Policy

D.A.R.K. Act coming to the SENATE October 21

Many people refer to H.R. 1599 or the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” as the D.A.R.K. Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know Act). This bill passed the House of Representatives in July 2016 and passed in the Senate in October.  The D.A.R.K. Act would forever prohibit any state or federal labeling of genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods.

The DARK Act rescinds state GE food labeling laws already passed in VT, CT, ME and several municipalities and would prohibit new GE Labeling laws under consideration in RI, MA and NY.

The DARK Act would prevent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from establishing a national mandatory labeling standard or allowing voluntary labeling of GE foods.

The FDA already requires labeling of over 3,000 ingredients, additives and processes. GE food labeling should be no different.

64 countries around the world require GE foods to be labeled. Many American products with GE ingredients sold in these countries are already labeled.

Please tell your Senator how you feel about the D.A.R.K. Act. Call RI Senator Jack Reed at 202-224-4642 or RI Senator Sheldon Whitehouse at 202-224-2921.

The D.A.R.K. Act will be in front of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Comittee starting October 21.  Learn more here. 

Does Organic Food Need a Check-Off Program?
NOFA/RI joins other NOFA chapters, the Cornucopia Institute, Food & Water Watch and other organizations opposing the Organic Food Check-Off Program. Learn more at “No Organic Check-Off.”

GMO Labeling Bill proposed in Rhode Island 
Proposed bills are moving through the RI House and Senate. Legislators Nesselbush, Cannario and Hull and their legislative liaisons seek farmers’ input. Farmers and consumers are invited to speak at  a hearing on Wednesday, March from 4 – 5 p.m. at the State House. Anyone unable to attend the hearing can contact the Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) Committee members here.

Read the proposed bill here. Monitor testimony and events at facebook.com/RighttoKnowRI or righttoknowri.org. Send questions to Liz at RightToKnowRI@gmail.com or call 508-677-5546.

Jack Kittredge

Jack Kittredge

2015 NOFA Policy Perspective
NOFA/Mass Policy Director, Jack Kittredge, highlights priorities and the playing field for 2015’s policy initiatives.

View Jack’s article on page 14 of the January NOFA/Mass Newsletter: view online or download as .pdf.

Bees pollinate orchards

Bees pollinate orchards

Genetically Modified Organisms
NOFA chapters and like-minded partners work to counter the growing influence of industrial agriculture over US food policy.

Please tell our elected officials that consumers demand US food policy protect our health, communities and environment. Let them know you care about protecting our pollinators and labeling our foods.

To learn more about the current state of Labeling legislation for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or Genetic Engineering (GE), see the Organic Consumers Association and their action link here. Learn the basics of genetic engineering and biotech firms here. Learn more about NOFA’s regional policy work here.

Thank you for working to keep our food safe! Learn more:

  • View posts by the NOFA Interstate Council on Policy, Advocacy and GMOs/GEs here.
  • View posts by the GMO-Free USA here and GMO-Free Connecticut here.
  • View posts by the Center for Food Safety about Genetic Engineering (GE).
  • View 11-year-old, Birke Baehr’s talk, “What’s Wrong With Our Food Supply? And How Can We Make a Difference?” explaining organic food benefits over GMOs here.
  • View story on GMOs by The Campaign for Real Farming.
  • View common crops likely to be GMO here.
  • View GMO policy from CT NOFA here.
  • View Advocacy policy of NOFA/Mass here.
  • View Advocacy policy of NOFA-VT here.
  • View Advocacy policy of NOFA-NY here.
  • View National Organic Coalition (NOC) position papers.

Contact your elected officials here: Senators and Representatives.

For questions, email Mark Hengen, NOFA/RI Policy Committee member.