The good, the bad, the absolutely ugly, and hope. US Senate Ag Committee approves DARK Act

It was interesting. This morning’s US Senate Ag Committee hearing was carried live on the Internet, and watching it was an education in and of itself. I, along with thousands of others (I hope) looked on as 20 committee members (Senators all) considered a proposal to amend the “Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946” that would establish a national voluntary labeling standard for bioengineered foods.
Transparency – that’s good.
Why the amendment? Because some businesses and elected officials want to make it illegal for any state to require GMO labeling on our food. So much for truth-in-labeling. It’s why this legislation has been dubbed the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right-to-Know Act). That’s bad. Very bad.
Over the course of the hour-long hearing, I heard committee chair Sen. Pat Roberts say that about 625 organizations submitted letters supporting the amendment. No surprise. What he didn’t say is that over 4 million people have signed petitions demanding GMO labeling, and that poll after poll indicate 90% of those asked want GMO labeling.
That’s an absolutely ugly aspect of this issue: 625 organizations/corporations trump over 1.4 million individuals’ signatures. The amendment also seems to step all over state rights.
When Senator Roberts put the amendment to a voice vote, it was approved 14 to 6. Now titled Senate bill S-2609, will go to a vote by the full Senate as the companion to House bill HR-1599 which passed last year.
The fight’s not over. There’s another opportunity to demand transparency in food labeling. That’s hopeful.
Stay alert for next steps.
Sylvia

We have the right to know what's in our food.

We have the right to know what’s in our food.

Sat., Dec. 5, 9-9:30AM CT, GMO labeling – why the fight

What: Live conversation with Tracy Singleton, owner of the Birchwood Cafe (Minneapolis, MN) and good-food activist about consumer demand for – and Congress resistance to – clear and truthful labeling of GMO (genetically-modified) foods.
When: Saturday, Dec. 5, 9:00-9:30AM Central Time
Where: Broadcast and streamed live from the studios of WPCA Radio, 93.1FM, and www.wpcaradio.org
More and more consumers are demanding good foods – local, grown organically, high in nutrition, humanely raised, grown to restore soil and protect water. At the same time, there are legislatives moves to keep consumers in the dark about everything that’s in our food. For example, just this past Thursday (Dec. 3), the Federal Drug Administration approved GMO salmon for human consumption. And as of right now, this new salmon will not be identified in any way. Unless you own a pocket DNA tester, you’ll have no way of knowing if that frozen salmon fillet is something you want, or don’t want, to serve to the children at your table.
Tracy, co-host Dave Corbett and I will take a look at conditions in Minnesota and nationwide.
For more information, and to contact your elected officials, go to Just Label It. Let your senators and representatives know that you want – demand – to know what’s in your food. You can’t make a choice, if you don’t know our choices.salmon-clipart-nTEboryTA
Sylvia