Take Action TODAY Against the DARK Act!

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Action Alert from CFSA
Take Action TODAY!
A full Senate vote on the DARK Act will happen as early as TOMORROW!

Dear Rebecca,

Last summer, the U.S. House passed the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.” to block state laws that require food companies to label products with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), and instead create a voluntary national GMO labeling standard. That’s weird, since GMO labeling is already voluntary, and we know that food manufacturers don’t volunteer to tell consumers when food has genetically engineered ingredients. At CFSA, we believe consumers have a right to know what is in their food. This bill would make it so difficult for consumers to understand what is in their food that opponents call it the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know Act).

Well, the ball is now in the Senate’s court (subtle March Madness reference!). Senate bill 764 makes some substantial changes to the House version and will be up for a vote as early as TOMORROW – March 16. CFSA vehemently opposes Senate Bill 764. It creates a sham labeling scheme that will hurt organic and certified non-GMO food producers by prohibiting them from even implying that their products are safe or healthy.

What does this bad bill do? It creates a voluntary, GMO labeling scheme. The bill gives USDA authority to decide how foods will be labeled, but indicates that this will be done with scannable QR codes. This don’t offer consumers an easy or accessible way to find out if their food contains GMOs (who has time to scan every single food item you want to buy at a grocery store?).

If at least 70% of food manufacturers aren’t voluntarily labeling GMO products within a couple of years, USDA must require food manufacturers to start labeling. But get this: USDA can decide that “labeling” is accomplished by setting up consumer call centers, or a website. In other words, if most companies aren’t using the voluntary standard in 2 years, you may have to go online or call somebody to find out if your food contains GMOs. If you thought you didn’t have time to scan individual QR codes…well, just wait. That’s what food manufacturers might be doing!

But wait, there’s more! This bill will block current and any future state GMO labeling laws. That’s why this bill is moving fast. This July, Vermont is set to become the first of several states to begin enforcing laws requiring labeling of GMO products.

And the poison pill: this bill prohibits any claims about the safety or quality of foods that don’t contain GMOs. We are concerned about the impact this could have on pre-existing claims that already tell consumer their food is GMO-free.

For more information on the DARK Act, please visit our website.

Take Action Now!
Please call or email your Senator TODAY!

Here are links to the contact websites for the Carolinas’ Senators:

North Carolina South Carolina
Richard Burr Tim Scott
Thom Tillis Lindsey Graham

When you call or email, you may use this outline (or use your own language!):

“Hello, my name is ______________________ and I am a constituent of the Senator (if you are a farmer, be sure to mention that you are actively involved in farming). I am contacting the Senator because I oppose the S.2609 – the National Voluntary Bioengineered Food Labeling Standard. I oppose any legislation that tries to restrict labeling of products with GMO ingredients or places the burden of labeling on non-GMO foods.

We have the right to know what is in our food; polls show that over 90% of consumers want to know if their food contains GMOs. I should have the right to choose if this is a product that I want to purchase. For these reasons, I ask you to vote NO on the “National Voluntary Bioengineered Food Labeling Standard.”

We are hopeful that amendments may be introduced to better protect consumer choice and transparency in our food system, but we are relying on you to contact your Senators to voice your opinion. Please call or email TODAY!

Thanks for all that you do,
The CFSA Policy Team

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Give today
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is on a mission to bring local, organic food to your table from a farmer who shares your values – and we can’t do it without you. Together we are building a regional food system that is good for consumers, good for growers, and good for the land.

www.carolinafarmstewards.org

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