Food Industry Backed Bill Denys Consumers Right-to-Know
Contact: Violet Batcha
(315) 262-5990, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 9, 2014
Washington, DC – A new federal bill introduced today by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., would deny consumers the right to know if there are genetically modified ingredients in their food.
The bill, which GE labeling proponents have dubbed the “Deny Americans the Right-To-Know Act,” or the DARK Act, would codify the failed voluntary labeling system that has been in place for the past 13 years. It would also prevent the FDA from ever mandating GE labeling in the future.
“Voluntary labeling of GE foods has not worked,” said Darren Mahaffy, Vice President of Marketing at Nature’s Path Foods. “Companies have been able to disclose the presence of GE ingredients since 2001, and not one company has done so. This leaves consumers more confused than ever. It’s time for FDA to require mandatory GE labeling.”
This legislation would also pre-empt states from taking any legislative efforts to require labeling of GE food. It would also allow foods labeled as “natural” to contain GE ingredients.
“This legislation would not only pre-empt states from taking any steps towards labeling in the future, but nullify the efforts in more than 30 states that are currently working to require GE labeling,” said Violet Batcha, Communications Manager at Just Label It.
“The Pompeo bill will leave consumers even more confused, not less. Allowing genetically engineered ingredients to be included in products label “natural” will undermine consumers’ trust in the growing, vibrant natural products industry,” said Sarah Bird, Chief Marketing Officer at Annie’s, Inc., “this bill sends us backwards in terms of addressing consumer confusion.”
Polls show that 93% of Americans support the labeling of GE foods. And 64 countries including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and the EU already require GE labeling.
“The majority of consumers want the right to know what’s in their food. The DARK Act would take away this right by making it impossible for the FDA or individual states to ever mandate GE Labeling,” said Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, “This act is a slap in the face of all average citizens who simply want the right to know what we are eating and how it is grown”