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Thursday, October 15, 2015
ACT NOW - Senate Committee to Hear Bill to Ban GMO Labels!
Stop Monsanto's Dream GMO Bill - Contact Your Two U.S. Senators Today!
The U.S. Senate has scheduled a hearing next week on Monsanto's and Big Food's dream bill to crush the right of states to require labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients.
The House has already passed this dangerous bill, so we must stop it in the Senate!H.R. 1599, the so-called "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015," has been dubbed the "Deny Americans the Right to Know" or DARK Act by grassroots organizations, because it would:
Overturn state laws that require the labeling of genetically engineered or GMO foods, such as Vermont's law that is supposed to go into effect next year;
Enshrine FDA's failed policy of voluntary labeling--under which not a single company has labeled GMO foods in the last 14 years;
Allow food companies to continue to make misleading "natural" claims for foods that contain GMO ingredients;
Create a federal government bureaucracy for non-GMO labeling, usurping the private system that's already working well (the non-GMO Project); and
Pre-empt state and local regulation of the planting of GMO crops (although the exact scope of the pre-emption is unclear).
H.R. 1599 would allow big corporations that make and use GMOs to continue to hide them from consumers, keeping Americans in the dark about what is in their food. It also would mean an end to all local or state efforts to protect non-GMO farmers from contamination, damaging family farmers and posing a serious threat to a valuable segment of our agriculture.
Will you help us stop this industry attack on states' and individuals' rights?
Please pass this alert on and ask others to do the same.
Use the online fax petition to urge both of your U.S. Senators to oppose H.R. 1599 or any bill that pre-empts state laws for labeling GMOs.
Even if you already used this petition to contact your legislators, you may use it again. Please be courteous as this helps to build good relations with Congress; see the sample email below.
Once you've submitted your message, you'll be shown the names of your U.S. senators so you can follow up with phone calls and emails.
Action #2 - Follow Up with a Phone Call
Increase your effectiveness by following up with phone calls to your two U.S. senators, urging them to oppose H.R. 1599.
To find contact info for your two U.S. senators, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or look them up online at www.senate.gov
Here's a sample script:
My name is ___, I am a constituent, and I am calling to urge Senator ____ to vote NO on H.R. 1599 or any other bill that blocks mandatory GMO labels by the states. It is very important to my family and me to know whether our food is genetically engineered. Based on the last 14 years of inaction, it's clear that the large food manufacturers will not do so voluntarily. I also object to the bill's pre-emption of local regulation of GMOs, and the creation of a new federal bureaucracy for non-GMO labeling. I urge my Senator to vote no on H.R. 1599 and any bill like it.
You can find more talking points in the sample email below.
A phone call is more effective than an email. If you do send an email, please be sure to add a couple of personal sentences in the beginning so that it's not just a form message.
You can also download our H.R. 1599 fact sheet here to send as an attachment to your email, or as a follow up to your call.
Subject: Oppose HR 1599 and protect states' and individuals' rights
As a constituent, I urge you to reject H.R. 1599, the so-called "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act," which would prohibit states from requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods, or GMOs.
We have a right to know what is in our food so that we can make educated decisions about the food we eat. This bill does not meet the concerns of Americans about what's in their food. What it really does is deny states the right to pass meaningful mandatory GMO food labeling bills.
The free market can only work when consumers have the information they need to make informed choices among different products. It is absurd to claim that voluntary labeling addresses the issue. In the 14 years that FDA has allowed companies to voluntarily label genetically engineered foods, not one single company has done so. Without mandatory labeling, consumers are effectively being defrauded.
The bill goes even further by forbidding state and local governments from any sort of oversight of GMO crops, even when the federal government has declined or failed to regulate them. Yet these local controls have been adopted in areas based on overwhelming public support, and in order to protect very valuable non-GMO agricultural industries. It is undemocratic and bad for our economy to overturn these local laws.
Please stand up for states' and consumers' rights and vote NO on H.R. 1599 or any bill that would pre-empt state laws on GMO labeling.
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit [EIN 20-8605130], defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and artisan food producers while protecting consumer access to raw milk and nutrient-dense foods. Learn more About Us.
Donations to the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund are always appreciated though not tax-deductible. Prefer to make a tax-deductible donation?Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-208-FARM (3276).
Please forward this alert to others who are concerned about protecting locally-sourced nutrient-dense foods and preserving sustainable small family farms and artisan food producers as well as defending the rights to sell and to access the foods of one's choice from the source of one's choice.