With no debate and only a voice vote, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture on July 14, 2015 passed out of committee H.R. 1599, a bill to preempt states’ rights to label GMOs. Within hours, it was announced that the bill will go straight to the House floor, as early as next week, with no vote in the Energy and Commerce Committee.
The bill includes provision that:
- Block states from implementing GMO labeling laws, including the mandatory GMO labeling law already passed in Vermont that’s set to go into effect in July 2016.
- Block states from regulating GMO crops in order to protect farmers from economic and environmental harm — remember all those cases of farmers being sued by Monsanto and the more recent revelation that Roundup herbicide is literally everywhere in the environment H.R. 1599 would allow all of this to continue at the expense of non-GMO and organic farmers.
- Block the FDA from crafting a national GMO labeling system.
- Block all non-GMO claims on foods that are not first approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). All the work that’s already been put into the Non-GMO Project verification system? It will be gone in an instant.
- Prohibit food companies from suggesting that non-GMO foods are superior to GMO foods.
If we don’t stop it in the House next week, the fight to stop this “Mother of All Monsanto Protection Acts” will take place next in the U.S. Senate, by early fall.
***UPDATE*** July 24th, 2015. With 90% of America clamoring for GMO labeling, Congress once again voted against the will of the people and in favor of corporate interests. Votes were pretty much split down part lines with Republicans overwhelmingly voting for passage of the act. If you’d like more information on who voted please visit https://www.opencongress.org/vote/2015/h/462. Let’s keep our representatives accountable for their actions!! Here’s a look at the final tally from yesterday’s vote…
For more information on H.R. 1599:
State Labeling Initiatives, Center for Food Safety (April 2014)
Bill seeks to block mandatory GMO food labeling by states, Reuters (April 10th, 2014)
Big Food’s “DARK Act” Introduced in Congress, CFS Press Release (April 9th, 2014)
GMO Pushers and The Art of War, Huffington Post (April 10, 2014)