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!)
Total: $10,175,439 Average: $350,877
|TOTAL NO: $10,175,439||AVERAGE NO: $350,877|
Total: $58,991,192 Average: $867,518
||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)