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Friday, March 11, 2016
ACTION ALERT: Deny Americans the Right to Know Act Moving Fast
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted to undermine states' rights and deny you the right to know what's in your food. By a vote of 14-6, the Committee approved S.2609, Senator Roberts' version of the DARK Act to prohibit mandatory state labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods.
The next step is the full Senate, and we have to stop this disastrous bill there! Even if you have called your Senators before, please speak up again.
There's talk of a "compromise," which is likely to include a proposal for QR codes--patterned boxes on a package that you can scan with a smart phone, which then takes you to the company's website which you have to search to find out whether or not the food has GMOs.
Your Senators need to hear from you now: Tell your Senators to oppose S. 2609, or any compromise that doesn't result in mandatory, on-package physical labeling of GMOs.
There's a reason why we call the bill that passed the House last summer the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act). This bill would prohibit any state from labeling GMOs and make federal labeling voluntary--which has been the law for the last 14 years and is a failed policy.
Tell your Senators that voluntary labels don't work, and they must reject the DARK Act.
Please pass this alert on and ask others to do the same.
Call or email both of your U.S. Senators to urge them to oppose Senator Robert's bill or any bill that pre-empts state laws for labeling GMOs.
You can look up who your Senators are and find their contact information via:
A phone call is more effective than an email. If you do send an email, please replace the opening few lines with your own personalized message--personal messages have more of an impact than form emails.
Hi. My name is ___, and I am a constituent. I urge Senator _____ to vote against S.2609, which would block mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. I urge the Senator to stand up for both states' rights and individuals' rights to know.
We have a right to know what is in our food so that we can make educated decisions about the food we eat. The free market can only work when consumers have the information they need to make informed choices among different products.
Contrary to what you hear from industry, GMO food labeling will NOT increase food prices. Companies frequently change labels for all sorts of reasons, without passing those costs on to consumers; even Campbell's Soup has said GMO labeling will not increase the price of their products. The increased cost often repeated by big food and chemical company lobbyists includes the cost of switching to non-GMO ingredients to avoid labeling--which simply points out that these companies know that many consumers would not be buying their products if they knew they contained GMOs. This is fraud, not a free market.
The use of a bar code or QR code is not a valid substitute for mandatory labels. Over a third of all Americans don't even own smartphones and could not read such codes. And many of those who own smartphones are not familiar with QR codes and wouldn't even know that the information was available.
I urge Senator ___ to vote against S.2609 or any bill that would block state laws for mandatory physical labels on GMO foods.
You can also download a fact sheet on the House version of the bill here to send as an attachment to your email, or as a follow up to your call.
Here's the text for the House version of the bill, HR1599
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, 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.