Radical New DARK Act Assaults Consumer Rights
By Scott Faber, Vice President of Government Affairs at EWG.
Originally published on EWG’s AgMag Blog
The new version of H.R. 1599 is a radical overreach that does not simply deny consumers the right to know what’s in their food or how it is grown. The new version of legislation dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know or “DARK” Act also denies state and local governments the right to protect farmers and rural residents from the environmental impacts of GMO crops. It’s shocking and must be rejected.
This “substitute” legislation that will the subject of a hearing in a House subcommittee today doubles down on efforts to blocks states from requiring GMO labeling. The new version also block states from regulating how GMO crops are produced.
Like the version of H.R. 1599 introduced earlier this year, the new version would also sharply limit FDA’s ability to craft a national GMO labeling system. But, the new version would go further by restricting the ability of food manufacturers to make voluntary non-GMO claims by giving USDA exclusive control over such claims.
Taken together, the new version of the DARK Act would:
- Block state GMO labeling laws, including the mandatory GMO labeling law slated to take effect in Vermont in July 2016.
- Block state efforts to regulate GMO crops to protect farmers and other rural resident from economic and environmental harms, such as pesticide drift.
- Sharply limit FDA’s ability the craft a national GMO labeling system
- Block all non-GMO claims that have not approved by a new USDA certification program that could take years to establish.
- Prohibit food companies from suggesting that non-GMO foods are superior to GMO foods.
Read the full blog here.