By a vote of 275 to 150, the House of Representatives today approved legislation backed by Monsanto and powerful interests in the food industry that would block states from requiring the labeling of food products made with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) served as floor leader during the debate for opponents of H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, dubbed the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right-to-Know Act).
If enacted, the legislation would preempt GMO labeling laws in Vermont, Maine and Connecticut and kill similar introduced legislation or ballot initiatives in 30 states around the country. Public opinion surveys indicate that 90 percent of Americans support the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Sixty-four countries around the world require the labeling of GMO food products.
"The issue with this legislation is not whether GMOs are safe. The issue is whether consumers have a right to know what's in the food they are feeding their families," said Congressman Welch. "If Monsanto is so proud of its product, then why on earth is it waging an all-out war to hide it from families who simply want to know what's in their food? The message to consumers in this bill is very clear: It's none of your business."
The legislation now goes to the United States Senate where no similar legislation has been introduced.
Rep. Welch is a co-sponsor of H.R. 913, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would require labels for all foods produced using genetically engineered ingredients and prohibit manufacturers from labeling genetically modified foods as natural.The legislation now goes to the United States Senate where no similar legislation has been introduced.