Take Action on GMO Labeling
American consumers have the right to know the sources of their food, including information about any ingredients from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The New England Farmers Union (NEFU) and our affiliate members at the Neighborning Food Co-op Association (NFCA) strongly support labeling efforts that enable consumers to make informed choices about the sources, agricultural practices, and ingredients of the food they purchase at their local food co-op, farmers market, or supermarket.
GMO labeling also provides critical protections for farmers and ensures transparency in the food system.
Unfortunately, legislation introduced in the House of Representatives last week by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) (HR 1599) not only fails to provide consumers with the basic right to identify GMOs in their food, but it goes even further by blocking future labeling efforts at the state or federal level.
What’s included in the bill?
- Blocks State Labeling Laws – While a uniform national labeling standard is simplest to enforce, the lack of such a standard has prompted several states (including Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut) to develop labeling laws of their own. This bill prevents states from establishing GMO labeling laws and blocks anyexisting laws.
- Closes the Door on a National GMO Labeling Standard – The bill not only eliminates state labeling laws, but it also restricts FDA’s ability to mandate national labeling laws, an authority that FDA currently holds.
- Confuses Consumers with “Natural” Labels – HR 1599 requires FDA to define “natural” in the next two years, but if GMOs were included this would fail to provide transparency for consumers. HR 1599 also blocks any state provisions that make it illegal to label foods containing GMOs as “natural.”
- Establishes a Weak Review Process that Fails Consumers and Farmers – HR 1599 includes guidance for reviewing the safety of new GMO products, but the bill includes loopholes to automatically approve products that aren’t assessed by FDA within 180 days.
- Please e-mail or call your member of Congress today and urge them to OPPOSE HR 1599, also known as the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know) and ensure that this anti-labeling bill never becomes law. Find your member of Congress here.
- Join the New England Farmers Union and add your voice to that of our region’s farmers and fishermen as we advocate for a transparent and sustainable food system. A special membership discount is available to members of food co-ops that are part of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA). Join here.