Senate Agrees on “DARK Act” GMO Labeling Bill

apples-GMO-DARK-Act-620x360-1By Derrick Broze

The U.S. Senate has announced a bipartisan deal which will prevent states from labeling genetically modified foods in favor of a federal labeling system. Here’s what you need to know…

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry agreed on a new bill aimed at labeling foods with genetically modified ingredients. The committee has been trying for several months to get a bill passed before Vermont’s labeling law goes into effect on July 1.

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow released a statement, calling the bill “an important path forward that represents a true compromise. Since time is of the essence, we urge our colleagues to move swiftly to support this bill.” Roberts said if his colleagues do not act on the bill now Vermont’s law will cause confusion in the marketplace. The bill would give the U.S. Department of Agriculture two years to write the labeling rules.

The bipartisan proposal would immediately prohibit states and cities from passing labeling laws for genetically modified or engineered ingredients. Genetically modified or engineered seeds are engineered to have certain traits, such as resistance to herbicides. The majority of the United States’ corn and soybean crops are now GE, including a large portion that is used for animal feed.

The bill would also put the USDA in charge of establishing “a uniform national disclosure standard for human food that is or may be bioengineered.” Critics of a federal standard worry about the USDA being pressured by biotechnology companies that have a close relationship to U.S. regulatory agencies. The proposal would also require companies producing foods with GE ingredients to post a label, including text on package, a symbol, or a link to a website (QR code or similar technology). Smaller food manufacturers can use websites or telephone numbers to disclose ingredients.

In late February, Roberts introduced another bill which attempted to create a federal voluntary standard for labeling GE food. Roberts’ Senate Bill 2609, or the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act, would have blocked mandatory labeling efforts by states. In March, the bill failed to reach the 60 votes needed during a procedural vote, with 49 votes in favor and 48 votes against.

Roberts’ bill was similar to the controversial Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which passed the House in June 2015 but ultimately failed amid heavy opposition. To critics, the bill was known as the “DARK” (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act because the law was also aimed at nullifying GMO labeling measures, such as the bill passed in Vermont.

The latest bipartisan effort contains language that is identical to both of the previous bills. The bill would “amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national voluntary labeling standard for bioengineered foods.” It’s safe to say that this new bipartisan compromise is simply the latest version of the DARK Act and will likely live up to it’s name by keeping Americans in the dark regarding what is in their food.

The bipartisan proposal is supported by certain food industry groups that believe state bills like the one in Vermont will lead to increased costs for agriculture, food companies and consumers. “This bipartisan agreement ensures consumers across the nation can get clear, consistent information about their food and beverage ingredients and prevents a patchwork of confusing and costly state labeling laws,” Pamela Bailey, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the largest food industry lobby group, told the Associated Press.

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, said the new bill deserves the name DARK Act because it will prevent consumers from have “clear, on-package labels” as required by the Vermont law.  “But this deal from Senators Stabenow and Roberts doesn’t even come close, and would instead require consumers to have smartphones and a cellphone signal to know what they are buying,” Hauter said in a statement. “This deal seems to be designed to ensure that big food processing companies and the biotechnology industry continue to profit by misleading consumers.”

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Senator Bernie Sanders both spoke against the new measure. Shumlin criticized the two-year delay, while Sanders said he would do “everything I can” to stop the bill. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post reports that the bill “also allows companies to avoid the main thing consumers have demanded – a fast and easy way to determine if a food product they are purchasing was made using genetically engineered crops.”

The key argument seems to be that the new bill would not have as clear labels as Vermont’s law. Senator Stabenow, however, believes the opposite, claiming that the Vermont law would require GMO labeling of a cheese pizza but not a pepperoni pizza. “Throughout this process I worked to ensure that any agreement would recognize the scientific consensus that biotechnology is safe, while also making sure consumers have the right to know what is in their food,” the senator wrote.

The scientific consensus does lean towards the safety of GE foods, but that has not swayed critics and supporters of labeling. A recent report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine concluded GE foods do not pose a health or environmental risk. Critics of the report point to conflicts of interests between researchers with the National Academy of Sciences and biotechnology companies involved in the creation of GE crops.

The environmental watchdog organization Food and Water Watch released their own report, pointing to possible influence from the same organizations that stand to benefit from the growth of genetic engineering of foods. The report, Under the Influence: The National Research Council and GMOs, looks at “far-reaching ties” between the National Research Council, its parent organization the NAS, and biotechnology companies and agricultural corporations.

Americans who want to know what is in their food need to take control of their own food production and stop relying on large-scale, factory farming which increasingly relies on genetically engineered seeds. Only by taking back the power when it comes to our diets can we stop supporting the systems that are working against our health and freedom. It’s time to grow food, not lawns. It’s time to throw seed bombs everywhere. The revolution is growing and resistance is fertile.

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Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for and the founder of the Follow him on Twitter.

Derrick is available for interviews.

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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41 Comments on "Senate Agrees on “DARK Act” GMO Labeling Bill"

  1. The US government is disintermediating itself, so does the Senate really matter?

  2. I hope we can count on Russian scientists to develop a GMO detection kit. The one who does that will be richer than all the murderers of Monsanto put together.

  3. How can the federal government, constrained by the 10th Amendment, pass a law prohibiting a state or locality from passing a law?

    • They can’t! They just write B.S. like this in the media to try to make people think they can, and try to make people forget about a little old thing called the Constitution… Yea just pretend like that doesn’t exist and people will start to think like that too… But then you’ve got a guy like you and me that are like wait a minute, they can’t do that, and their whole scheme falls apart. Never forget the limitations we’ve placed upon them, because they certainly will try to make you forget!

      • US Constitution forbids attacking other countries without SERIOUS threats done to US – but, Obama& Clinton have attack Libya and Syria without Congress approval. Yugoslava was attacked without UN resolution too – it was an internal Serbian problem, that US bombed ! It was against all laws.
        The laws are written for slaves who have to obey – the political class enjoy “the diplomatic immunity” ! What ever they do – you can not catch them !
        Slave, obey – work and pay your zaxes – do not think – eat garbage and be happy to have it

        • The best one yet is how a couple years ago Congress exempted themselves from insider trading. That’s right Congress can now legally get insider trading information and share it with anyone they want and make millions for themselves. Martha Stewart went to jail on much lesser trumped up charges.

      • Remember , Altho manufacturers will not be forced to label ,
        GOOD companies still can & should just to prove they have the better product .
        Everyone should just refuse to buy any foods with ‘secrets’ .

        Vote with your wallet , refuse to poison yourself , Buy only certified products !

        • As far as I’m concerned any GOOD companies NEVER started secretly slipping GMO crap into their “food” products! Oh yea admitting that your product has contained gmo garbage all these years now, after being backed into a corner and being forced to label. (Yes they are being forced, because those “good” companies that you’re talking about just don’t want to appear like they’re being deceptive and use a QR code even though they can, so they’ve instead opted for the small wording on the bottom of the back of the package, still trying to hide it out of sight as best they can though!)

          Revealing that their garbage is gmo after all these years because they have to is not looking very good to me. What about all these years they pretended nothing was different about their product, they pretended that GMOs didn’t even exist despite using them heavily. They pretended that there was no difference so they didn’t have to even mention it… So the damage has already been done, saying oh by the way we’ve put poison in our product all these previous years and were just telling you now!


    • It can’t and it should lead to secession.

    • What Constitution?

    • Because non-originalist judges just about always fail to take the 10th Amendment seriously and read whatever evolving “implied” powers into the document that are necessary to give the government a rational basis to do whatever it pleases. Feds can just claim they are regulating interstate commerce.

      It’s the same way that growing food in your yard for your own consumption can be said to affect interstate commerce because growing your own food displaces what you would have purchased from out of state. Utter nonsense, yes, but nobody stood up when the feds were usurping the power to pretend to make meat more wholesome, so now the precedent is established and they can use the power again and again in all sorts of outrageous ways.

  4. How can these miserable pieces of human filth live with themselves knowing that they are an insult to humanity?

    • Inbreds are a couple cans short a six pack.

    • All one has to do is follow the money……… Lil’ Bush once made a remark about how money some time trumps peace. Can you imagine that? Now if money has taken the front seat to peace negotiations and preventing the loss of lives can you imagine where health affected by GMO foods falls in the priority of life altering concerns?

    • Do you really think they are human, friend? They are void of the things that make humans ‘feel’. Love, Caring, Understanding, are emotions/feelings that seperate us from those cockroaches…

    • Caring about humanity not part of their thought process but remember . . .
      Altho manufacturers will not be forced to label ,
      GOOD companies still can & should just to prove they have the better product .
      Everyone should just refuse to buy any foods with ‘secrets’ .

      Vote with your wallet , refuse to poison yourself , Buy only certified products !

  5. GMO should be abolished – never to rear it’s satanic teeth again.

  6. We don’t need a ‘compromise’

    All we need are simple labels that advise of the status of GMO’s, and Organic. All that would be needed are labels advising on – GMO-free, or Organic (which would of course be GMO free as well)

    All foods not labelled as above would be considered to be ‘conventional’ (NonOrganic with GMO ingredients) and the consumer could then make an informed decision on what to buy and what not to buy, with the successful products becoming the financial winners.

    Maybe some day ‘conventional’ will apply to Organic, as it was in the past, before the nightmare of test tube food with deleterious health consequences.

  7. A Rothschild owned government intent on killing their population through GMO’s, Fluoridation,vaccines,
    and suppression of disease cures. No surprise at all.

  8. Short ‘n’ sweet. Well said!

  9. What part of the TENTH (10) Amendment don’t these Congressional Yahoo’s Understand??? If it’s NOT in the Constitution, the Federal Government is NOT ALLOWED to do it and it falls to the States or the People. Facts are STUBBORN things that Politicians love to ignore!


  11. All of these companies already have the ability to label as most of the rest of the world, outside the US, require labelling. This is simply yet another deceitful plan to keep Americans in the Dark, ignorant of what they eat. Now there are plenty of Americans who don’t care. They live on soda pop, mostly Pepsi and Coca Cola. Their kids arrive home from school to find nothing but soda pop in the fridge. Those folks have already been destroyed by Monsanto. Truth in labelling has been the law in the US for 75 years. Please keep track of what your US Senators are voting, and vote those prostitutes out. Anyone who votes for this bill has been bought and paid for. When Americans stop voting for candidates that are already bought and paid for, we may get a few candidates who are honest.

  12. There’s no compromise here. I reject GMO. It is an experimental food proven highly destructive and dangerous to humans. I do not consent to this law. And, I will not buy any food from this point forward unless I know for certain it’s not GMO’d, GE’d, sprayed with any other toxins, no thanks. I like my life and am keeping my life!

  13. What a bunch of idiots these politicians are! Thank goodness an election is coming up. Let’s all send these idiots home. Get rid of them! They only vote according to the bribes they get from the agricultural companies and the pharmaceutical companies and not for the health of their constituents. Let’s tell them they are”FIRED”.

  14. The Federal Government does not such powers as these. What the Federal Government is doing is saying we are the authority in all matters not covered in the Constitution when the exact opposite is expressed in the Constitution. Shame on the Governor’s if they don’t rout this Federal Mafia and take charge of their States like they swore they would.

  15. I hope people are not fooled by the double-talk and lies and reject them with loud and clear voices and whatever is necessary. Anything coming from Roberts and Stabenow is not going to be satisfactory. There is no compromise on this issue! Our food must be labeled correctly and clearly. That’s it!

  16. We need to make our elected accountable for their actions, it is obvious that they are passing laws just to get even on their way out of office and this will be a waste of taxpayer money and time undoing the stupidity, this should come out of their pockets, all those who voted for this destructive crap should have it taken out of their checks, all the time and money spent to overturn this nonsense.

  17. Thank you, Derrick. Good report.

  18. Taking care of business! | June 26, 2016 at 5:34 am |

    Oh no, something else we’ll have to trust the Feds with. Will the Government insert razor blades into those apples? Perhaps they’ll ask Monsanto for suggestions. “Add more glyphosate, Berry!”

  19. Gmo is not food so much as it is a weapon. Stop ingesting anything with corn syrup.It is a slow death. Gmo corn and all the chemicals that make glysophate are more weapons. Farmers to do not do business with Monsatino.
    CDC,WHO,AMA and big pharma are all complicit and should stand trial for spreading disease.

  20. The have demonstrated they are owned by Corperations and they all need to be replaced this Nov. 88% of all of them are up for reelection…Lets send them home…

  21. Paid off by Monsanto…..

  22. Overreacting? Not in the least! This is, after all, the Synagogue of Satan and their Judas Class. If anything (unfortunately) too many of us are Underreacting. As an amazing soul once stated; “The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil”.

  23. The vast majority of people have no clue. The Government (that you own) is irrelevant. The consumer has all the power. When you purchase a product or service you are entering into a contract with that provider. All contracts require all parties to provide full disclosure to the other party. If you want full disclosure from the manufacturers demand full disclosure. The government involvement is simply a smoke screen so they can say they are not required or allowed to disclose what you want to know. Do not purchase any product that does not explicitly disclose what you want to know. If you want disclosure demand it from the manufacturer, if they fail to provide it (for any reason what so ever) refuse to purchase their products. 5 or 10% market share loss is enough to cause any business to comply with your lawful demands. Basic contract law dictates that the other party must truthfully answer any questions you have or (in this case) chose to not sell their products to you.

  24. Altho manufacturers will not be forced to label ,
    GOOD companies still can & should just to prove they have the better product .
    Everyone should just refuse to buy any foods with ‘secrets’ .

    Vote with your wallet , refuse to poison yourself , Buy only certified products !

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