Why DARK Act makes absolutely no sense:
HR Bill 1599 was made known this summer to Congress. Dubbed the DARK Act (violating the rights of Americans to Know) by its competitors, it was reactionary legislation to Connecticut, Vermont and Maine’s 2014 laws that made GMO labeling compulsory packaging of food. The DARK Act doesn’t make a single sense, and these are the reasons why.
GMO which stands for ‘Genetically Modified Organism’, and in this case, it is used to explain genetically modified agricultural products. There is an argument on whether GMOs are bad or good for our well-being, however, that is not what this bill is about (by the way, I don’t think there is compelling proof that GMOs are always bad or good). This bill is about the rights of the consumers in knowing if what they are eating comprises of GMOs. It is a quite acceptable request for an individual to possibly have all details about the food they give to their offspring for them to come up with a decision based on their own values if they require it or not. There is a phobia from the producers of food that disclosing that they use GMO foods will:
A. Decrease sales
B. Increase costs.
The second part of that fear may be very definite; however, consumers have the right to know what they are giving their families to eat more than companies like Monsanto are entitled to gratuitous gains. However, even if they open up the fact that they are utilizing GMOs in their food, companies will STILL earn a lot of cash.
This bill preempts countries from needing labeling of GMO food. Additionally, it stops countries from preventing usual indefinite “natural claims”. The bill doesn’t make it possible for the FDA to develop a national GMO labeling system. It would additionally command the feedback system for the safety of GMO food to be based on industry science, which implies that the people producing the food will decide if the food is free from harm.
*Not-related to the information of the bill, however, talking to the duplicity of the people that wrote it, HR 1599 is technically known as “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” which would makepeople in search of it believe the bills was goal was to optimize food labeling. However, that is totally not correct.
Those reasons are why this bill makes absolutely no sense. States were trying to protect their consumers by require clear labeling of what went into food products sold to their citizens. Monsanto and friends saw this as a threat to business as usual and decided to spend a bunch of money lobbying Congress and the American public to paint themselves as reasonable and their opponents as hippie-rabble rousing left-wingers. It was cleverly done, but at the end of the day very inaccurate. Campaign contributions are likely why most elected officials that support the bill are supporting it.
Around the world, 64 other nations require GMO labeling because just like nutrition and ingredient labeling, it just makes sense. GMO labeling will not increase food prices. Companies change labels regularly for various reasons from new flavors, new logos, updated designs etc. The reason big companies are against this is likely because they fear smaller, truly natural farmers might be able to collectively steal market share when people know what’s actually in products. This is why voluntary labeling will not work. Voluntary labeling just leads to consumer confusion, as companies that produce food that is anything but natural can use loopholes and vague language in current laws to label their food as natural.
This isn’t an issue of whether GMOs are good or bad. This isn’t about natural versus “standard” food production. This is simply an issue about whether or not families should be able to know what is in the food that they buy so they can decide what they want to feed their children. In countries all over the world, people have that ability. It’s time we have it in America too.
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