U.S. House of Representatives Denies Americans the Right to Know

Statement by Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator
Friday, July 24, 2015
Amalie Lipstreu, Policy Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208, amalie@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203, lauren@oeffa.org

“On Thursday, July 23, by a vote of 275 to 150, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1599, misleadingly titled ‘The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.’ More accurately dubbed the ‘Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act,’ the bill flies in the face of public opinion by denying citizens  the right to choose what they eat and feed their families and throws out all state efforts to label genetically engineered (GE) food, such as the laws already passed in Maine, Connecticut, and Vermont.

This bill’s absurdity is immense: Although proponents say voluntary labeling is the solution, no companies have voluntarily opted to label their foods as GE. The Dark Act also ends states’ rights to regulate food labeling, and even more appallingly, it allows GE foods to be labeled as ‘natural.’

The House placed the interests of large corporate agribusiness above the interests of an overwhelming majority of the people they represent, who have consistently asked for the right to know if food contains GE ingredients.

A poll conducted by OEFFA in February found that 87 percent of Ohio voters, across partisan lines, support GE labeling. I encourage all Ohioans to take the opportunity to view how their representative voted on the bill and to let them know where they stand on this issue. A similar measure has yet to be introduced in the Senate and is expected to face a much tougher battle, so there’s still a chance for the public to make its voice heard.”