What Senate backers aren’t saying about the GMO “compromise” bill

By:  Wenonah Hauter

Last week, Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced what they bill as a “compromise” deal that would label GMO foods across the nation. But the advocacy groups that have fought so long and hard for clear GMO labeling aren’t cheering: They know the bill is a gift to the agribusiness and biotech industries—not a compromise. That’s why consumer advocates have dubbed the bill the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. 

Here’s what the backers of the bill don’t want their constituents to know about the DARK Act:

The Bill Is Not a National Labeling Solution.

The backers of the Senate bill are portraying this as a big victory for those of us who don’t live in Vermont, which passed a GMO labeling law that goes into effect today. (The Senate committee’s Twitter feed even posted a map showing that their bill would spread Vermont-style labeling across all 50 states.) But this is a misleading claim.

The Vermont law is about clear, on-package labeling, but that’s not what the Senate is proposing. This bill is not about expanding GMO labeling; it’s about preventing states like Vermont from taking action. As the bill states, it would "immediately prohibit states or other entities from mandating labels of food or seed that is genetically engineered.” 

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