After spending the last 3 years fighting the growing movement to label GMOs on the state level, opponents of labeling are now taking the fight to Washington, D.C. The biotech industry has been sinking millions of dollars into states that are working to implement mandatory GMO labeling, and is now hoping to deal a blow to consumer choice once and for all with a piece of Federal legislation labeling supporters have dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act.
On Election Day last month, the Oregon GMO Right to Know ballot initiative was defeated by the narrowest of margins. The final count showed it lost by just 809 votes out of more than 1.5 million which were cast. With such a small margin between the yes and no sides, an automatic statewide recount has been triggered. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. Oregon food activists and citizens rallied hard for labeling, but eventually industrial agriculture, biotech giants, and others poured millions into a campaign to fight GMO labeling as they’ve done in many other states.
Even if the recount doesn’t end with the passage of GMO labeling in Oregon, this ballot initiative proved that the GMO Right to Know movement is growing. The majority of Americans want to know what’s in their food and would like to become one of the other 64 countries that already require labeling of GMO food.
The Congress is scheduled to hold the first hearing on the DARK Act on December 10th. The act would preempt states’ attempts to pass mandatory GMO labeling. It’s ironic that a Congress with such an affinity for states’ rights, in this instance, supports federal regulation to limit states’ authority. This is just another example of special interest money influencing the Congress.
In order to prevent a win in D.C. by opponents of a more transparent food system, citizens need to ensure their voice is heard by encouraging their representatives to oppose this piece of legislation. This will be the biggest battle yet in the fight for American’s right to know. Tell Congress to protect your right to know and oppose the DARK act.