In February of 2015 Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) introduced bill HR 1599. While the bill is officially called the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” many, including myself, called it the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act because it would strip states of their right to pass GMO labeling laws and keep us in the DARK.
In the past couple of months Pompeo has stepped up his efforts to strengthen and speed up passage of the bill. It is now referred to as the “Mother of All Monsanto Protection Acts.” The ranks of HR 1599 co-sponsors has grown from 30 to 48. Loopholes have been closed and scope of its control broadened.
Why all their urgency? You see in April a judge in Vermont affirmed states’ rights to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws when she ruled against the biotech and food industries’ lawsuit aimed at keeping Vermont’s GMO labeling law from going into effect in July 2016. If HR 1599 passes all states laws allowing GMO labeling will be reversed.
Even a seasoned activist like myself is stunned that such outrageous disregard for democracy by elected officials and their refusal to listen to the will of the people has gotten this far. H.R. 1599 was written by Monsanto, for Monsanto, to protect it FROM the will of the people. Democracy 101 will tell you legislation is supposed to work the other way around.
The Monsanto Corporation has proven repeatedly they are morally reprehensible and will use any means necessary to promote their profits regardless of the consequences to the planet or its inhabitants. Now their unchecked greed is jeopardizing not only health and environment but the political sovereignty of the United States.
The United States government is supposed to be based on the will of the people. Current polls show that 83% – 93% (depending on the poll) of Americans are in favor of GMO labeling. Not only do our legislators consistently ignore “we the people” on this matter, but H.R. 1599, written by Monsanto, is rapidly gaining traction in the U.S. House of Representatives.
But this goes much further than food labels. IT IS FLAT OUT FASCISM.
Vermont listened to the will of its people and passed a GMO labeling law. If H.R. 1599 passes not only will Vermont’s GMO labeling law will be killed, but no other state will ever be ALLOWED to pass a GMO labeling law. States will be forbidden to pass laws for something that 83% – 93% (depending on the poll) of the American public say they want.
Oh but it gets worse. Food producers won’t be allowed to tell you their products are GMO-free. This is something a growing number of food producers voluntarily do because their consumers want to know. It’s good for their business. Yet this supposedly pro-business government wants to interfere with their right to respond honestly to their consumers.
Not only that it completely blocks the consumers RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT IS IN OUR FOOD. You will lose any right you ever had to the truth about genetically modified food.
H.R. 1599 will kill county bans on GMO crops, and no other county will ever be allowed to pass a GMO crop ban. Sorry Hawaii.
As it stands now there is no credible evidence or consensus in the scientific community that GM food is safe for human consumption. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), disregarding food safety laws, doesn’t require a single safety study, does not mandate labeling of GMOs, and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market without even notifying the agency. No independent testing is required. They only request of firms that they conduct their own tests of new GM products. The FDA makes no review of those tests unless voluntarily requested by the company producing the product. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can genetically modify a food and even if it doesn’t come out right still dump it on the American Market untested, unlabeled, and unannounced. Many are fighting to change this but under H.R. 1599 there will NEVER be any pre-market safety testing of GMO foods.
Now it’s hasn’t been a secret, for a long time now, that politicians can be bought. What I find so criminal about this list is that the representatives come pretty cheaply. $5,000 is chicken feed to sell states rights, the people’s will, and our environmental and health futures. If they’re going to play the game that way they should have at least held out for a respectable amount. What little value they place on what should be sacred.
Hearings on H.R. 1599 have already been held in subcommittees of both the House Energy & Commerce and House Agriculture Committees. Primarily all that was presented was false and misleading testimony from Monsanto’s hired guns.
YOUR LEGISLATORS NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU.
The Organic Consumers Association has created a list of committee members they’ve either already met with or still need to meet with. They’ve also identified which committee members will vote YES, which will vote NO, and which are UNDECIDED.
If you’re a constituent in one of these key districts, can you attend a meeting or rally? Or make a phone call?