Have you heard of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014? You may have heard it by it’s alter ego name- the Denying Americans the Right to Know Act, or otherwise shortened to the DARK Act. No matter what you call it, it refers to a piece of legislation introduced in April 2014 by Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas. The bill (H.R. 4432) was created to amend the existing Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act pertaining to foods that have been in some way bio-engineered (OR food that would be considered GMO by most people).
- The entire process of pre-market (before it’s available for sale) GMO labeling would take place at one of the highest levels of our government. Meaning that the manufacturer of said product would present its’ case to the Secretary of Health and Human Services through the USDA’s voluntary consultation process. (Section 102, B).
Why this is an Issue: Excuse my skepticism, but I’ve yet to be amazed by any government controlled entity or process. Especially when it comes to the food system or my health. Through this new process, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would have direct control in determining if the end product is genetically different enough from the organic form to be considered genetically altered.
- The individual rights of the states would have NO authority to mandate individual labeling pertaining to GMOs (Section 104, B).
Why this is an Issue: The idea of centralized control of our food system is incredibly frightening. One office in our entire nation would have complete control as to whether or not you are allowed to know if a product was genetically modified… or more accurately, genetically modified ENOUGH to be labeled.
- If the Secretary of Health and Human Services decides that the product is not genetically modified enough to to warrant a GMO label, the product can be labeled as “Natural” (Section 201).
Why this is an Issue: Sorry, but…. WHAT? Ok, let’s think of it this way… the only reason a food would go through this entire process is because the DNA has been altered in the first place. So if it’s not TOO generically modified, it is totally acceptable to slap a “Natural” label on the food. Hmpf.
- Individual states would have NO authority to say a manufacturer cannot market these products as “Natural” (Section 202).
Why this is an Issue: Again, this is allowing one office of the government to control a label that, at a glance, implies that a product is healthy. I just can’t understand why this is a good idea…