THE DARK ACT IS BACK – A Bill to preempt GMO labeling

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Your guests from other states can call the toll-free U.S. Senate switchboard: 866-772-3843.

Background

As the Vermont GMO labeling law takes effect on July 1st, and families across the land prepare to rejoice in American independence, the U.S. Senate cynically attempts to preempt that landmark legislation by quietly enacting a biotech-and-junk-food corporate wishlist into law.

Even though repeated national surveys for years find that 90% of all Americans, across every major demographic, want genetically engineered food to be labeled Hellman Report Graphic, the bill put forward by Senators Roberts (R-KS) and Stabenow (D-MI), leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, calls for a convoluted, costly, discriminatory scheme of indirect electronic codes and phone numbers, rather than requiring disclosure written in words directly on the package label, as is the standard in 64 other countries.

This bill is not a mandatory labeling law— although they are calling it that—because it offers no enforcement mechanism, no penalties or consequences of any kind for defying its provisions.

Although presented as a “compromise,” the bill is opposed by every major consumer group that is working on the GMO labeling issue, including Citizens for GMO Labeling, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, GMO Free USA, Food and Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, and hundreds of others. The bill includes loopholes and delays that mean it will likely never be implemented in a meaningful way.

But it is not only consumer-interest groups who see the bill this way. Despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been no fan of GMO labeling, they issued scorching guidance to the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee that shows how flawed the current bill is, including the following critiques:

The definition of bioengineering in this bill is so ambiguous and narrow that it “will likely mean that many foods from genetically engineered sources will not be subject to this bill.”

The FDA further comments that it “may be difficult” for any GMO food to qualify for labeling under the bill, because it must be proven that a GMO product’s modification could not be achieved through conventional breeding or be found in nature – something nearly impossible to determine. This means most GMO foods would not be subject to mandatory labeling under this bill.

THE ONLY WAY TO PREVENT THIS FROM BECOMING LAW IS TO VOICE OUR OPPOSITION BEFORE THE VOTE, which is expected for Wednesday, July 6.

Instead of being too busy with Independence holiday parades, barbeques, and get-togethers – use these gatherings to spread the word! Pass the phone around! Print out the fliers from Moms Across America or The Organic Consumers Association and hand them out at your town’s 4th of July Parade! Every American eats and has a right to know how their food is produced!

Please, get on the phone and call your senators. Show up at their offices, if you can. Plaster social media with memes and posts (share Facebook posts from GMO Free PA). Call your friends and family and ask them to do the same. Let’s do this.

Happy Independence Day!

UNITED STATES - APRIL 17: Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, speaks at an event at the Capitol Hill Club to launch of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Photo By Tom Williams)

Urgent. Kucinich Urges YOU to Call Your Senator Today to Stop a Fake GMO Labeling Bill

UNITED STATES – APRIL 17: Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, speaks at an event at the Capitol Hill Club to launch of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES – APRIL 17: Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, speaks at an event at the Capitol Hill Club to launch of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Dennis Kucinich·Monday, June 27, 2016

The US Senate, through the munificent campaign contributions of the chemical and bio-tech industry, has brought forth a new anti-labeling bill aimed at squashing Vermont’s GMO labeling initiative which goes into effect next week.

I brought the first labeling bill to Congress in 1999. It is sad to see the grand institution of the US Senate confronted with the realities of what happens when some of its members become indebted to a corporate food industry which has poisoned the environment, ruined the land, depleted water supplies, crushed family farmers and bought the government sufficiently to conceal information about levels of GMO-related glyphosate in our food.

Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York have prepared or are preparing to respond with GMO labeling legislation which protects consumers’ right to know. While some major industry players have indicated a willingness to comply, the bulk of the corporate food industry wants to employ the doctrine of “pre-emption” to scuttle any state’s legitimate labeling efforts of food or seed, while applauding a non-existent national standard. It’s not pre-emption we must worry about, (legally sketchy in this case) it’s the pre-purchase of Senate votes, further proof of the urgent need for campaign finance reform.

Five Facts About the Senate’s New “Mandatory” GMO Labeling Bill
1. It is not a labeling bill. There is no requirement for labeling in the bill.
2. It is not mandatory. All provisions of the bill are OPTIONAL.
3. There are no penalties for non-compliance, so it is voluntary.
4. It cannot legally preempt Vermont in 2016, because Vermont’s labeling bill is effective on July 1, 2016 and the new (non-labeling, non-mandatory, no penalty, optional bill is not “effective” for at least two years.)
5. It was not the product of an internal “Senate compromise.” It was written by the GMO and bio-tech industry and greased with campaign contributions to avoid labeling GMO food and seeds.

If you already belong to the more than 90% of Americans who want food produced with GMOs to be clearly labeled, then call your Senator today and tell them to vote AGAINST the GMO fake labeling bill.
#GMO #Vermont #GMOLabeling #Monsanto #4simple

backroomdeal1June 23, 2016, Senator Roberts (R-KS) and Senator Stabenow (D-MI) have announced a deal to bring Monsanto’s dream bill to the Senate floor. Contact our PA Senators:

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to reject the “compromise” Roberts’ bill (S. 2609) and any bill that prevents mandatory GMO labeling., please encourage him to continue to stand with his constituents in Pennsylvania. To vote for mandatory, 4 simple words on a pack, “made with genetic engineering”
(202) 224-6324
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorBobCasey
Twitter: @SenatorCasey

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) to reject the “compromise” Roberts’ bill (S. 2609) and any bill that prevents mandatory GMO labeling, please encourage him to continue to stand with his constituents in Pennsylvania. To vote for mandatory, 4 simple words on a pack, “made with genetic engineering” Tell him you will not reelection him if he vote to accept Roberts’ bill (S. 2609) and any bill that prevents mandatory GMO labeling,
(202) 224-4254
https://www.facebook.com/senatortoomey/
Twitter: @SenatorToomey

 

 


There was a time when businesses proudly proclaimed “the customer is always right!” However, when it comes to GMO labeling, despite an overwhelming consensus of more than 90 percent of Americans who want mandatory on-package labeling, the saying seems to have been “we don’t care what the customer thinks.”

Hershey’s, headquartered here in PA, must realize that it’s time to listen to their customers and put them first. There are a myriad of reasons why people want GMOs labeled and make informed choices when it comes to feeding ourselves and our families. Hershey’s already label their products for countries outside of the US and should raise their standard accordingly here.Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 2.00.29 PM

Please call them today and tell them they have an unprecedented opportunity to get on the right side of history by standing with their customers before Vermont’s GMO labeling law is implemented on July 1st when all food companies will have to comply. Ask them to label all GMOs in their food products AND help set the stan
dard for transparency by calling for mandatory, on-package GMO labeling.

Let’s make a commitment to helping companies understand the benefits of standing with the people rather than against us, starting with Hershey’s. Call today! (717) 534 4200

 


 

 

CASEY RALLY APR 1

One of his regional offices, please join us THIS Friday at 10:30 am for a rally. Make signs, make your voices heard!

Here are the details:

Email us at righttoknowpa@gmail.com and let us know if you can meet on Friday.
We will try to set you up with other folks in your area.
Meet outside the regional office at 10:15 am to gather.

Rallying takes place only on the sidewalks. We cannot block entrance ways or be on private property.

Take photos and send them to us and we will post them on our facebook page!

We are sending a clear message to Senator Casey: NO COMPROMISE.
If you want a federal labeling bill, it needs to meet or exceed the standards set by Vermont’s law.

If you can’t make the rally, please continue to call his offices.

Here are the addresses and phone numbers of all of the regional offices:
Bellefonte:
817 E. Bishop Street, Suite C
Bellefonte, PA 16823
(814) 357-0314
Erie:
17 South Park Row, Suite B-150
Erie, PA 16501
(814) 874-5080
Harrisburg:
200 N Third St, Suite 14A
Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 231-7540
Leigh Valley:
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 301
Allentown, PA 18101
(610) 782-9470
Northeastern/Scranton
417 Lackawanna Avenue, Suite 303
Scranton, PA 18503
(570) 941-0930
Philadelphia:
2000 Market Street, Suite 610
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 405-9660
Pittsburgh:
Grant Building
310 Grant Street, Suite 2415
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 803-7370

Thank you for your commitment to transparency in our food system!


 

March 16, Americans notched a huge win in the battle to take back control of our food and our government from corporate influence. Because of phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, tweets, and office visits from you and other Americans over the last three months, the Senate vote on cloture for the DARK Act failed by a vote of 49 NAY to 48 YEA.

Even with a sneaky change to the bill number (S.2609 mysteriously became S.764, previously a bill to defund Planned Parenthood), the DARK Act failed to get the 60 votes that were needed to pass. The conversation on the Senate floor brought into focus the issue of special interest money in politics vs. the rights of the American people.  And it’s long overdue.

Welcome to Hollywood
Despite scheduling the hearing during five presidential primaries, the Senate made prime time yesterday. All in all, the actors did a great job and it was quite a show! Here’s what you need to know about the vote:

Senator McConnell, the majority leader, cast a NO vote on S.764, not because he’s against the DARK Act, but because his vote gives him the ability to bring the bill back up after further amendment.

The drama continued when Senator Stabenow also voted NO, but her comments show another side of her story. She said she hopes a deal could be struck “yet this week. We were on the phone late into the night.”  Sen. Stabenow has made it clear that she would like to work with Sen. Roberts, sponsor of the DARK Act, to find a “compromise,” such as mandatory QR codes or some other such nonsense that doesn’t pass Senator Merkley’s “one second test” for easy, on-package access to the information we need in the grocery store. According to reports, it is likely that, after an hour nap, the anti-transparency Senators were back to work at another frenzied attempt to block Vermont’s GMO labeling law from taking effect on July 1st.

Take a moment to celebrate and breathe. Then we must press on and maintain our vision of victory. Victory will protect Vermont’s GMO labeling law from being overturned, allowing it to go into effect on July 1st, as scheduled. Victory will protect Connecticut, Maine, Alaska and all states’ rights to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws. Ultimately, victory will achieve a national, mandatory, clearly-worded, on-package GMO labeling standard equivalent to what was passed in Connecticut, Vermont and Maine. There must be no compromise. We, the People, cannot relent.

Continue to contact key Senators (below) and your own Senators. Some senators on both sides of the political aisle who previously supported the DARK Act backed off and voted NAY. This is a testament that our collective voices and actions make a difference. Let’s get louder!

TALKING POINTS TO INCLUDE WHEN YOU CALL:
• No version of the DARK Act is acceptable. Only mandatory, clearly-worded, on-package GMO labeling will do.
• No QR codes, 800 numbers, social media or other indirect methods of communication.
• QR codes discriminate against economically challenged individuals, rural residents, the elderly, parents shopping with small children and certain religious groups that cannot use smart phones.
• Use of QR codes would result in an invasion of privacy.
• Preemption of states’ rights is unacceptable and is unconstitutional. Vermont’s GMO labeling law must stand and go into effect on July 1, 2016.

Contact our PA Senators:

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) voted against the DARK Act, please encourage him to continue to stand with his constituents  in Pennsylvania. To vote for mandatory, 4 simple words on a pack, “made with genetic engineering”
(202) 224-6324
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorBobCasey
Twitter: @SenatorCasey
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) voted for the DARK Act: Encourage him to vote against any QR codes and to keep states rights and vote against corporation/GMA’s lobbyist rhetoric.
(202) 224-4254
https://www.facebook.com/senatortoomey/
Twitter: @SenatorToomey

 

ThankyouCasey

corrupt politics 2

KEY SENATORS TO CONTACT:

1) Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) voted against the DARK Act, but has vowed to work with Sen. Pat Roberts. We hear she will try to compromise with QR Codes, again:
(202) 224-4822
https://www.facebook.com/stabenow
Twitter: @SenStabenow

2) Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) previously supported, but voted against the DARK Act:
(202) 224-3244
https://www.facebook.com/amyklobuchar
Twitter: @amyklobuchar

3) Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) voted for the DARK Act:
(202) 224-2043
www.facebook.com/SenatorHeidiHeitkamp
Twitter: @SenatorHeitkam

4) Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) voted for the DARK Act:
(202) 224-4814
https://www.facebook.com/senatordonnelly
Twitter: @SenDonnelly

5) Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) voted for the DARK Act:
(202) 224-2441
https://www.facebook.com/tomcarper
Twitter: @SenatorCarper

 

 


CALL TODAY

Sound the Alarm!

CaseyDARKactMemeLogo

IT’S BACK! A Bill

to preempt state GMO labeling, it number is S. 2609!  WE need to stop this bill, NOW!!

 The Legal Analysis of Senate Bill on Genetically Engineered Food Labeling (The DARK Act)  The Bill has GMO labeling activists were successful last year in avoiding the passage of the DARK Act through the Senate, but last week, Senate AG Committee Chair Pat Roberts (R- Kan) introduced a bill that would preempt Vermont and other states’ mandatory GMO labeling laws and replace them with a voluntary federal labeling standard.

If this bill passes through the Senate, we will be back at square one. Vermont’s bill will die and big food companies will continue to get away with keeping consumers in the DARK about the ingredients in their foods.

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, to be clear, it already is — and not a single product is labeled as containing genetically engineered ingredients.

Roberts’ bill on the Senate Floor, introduced on behalf of Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, is  just another example of U.S. politicians doing the bidding of Monsanto and giant food corporation.

a44ea819-92b2-4fb4-ae4c-46a5d6dfc9d9WE CAN’T LET THIS PASS!

It’s time to make calls again.

The bill will be marked up this coming Thursday, February 25th.

We are asking that you PLEASE CALL Senator Casey’s office this week – Monday through Thursday – and ask him to support consumers in their right to know what is in their food.

Call the Washington DC office at  (202) 224- 6324 and feel free to call his regional offices as well:

Philadelphia

(215) 405-9660

Scranton

(570) 941-0930

Erie

(814) 874-5080

Harrisburg

(717) 231-7540

Pittsburgh

(412) 803-7370

Bellefonte

(814) 357-0314

Allentown

(610) 782-9470

WE NEED MANDATORY ON PACKAGE LABELS!

#4simplewords- “produced with genetic engineering!”  if you tweet, please use this Hashtag.d61e996e-eb9e-4964-a54f-002cf580dab9

We want transparency and our representatives need to know that consumer choice and health come before corporate profit! 

Thank you for helping us ensure that we have a safe and transparent food system!

In Unity,

GMO FREE PA


Call Mitch McConnell at (202) 224-2541; or Democracy slips away.
revere3

Call Senator Mitch McConnell at (202) 224-2541.   Please state the following:“Senator McConnell, I am calling to ask you to reject Senator Roberts’ bill, S. 2609, the “DARK Act”. Do not bring this bill to the floor.   Please stand with the American people and reject any attempts to preempt states’ rights and keep us in the DARK about what we are eating.” 

If, his lines are jammed,  please send him an  e-mail by CLICKING HERE.
With Vermont’s GMO labeling law about to implement in July, the industry is in an all out panic and is doing everything they possibly can to stop the law from moving forward.
On Tuesday March 1st, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed an industry wish list bill, S2609, that would do the following:
(1) preempt the VT, CT, and ME GMO labeling laws;
(2) codify a voluntary labeling standard, set up by the USDA, so that mandatory labeling will never happen at the state or federal level and
(3) create a program, set up by the USDA, using US tax payer dollars to educate the public about GMOs, using industry slanted propaganda

We have been informed that S2609 will be taken to the floor NEXT WEEK for a vote. If this “DARK Act” passes everything we hold true in our minds and hearts for a transparent food system, will be wiped out and we will likely never know whether there are GMOs in our food. We must pick up the phone and call US Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. We need to light up the phones, generate thousands of emails and unleash the power of the grassroots each and everyday until they call the bill or give up!

This is truly a story of David vs Goliath. The most powerful industries on the planet (junk food and biotech) are joined together to stop the will of the people.  Over 90% of Americans want GMOs labeled, every poll shows the same numbers.  What the federal government is doing right now is an attack on democracy not just because they are about to pass a law that puts industry interests over personal rights, but also because state preemption does NOT happen without a strong federal standard in it’s place.  This is unprecedented. Republicans who claim the value states’ rights only do so until states’ right conflict with industry interests.

This is an affront to the democratic process. Let us take this message to all our friends, family, colleagues, community leaders and networks and tell them if there was ever a time to take action, that time is NOW.

6 Responses to THE DARK ACT IS BACK – A Bill to preempt GMO labeling

  1. Greg Murphy says:

    We have more than every right to know what’s in our food, period.

  2. Claudia J. Glennan says:

    With so many things to struggle with, selecting the right foods should not be one of them and made more difficult. We Need To Know….NO GMO!!!

  3. Diane Ditzler says:

    PLEASE!! label our food with Gmo labeling. It is important to me. Also, food from China..we must know what we are eating. Thank You

  4. bing.com says:

    Hi there, the whole thing is going perfectly here and ofcourse every
    one is sharing facts, that’s genuinely fine, keep up writing.

  5. Sheri Yacobian says:

    We have a right to know whats in our food in order to make informed choices about what we eat and feed and families. Food transparency is very important to our democratic way of living.

  6. Melanie Fisher says:

    All food labels must identify all gmos that are in that particular food product. We have a right to know what is in our food!

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