Bill would forbid states enacting mandatory GMO labelling

In spite of the Orwellian headline of the press release below, this bill — dubbed by critics the DARK Act — is nothing to do with keeping food safe or affordable. It’s about introducing federal legislation that would prevent states from enacting mandatory GMO labelling bills. Americans are advised to do all in their power to oppose it.

Pompeo reintroduces bill to keep food safe and affordable

United States Congressman Mike Pompeo, 25 March 2015

Reps. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., will reintroduce a bill today to provide important reforms to America’s food supply. Supporting this bill are nine Republicans and eight Democrats, with the majority of these 17 original co-sponsors sitting on either the Agriculture or Energy & Commerce Committee. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 will ensure that America’s farmers will continue to be able to innovate and improve the quality and quantity of their crops and provide nutritious, affordable food on families’ tables both here and across the world.

Without the reforms in this legislation, a patchwork of state GMO labeling laws could mislead consumers and increase food prices for families. This bill preserves and affirms the FDA’s role in food safety, while ensuring that all Americans’ desire to know what’s in their food is respected. To that end, this legislation includes a new provision to allow those who wish to label their products as GMO-free to do so by through a USDA-accredited certification process.

“We took the positive feedback we received after our hearing in December and have been meeting with key stakeholders to ensure this is the right policy for both producers and consumers,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo. “Our goal for this legislation remains to provide clarity and transparency in food labeling, support innovation, and keep food affordable.”

“The potential for a 50 state patchwork of varying labeling standards would increase costs for producers and translate into higher prices for consumers to the tune of more than $500 per year for the average family,” said. Rep. G. K. Butterfield. “This bill will provide clear rules for producers and certainty for consumers at the grocery store checkout lane.”

"When it comes to food labeling, state by state standards do not work. This bill seeks to end the guessing game and provide folks the peace of mind that labels are accurate,” said Chairman Fred Upton, of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “Safe and accurate labeling is something that we should all be able to rally around with broad bipartisan support."

From a Kansas farmer’s harvest to a New York family’s table, our food supply is crucial to our economy, to our health, and to our way of life. Farmers have relied on technological advances in order to feed the world, and this bill would ensure our continued success in providing safe, affordable, and nutritious food.