Group Letter in Opposition to the DARK Act, Banning State GMO Labeling Requirements

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Senator Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Senator Harry Reid
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid:
Re: Opposition to S. 2609, also known as the “Denying Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act
The undersigned organizations are writing to express strong opposition to S. 2609, the so-called “Denying Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act.  We join hundreds of farm, food, health, environmental and other public interest organizations and businesses in opposition to this bill. 
Our specific concerns lie with the bill’s extremely broad preemption language contained in Sections 293 and 295, banning any and all state “requirements” relating to the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, including mislabeling of “natural” and “GMO-free” food.  The bill preempts not only state and local laws requiring that food products with GMO ingredients be labeled as such.  It also preempts aspects of state consumer protection statutes, which have allowed the public to file cases over misleading food labels.  The bill does not replace state remedies with federal remedies.  It eliminates all remedies, providing virtual immunity to unscrupulous food product manufacturers and undermining state and local efforts to create food labeling transparency. 
The DARK Act interferes with traditional state authority to protect the public’s health and safety, and shields food manufacturers from legal accountability for misleading the public.  We urge you to oppose S. 2609.    

Alliance for Justice
American Association for Justice
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Bull City Cool
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Justice & Democracy
Consumer Action
Consumer Federation of America
Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
Empire State Consumer Project
Food & Water Watch
Green America
Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings
National Association of Consumer Advocates
New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental
        and Occupational Health Policy
Public Citizen
Public Justice
U.S. Right to Know

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