Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014

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This article is part of the Food Rights Network, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. Find out more here.

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 (HR 4432) has been nicknamed the "Deny Americans the Right-to-Know Act," or DARK Act by critics. Introduced on April 9, 2014 by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS),[1] the bill would prohibit states from passing their own state-wide laws to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), prevent states from ensuring that GMOs can't be labeled as "natural," and make "voluntary labeling" the continuing federal standard.[2]

The bill is backed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and "dozens of other food groups," according to Politico.[3] It is co-sponsored by Rep. G.K. Butterfield, (D-NC), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY).[4] It was referred to the Subcommittee on Health on April 11, 2014.[5]

Optional, as opposed to mandatory, GMO labeling has been called "absolutely ineffective" by advocates of the public's "right to know" about GMOs in food, as the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has reported.[6]

Monsanto, the GMA, and other agribusiness and food industry interests spent more than $67 million to (narrowly) defeat state initiatives for GMO labeling in California and Washington.[7] A 2013 New York Times poll showed that 93 percent of U.S. voters favor requiring labels on genetically engineered (GE) foods and ingredients.[8] Sixty-four other countries already require labeling of GMOs in foods.[9]

Controversy: Koch Industries Funding for Rep. Pompeo

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) is known for being the single largest recipient of campaign funding from Koch Industries' PACs and employees in 2010. He has introduced several bills friendly to the Koch brothers' interests.[10] The Huffington Post called him "the Koch brothers' point man in the House."[11] Pompeo is Koch Industries' top individual federal recipient again in the 2014 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.[12]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

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External Resources

References

  1. United States Congress, House Bill 4432, governmental website, accessed May 2014.
  2. U.S. Congress, House Bill 4432 text, Sec. 104 "Preemption" (c), Sec. 201 "Labeling of Natural Foods" (aa)(3), and Sec. 425 "Labeling of Whether Food is Bioengineered" (b)(3)(A), governmental website, accessed May 2014.
  3. Jenny Hopkinson, Pompeo to push industry GMO bill – House GOP: No plans to retire ‘fast track’ with Camp – EPA denies pesticide drift petition, Politico, April 1, 2014.
  4. U.S. Congress, House Bill 4432 Cosponsors, governmental website, accessed May 2014.
  5. U.S. Congress, House Bill 4432 Committeees, governmental website, accessed May 2014.
  6. Rebekah Wilce, Grocery Manufacturers Association Seeks to Pre-empt GMO Food Labeling, PRWatch, March 6, 2014.
  7. Michele Simon, Big Food's Arrogant Move in the GMO Labeling Wars, Al Jazeera, January 17, 2014.
  8. Allison Kopicki, Strong Support for Labeling Modified Foods, New York Times, July 27, 2013.
  9. Center for Food Safety, GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD: THE LABELING DEBATE, organizational fact sheet, April 2013.
  10. Dan Eggen, GOP freshman Pompeo turned to Koch for money for business, then politics, Washington Post, March 20, 2011.
  11. Elliott Negin, The Koch Brothers Are Still Trying to Break Wind, Huffington Post, December 9, 2013.
  12. Center for Responsive Politics, Heavy Hitter: Koch Industries, OpenSecrets.org political influence database, accessed May 2014.
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