‘Corporate Influence Has Won’: House Passes Anti-GMO Labeling Bill

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Legislation dubbed the DARK Act had backing of powerful groups who poured money into defeating state-level GMO-labeling efforts

by Andrea Germanos

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation that would block states from requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods, or GMOs–a move that consumer rights groups decried as corporate power defeating Americans’ right to know what’s in their food.

The bill, H.R. 1599–dubbed the “DARK Act” (Deny Americans the Right to Know) by its critics–passed 275-150.

It was backed by the food industry, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Monsanto Company, which have poured money into defeating GMO labeling initiatives.

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, a group that opposed the bill, explains: “The bill that passed includes provisions that would preempt states from labeling GMOs or enforce already passed GMO labeling provisions (like Vermont’s Act 120), and would prohibit states from having any oversight of GMO crops, for example, a county-wide ban on growing GMOs or GMO-free zones in certain organic seed-producing areas. Instead, this bill would create a voluntary federal GMO labeling standard for companies, weakening already deficient regulations.”

It was co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), who said following the vote that bill “provides needed clarity in food labeling.”

Among those disappointed in the passage of the legislation is the Center for Food Safety.

“Passage of this bill is an attempt by Monsanto and its agribusiness cronies to crush the democratic decision-making of tens of millions of Americans. Corporate influence has won and the voice of the people has been ignored,” stated Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety.

Environmental Working Group (EWG) was also opposed to the bill, and cited widespread public support for labeling GMOs.

“It’s outrageous that some House lawmakers voted to ignore the wishes of nine out of 10 Americans,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for EWG.

The outcome of the vote was a “foregone conclusion,” he continued, because “this House was bought and paid for by corporate interests.”

But Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association, stressed that the fight is far from over–so expect resistance.

“We are committed to stopping this outrageous, anti-consumer, anti-democracy legislation from succeeding,” Cummins said. “We will do so by mobilizing a massive opposition movement that transcends political party affiliations, and that unites consumers of all ages with organic farmers and retailers whose livelihoods are threatened by this legislation, and with the medical and scientific experts who are outspoken about the potential health and environmental risks associated with GMO crops and foods.

“It’s time to hold every member of Congress accountable. Either they stand with Monsanto and Big Food in support of the DARK Act, or they stand with the overwhelming majority of their constituents for truthful labeling and consumer choice,” Cummins stated.

Instead of H.R. 1599, hundreds of farm, public interest and environmental organizations have urged (pdf) passage of bipartisan legislation that would require labeling of GMOs.

Via Common Dreams. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.

  • blakjak

    The key here is not corp backers. IIts US ctizens who refuse to get involved in defending their own rights, protesting these crimes and removing the perpetrators. Only they can do it. But repeatedly, they have voted with their remotes that TV and partying are more important than organizing, educating and rescuing their future. It is a democracy and they’ve made their choice.

    • Michelle Lee

      Moron!

      • leevitowt

        Michelle MOnsantoRON Lee.

  • JMG

    Everyone needs to realize that this government and it’s agencies do not work for us at all. The political class probably has purchased stock in companies like Monsanto. GMO is obviously really bad news or why would these companies go to incredible lengths to hide this from the public. Save your health and wisely spend your money elsewhere.

  • stillnotregistering

    Vote with your checkbook. Buy only clearly labeled, non-GMO foods. It won’t take long for them to come around.
    Didn’t Russia just ban all GMO crops? Which one is the land of the free again?

  • Michelle Lee

    This is the page you get when you click on the red word passed in the article

    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2015/roll462.xml%20

  • David Mowers

    Another day in the Banana Republic!

  • Michelle Harris

    Obviously they have something to hide because if GMO’s are so good for you, they would put it on the label and be proud of it. They seem to be going to extreme measures to fight this and have funneled thousands of dollars into fight any anti GMO bans, which means they have something to hide. This is blatant proof that money buys the law and members of congress no longer serve the people, but serve corporate America.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation that would block states from requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods, or GMOs—a move that consumer rights groups decried as corporate power defeating Americans’ right to know what’s in their food.The bill, H.R. 1599—dubbed the “DARK Act” (Deny Americans the Right to Know) by its critics—passed 275-150.
    Jct: They’re starting to find out they never really ran a democracy, Big Money had prosituted them ALL.