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Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

Highway Robbery

Late last night (Thursday, July 7), 63 U.S. Senators voted to rob you of the right to know what’s in your food.

If you watched any of the Senate “debate” (limited to 30 hours) on the Roberts-Stabenow DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, you heard one after another of these 63 Senators misrepresent this industry-written bill as a “uniform federal mandatory labeling solution.”

If you’ve been working on this issue with us for weeks, or months or years, you know that’s a lie. 

The bill passed last night is intended to hide information (behind electronic codes) from consumers, not provide it—in plain English, on a label.

The bill passed last night is intended to exempt the vast majority of GMOs from even having to be hidden behind codes, much less labeled in plain sight.

The bill passed last night is voluntary—it contains no enforcement mechanism, no penalties for non-compliance.

The bill passed last night is an attack on democracy, an attack on states’ rights. It not only overturns Vermont’s carefully considered and fairly debated mandatory GMO labeling law, but as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) noted in his speech on the Senate floor, this bill overturns nearly 100 other state laws. (Sanders pushed hard to stop this bill).

The bill passed last night is a fraud, an affront to the nine out of 10 Americans who want what citizens in 64 countries already have—the basic right to know what’s in our food.

The 63 Senators who sided with (and took hundreds of millions of dollars from) Monsanto and Big Food, stole your right to know, and whatever shred of belief you might still have had in the democratic process.

But they did not steal your power to boycott any brand or company that refuses to label GMOs. They did not steal your determination to take back an unhealthy, toxic, corrupt corporate food and farming system.

On Wednesday (July 6), during the cloture vote (which assured that the Roberts-Stabenow bill would not be open for discussion or amendments), OCA led a protest on the Senate floor. That protest led to the arrest and detainment, for over 24 hours, of our political director, Alexis Baden-Mayer. We didn’t change the vote. But we took a stand.

The Roberts-Stabenow bill will now go back to the U.S. House, which in July 2015 passed its own version of the DARK Act. If the House and Senate reach an agreement, Congress will vote on a bill to keep you in the dark. That bill will then land on President Obama’s desk.

We will continue to fight it all the way. We hope you will, too.

Watch the OCA ‘money bomb’ protest

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