Out of the DARK

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act is anything but—let’s stop it while we can

When the House of Representatives last month approved H.R. 1599, the so-called “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015,” they did a disservice to the American people while bolstering big corporations (like Monsanto) that produce genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The bill would override state regulations regarding the labeling of GMO foods and instead says that they may be labeled as such, but it cannot be required. What’s more, though, is that it also disallows non-GMO foods from being labeled as such without being certified. That puts non-GMO foods in the same league as organics, which are generally more expensive, partly because of the certification process needed to add that stamp to their products.

Doug LaMalfa, who represents us in Washington, D.C., backed H.R. 1599, but we fail to see the logic in his arguments. He told the CN&R this week (see “GMO label debate,” Greenways, by Evan Tuchinsky, on page 24) that “As more and more we’re learning about biotech foods in the marketplace, you’re finding there’s a heck of a lot less to be scared of with it.”

Really? Speak for yourself, buddy. We’d prefer to know what’s in our food, as well as how it’s produced. Only then can we make informed decisions about what we put in our bodies. H.R. 1599, dubbed “The DARK Act” by opponents (for Denying Americans the Right to Know), is now in the Senate, so it’s time to let our senators know how we feel before it’s too late.