Originally published December 10 2014
GMO-labeling movement needs YOU to stop Congress from passing the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) An effort is underway in Congress to preempt states who want to require foods to carry labels describing any genetically modified ingredients via legislation, but pro-GMO-labeling groups are attempting to rally the general public to oppose the measure.
"The GMO labeling movement won big in Vermont this year. And we may still win in Oregon, once all the votes are in," says a press release and appeal for action from a pair of groups, Millions Against Monsanto and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). "But those laws will be nullified, and we will lose the right to pass any future state or federal mandatory GMO labeling laws, if Congress passes H.R. 4432, a bill to preempt mandatory GMO labeling laws."
The measure, known as the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act," was introduced in April by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas. You can petition your representative to reject the bill here.
"But there's nothing safe or accurate about it," the OCA says on its website. "H.R. 4432 would modify the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act to establish a voluntary federal labeling standard for genetically engineered foods. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients."
The bill was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on health in April, according to Congress.gov. A summary of the legislation says it "amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish premarket notification requirements for a bioengineered organism intended for a food use or application," and it "defines 'bioengineered organism' to mean a plant or any part of a plant which contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques when such modification could not otherwise be obtained using conventional breeding techniques."
But opponents of the measure are calling it DARK -- the "Deny Americans the Right to Know" Act.
House hearing coming up
"At this very moment, Monsanto and Big Food are gunning to pass this law," say the two organizations. "We need to stop this attack on the constitutional right of states to pass GMO labeling laws. That's why we're planning a massive protest and media event in Washington D.C. Can you help organize a bus from your area?"
Opposition groups say the House has scheduled a hearing on December 10, and the OCA in particular says it is working with a number of state activists, including those in New York, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland, to bus pro-GMO-labeling advocates to the nation's capital on the hearing date.
An Energy and Commerce Committee announcement for the hearing can be found here.
"What will we do there? We will fill the hearing room and line the streets with consumers and citizens who will make it clear to Congress, the media and the Biotech Bullies and Junk Food Giants that we will not sit quietly by while Congress allows Monsanto to trample on our Democracy and poison our food without transparency or accountability," say the two groups, in their press release.
"If you can fill a bus from your area, OCA will pay the transportation. We are also organizing an organic lunch with speakers and the press, following the hearing."
Activists noted that effort to require labeling of GM ingredients in foods has "not come this far only to allow members of Congress, who have been paid off by Monsanto, to strip us of our constitutional rights." Only mass protests by the American people will prevent that from happening, the groups said.
"People have a right to know what's in their food"
Click here to see a schedule of the day's events on Dec. 10 and to sign an electronic petition voicing opposition to Pompeo's legislation.
In the spring, Vermont became the first state in the country to pass a measure requiring GMO labeling of any food sold in the state.
"We are saying people have a right to know what's in their food," said Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, a Democrat following the 26-2 vote in favor of labeling.
Two other states in the Northeast -- Connecticut and Maine -- have already passed GMO-labeling measures but have delayed their implementation until other neighboring states join them, which is a strategy that they hope will protect them from lawsuits. In recent months, national corporations defeated GMO-labeling measures in California and Washington State.
Groups opposed to the GMO-labeling law, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, have filed suit against the state -- which anticipated legal action, by the way -- to have the law overturned.
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