Colin O’Neil of the Environmental Working Group sent this message out this morning. The time is now to let our senators know that they work for us rather than the biochemical lobby.
Good morning all,
As you have likely heard, Roberts filed his new version of the Senate DARK Act last night and the cloture vote will be tomorrow morning around 11.
Here is a link to the new version of the bill that was filed: http://www.agriculture.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/3450.pdf
Attached is an updated 1-pager on the Roberts bill. In short, the new version of the DARK Act would allow companies to make voluntary disclosures through toll-free numbers and web sites for three years. At this point, USDA would determine whether 70% of the most frequently consumed packaged food had adequate disclosures. If they did not, USDA could require a mandatory solution, such as mandatory toll-free numbers or web sites. USDA would have enormous discretion and would be unlikely to require anything mandatory.
At this point the vote count is EXTREMELY CLOSE and now is the time to turn up the heat. Below you will find some talking points and relevant links.
Americans want the Right to Know:
- Polls show 90 percent of Americans support on package labeling of GMO food.
- 64 nations require labeling including Russia, China, the EU, and important trading partners in Asia.
- More than 700 businesses and organizations oppose the DARK Act.
- More than 1.4 million Americans have joined a petition urging FDA to require labeling of GMO food.
- Hundreds of food companies urged President Obama to honor his pledge to require GMO labeling.
- Many farm groups support GMO labeling. Groups ranging from the National Farmers Union to the National Black Farmers Association have come out opposing the Senate’s new version of the DARK Act.
- Chef Tom Colicchio is among the 2,000 chefs from 37 different states signed onto Food Policy Action’s petition opposing the new DARK Act.
- More than 125 CEOs have written to Congress to oppose the DARK Act.
Dispelling GMO Labeling Myths:
- GMO labeling will not increase food prices. Companies frequently change labels to highlight new innovations or to make new claims.
- Voluntary labeling will not work. Companies have been allowed to make voluntary non-GMO disclosures since 2001, but consumers are more confused than ever.
- There is no “patchwork quilt.” Current state GMO labeling laws are virtually identical, so there will be no “patchwork quilt” of different state laws. The responsible solution to concerns over a possible future patchwork would be the establishment of a uniform, national mandatory labeling standard.
- GMO crops do not feed the world. Conventional and GMO corn and soybean yields have increased at the same rate. What’s more, U.S. farmers produce only 4 percent of rice, wheat, fruits, and vegetables, and most U.S. corn and soybeans are used for animal feed and ethanol, not food.
- GMO crops have increased herbicide applications. Widespread adoption of GMO crops has increased annual applications of glyphosate—a probable human carcinogen—from 16 million pounds to more than 280 million pounds.
- GMO crops have led to more toxic herbicides. As weeds have become resistant to glyphosate, farmers have turned to more toxic weed killers linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and reproductive problems.
Americans want an on package disclosure for GMO foods: