Just a few days ago a report from the World Health Organization concluded that Roundup weed killer is “probably carcinogenic” because there is convincing evidence that glyphosate, the herbicide used in the product, can cause cancer in laboratory animals. Roundup is frequently sprayed on GMO crops that are “Roundup Ready” — crops that are genetically modified to resist the herbicide Roundup. 

You’d think that this would be a reason for the U.S. government to hurry up and pass the Genetically Engineered Right-to-Know Act that Sen. Barbara Boxer and her colleagues introduced last month. If certain crops are consistently being sprayed with a product that is “probably carcinogenic,” the public should know about it. That seems to make sense, right?

Given this new information, it's crazy to think that our representatives in Washington would be against letting the public know if there are GMOs in the foods they eat, especially when over 90 percent of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, want GMO labeling. Yet, yesterday, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) reintroduced bill H.R. 4432 that would deny states the right to pass mandatory labeling laws like the state of Vermont did last year.

The act has been dubbed the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know Act) by those opposed to it. Not only would the bill make it illegal for states to require labeling, it would put into place a voluntary labeling system for the food systems and “replace strong, independent, non-GMO certification with a weak federal program; adding more confusion for consumers who have a right to know what’s in their food,” according to Friends of the Earth.

International Director Ronnie Cummins of The Organic Consumers Association has weighed in the Dark Act, too.

“The Pompeo bill, aptly dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, is not only anti-consumer, but anti-democracy and anti-state's rights as well.

“The bill will take away the right of states to require GMO labeling and will legalize the routine industry practice of labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods as ‘natural’ or ‘all natural.’ It also includes a complicated scheme for voluntary labeling of non-GMO foods.

“The DARK Act overturns the century-old balance of power between the federal government and the states, whereby states have exercised their right to pass numerous laws regarding food safety or food labels when the federal government failed to act.”

Right around the same time Vermont passed its mandatory labeling law last year, Rep. Pompeo first introduced H.R. 4432, calling it the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.  I told you at that time that if he got anywhere with it, I’d let you know. That's what I'm doing now, and I’m letting you know what you can do about it.

There are several organizations that are making it easy for you to contact your representatives in D.C. and let them know you oppose the DARK Act, including Just Label It. They have an easy form you can fill out to urge your representative to oppose H.R. 4432.

I just let my representatives know I oppose the DARK Act. Please take a moment and let yours know, too.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

DARK Act aims to banish state's GMO labels
An overwhelming majority of American are in favor of GMO labeling, but a new bill would take away states' rights to give the people what they want.