Rep. Pompeo’s “DARK Act” Would Trump State GMO Labeling Laws

Pompeo's DARK Act seeks to undo the work of anti-GMO state laws and measures.

This month, Rep. Mike Pompeo introduced The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 and consumer groups have already coined the bill the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” – or DARK – Act. The bill is being called a “Bipartisan food labeling reform,” by Pompeo. Pompeo’s press release says that the bill would “protect consumers by eliminating confusion and advancing food safety.” Bill opponents say that it would give the ultimate authority of GMO labeling to the FDA.

According to Politico, the FDA regularly favors a voluntary approach to GMO labeling on food. Pompeo’s measure has the support of the biotechnology and the agriculture industry giants, which have been actively fighting consumer favored GMO legislation.

“Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety.” – US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Rep. Pompeo’s H.R. 4432 seeks to completely nullify the efforts of at least 20 states in the union that seek to require labeling of GMOs, Politico reported. Pompeo calls the labeling laws the states are enacting a “patchwork” and says they mislead consumers by causing them to worry over the safety of GMOs in food. Pompeo stands by industry claims that GMOs are perfectly safe and are a benefit to the people of the world. The Non-GMO Project points out that the world does not entirely see GMOs the way Pompeo does, when it reports that more than 60 countries across the globe have deployed significant restrictions or total bans on GMOs.

Pompeo supports his “Dark Act” with claims that GMO crops use fewer pesticides and help feed a growing global population. While there is no doubt that GMOs in agriculture are feeding many of the planet’s 7 billion people, opposition offers research that indicates GMOs actually reduce yields. According to the Non-GMO Project, GMOs produce at the same rate or worse. Field trials that compared genetically modified soy to non-GM soy suggests a drop in yield for GM soy, according to the organization. The organization claims it is no different with corn. Field tests showed the genetically modified corn known as “Bt maize” took longer to reach maturity and produced up to 12% lower yields than non-GM maize. The organization assembled a source-filled document that is available for public download.

Twitter is buzzing with angry consumers and consumer groups:

Pompeo dismisses the claims that H.R. 4432 is the “DARK Act” and endangering public safety by stating on his website, “there is no scientific evidence that suggests foods that contain GMOs are anything but safe.” The Environmental Working Group, a consumer watchdog organization, feels so strongly that GMOs are a danger and that state laws being enacted must be respected that it has organized an online petition against Pompeo’s bill they coined the “Dark Act.”

[Photo by Gage Skidmoreon Flickr]