Federal DARK Act Limiting Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law Resurrected

We reported back in March that a bill in Congress sponsored by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, preventing individual states from requiring labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods, had been rejected after full Senate consideration. But we also noted that the Organic Consumers Association emphasized that the rejection of Senator Roberts’ bill was only “an exciting preliminary victory.”

OCA asked back in March, “How soon could the DARK Act [i.e., Deny Americans the Right to Know about GMOs] be resurrected?” and suggested it might be “As early as this week, or perhaps in two weeks, after the Senate returns from its recess.”  It took until late June for the DARK Act to be resurrected, and we are sorry to report that on June 29, Monsanto won a Senate test vote for cloture (68 “yeas” to 29 “nays”), with debate brought to an end, on the bill reintroduced by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabelow (D-Mich).

The Roberts-Stabenow GMO labeling bill, which does not require words on packages of food, is in fact a “non-labeling” bill. It would kill the Vermont law that requires labels on packages of GMO food to note that the food has been “produced with genetic engineering.” The Vermont law became effective on July 1, 2016, and the OCA reports the law “is working,” with “GMOs being labeled,” and “food prices staying the same.” Further, the labels are reportedly being used nationwide.

The Organic Consumers Association has detailed the votes of the United States Senators on this bill in a helpful fashion noting that Senators, who voted against the DARK Act, received on average $350,877 from Monsanto in campaign contributions while Senators who voted for the DARK Act received on average $867,518.

We agree with the request made by OCA that your Senators should be contacted (202.224.3121/888.897.0174) “to tell them what you think of their votes.” Click here to obtain contact information for your Senator and voice your opinion. Encourage your Senator to vote nay when the vote whether to pass the DARK Act is held on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. (AND find out the position of your Representative in the House of Representatives and ask for their support on the labeling of GMOs which requires words on packages of food!)

NO Votes
Total: $10,175,439 Average: $350,877

Blumenthal D-CT NO $43,033
Booker D-NJ NO $215,250
Boxer D-CA NO $517,498
Cantwell D-WA NO $273,246
Cardin D-MD NO $230,103
Gillibrand D-NY NO $627,514
Heinrich D-NM NO $128,927
Hirono D-HI NO $108,150
Kaine D-VA NO $140,825
Leahy D-VT NO $356,995
Markey D-MA NO $118,144
Menendez D-NJ NO $647,774
Merkley D-OR NO $222,442
Mikulski D-MD NO $463,144
Murkowski R-AK NO $132,650
Murphy D-CT NO $667,307
Murray D-WA NO $416,761
Paul R-KY NO $110,550
Reed D-RI NO $691,398
Reid D-NV NO $750,242
Sanders I-VT NO $88,750
Schatz D-HI NO $814,930
Schumer D-NY NO $157,541
Sullivan R-AK NO $476,153
Tester D-MT NO $338,055
Udall D-NM NO $91,243
Warren D-MA NO $98,408
Whitehouse D-RI NO $992,967
TOTAL NO: $10,175,439 AVERAGE NO: $350,877

YES Votes
Total: $58,991,192  Average: $867,518

Alexander R-TN YES $980,283
Ayotte R-NH YES $235,956
Baldwin D-WI YES $160,709
Barrasso R-WY YES $207,250
Bennet D-CO YES $473,397
Blunt R-MO YES $2,069,365
Boozman R-AR YES  $646,471
Brown D-OH YES $379,952
Burr R-NC YES $1,933,705
Capito R-WV YES $456,720
Carper D-DE YES  $203,662
Casey D-PA YES $405,550
Cassidy R-LA YES $504,933
Coats R-IN YES $527,927
Cochran R-MS YES $2,333,394
Collins R-ME YES $596,291
Coons D-DE YES  $86,858
Corker R-TN YES  $664,527
Cornyn R-TX YES $1,688,149
Cotton R-AR YES $508,940
Crapo R-ID YES $1,170,466
Cruz R-TX YES $1,647,662
Daines R-MT YES $596,781
Donnelly D-IN YES  $363,199
Enzi R-WY YES $350,502
Ernst R-IA YES  $256,998
Feinstein D-CA YES  $1,645,599
Fischer R-NE YES $536,262
Flake R-AZ YES $535,102
Franken D-MN YES  $286,547
Gardner R-CO YES   $946,349
Graham R-SC YES  $1,131,590
Grassley R-IA YES $1,929,489
Hatch R-UT YES $725,633
Heitkamp D-ND YES $236,975
Heller R-NV YES  $258,140
Hoeven R-ND YES $405,020
Inhofe R-OK YES $938,853
Isakson R-GA YES  $1,227,649
Johnson R-WI YES $489,435
King I-ME YES  $74,515
Kirk R-IL YES $718,270
Klobuchar D-MN YES $720,592
Lankford R-OK YES $226,040
Lee R-UT YES $77,950
McCain R-AZ YES  $4,496,004
McCaskill D-MO YES  $383,024
McConnell R-KY YES $3,373,204
Moran R-KS YES  $2,284,551
Nelson D-FL YES $873,540
Perdue R-GA YES  $489,830
Peters D-MI YES    $238,147
Portman R-OH YES $1,011,940
Risch R-ID YES  $367,154
Roberts R-KS YES $2,808,111
Rounds R-SD YES $258,600
Rubio R-FL YES $1,141,265
Sasse R-NE YES  $329,935
Scott R-SC YES  $403,300
Shaheen D-NH YES $167,474
Sessions R-AL YES $927,652
Shelby R-AL YES $843,957
Stabenow D-MI YES $1,565,978
Thune R-SD YES $1,900,160
Tillis R-NC YES $437,750
Toomey R-PA YES $682,904
Vitter R-LA YES $657,365
Wicker R-MS YES $789,690
TOTAL YES:$58,991,192
AVERAGE YES: $867,518
Durbin D-IL Not Voting $951,130
Manchin D-WV Not Voting $196,850
Warner D-VA Not Voting $518,317

(Frank W. Barrie, 7/1/16)

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