the floor.

We are the 93%.
We agree with 93% of Americans: We have a right to know what’s in our food. The DARK Act would undermine Americans’ right to know and states’ rights to help them know, by preempting state mandatory GMO labeling laws, such as the law passed in Vermont.

We have a Congress problem.
The House approval of the DARK Act comes at a time when there is overwhelming bipartisan support across the country for strengthening food labeling. Supporters of the DARK Act claim it would eliminate a “patch-work” of state GMO labeling laws. However, if the seed, chemical, and food companies supporting the DARK Act were concerned about a state-by-state approach to GMO labeling, they would support a uniform, federal GMO labeling standard. Yet the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Peter DeFazio, has languished without consideration by the relevant House and Senate committees.
Clearly, the House vote was not about serving the interests of concerned Americans. Might the $29.9 million those who voted in favor of the bill received from Big Food in the 2014 election cycle have something to do with it?

We say: No label? No choice? No way!
Slow Food USA will write the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, urging them to vote against this assault on food labeling, states’ rights and consumer choice. We encourage our 200,000-strong Slow Food USA network to join us in this fight, by contacting your U.S. Senators. Tell your Senators to reject the Senate version of the DARK Act. It is still early to predict whether it will come in as a stand-alone bill, an amended version, or as a rider on a future “must pass” legislation (where the specific danger is that it may slide in without the benefit of full and open debate). The latter possibility is particularly worrisome, as it essentially bypasses the importance of public debate in the U.S. Senate. Encourage them to stand with the 93% of the American public and nip this legislation in the bud.


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