There is a piece of legislation currently in committee (the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health) in Washington. Very shortly, this esteemed body will vote on whether the proposed bill should be presented to the House for vote.
The proposed bill?
Otherwise known as “The DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act”.
Simultaneously, there is a viciously contested re-count going on in Oregon over the proposed state law requiring GMO labeling on all foods. At last check, the pro-labeling side was a mere 814 votes shy of victory, making Oregon the third state to pass GMO labeling laws (behind Maine and Connecticut).
Click here for a list of all states that have active GMO labeling laws in the works.
You know what’s funny about both of these things?
They’re both dreadfully important. Life-alteringly important, in fact.
And I haven’t heard a peep about either one on the TV news or in a newspaper over the last 5 days I’ve been at work (and therefore watching the news and reading papers).
Our country is willing to spend huge sums of time talking about things that, while important, really only directly affect limited numbers of people, but is unwilling to spend any time discussing something that 100% affects every single person who will ever eat a bite of food in this country.
Seems a bit odd to me.
Then I realized, most people just don’t know about all this food labeling hubbub. And of the ones who do know it’s happening, many just really don’t understand why they should care.
So I decided to help out a bit, and explain exactly why every single man, woman, and child in this country (regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, age, or legal status) should drop EVERYTHING they are currently in a frenzy over and focus on preventing the DARK Act from even making it out of committee.
I’ll be honest; this post has been a tricky one to write. After all, there are whole books dedicated to the story of GMO’s, Monsanto, food labeling, etc. Trying to summarize these topics in a brief blog post is an exercise in frustration and futility.
Then I realized, I don’t actually have to do that at all! I will never be able to change anyone’s mind regarding GMO’s in the forum I have; all I can do is present this truth:
No matter what your opinion of the safety of GMO’s, whether you think they are the best things to ever be invented or the beginning of the end of mankind, you should be highly offended, insulted, and disgusted by H.R. 4432.
The reason we should care about H.R. 4432 really doesn’t have much to do with GMO’s at all, though the wording of the law and the activist groups would lead you to believe otherwise.
The truth about why we should care about the DARK Act is simple: it is one of the most condescending pieces of legislature ever penned.
It’s the governments way of patting us all on the heads and saying “Now, now, there’s no need for you to worry your pretty little head about these serious matters. We know what’s best for you; now run along and go shopping for a new dress. It’s unbecoming for you to THINK.”
Just read what this law will do:
- Individual states will no longer have the right to pass laws demanding GMO labeling; this federal law would supersede all state laws.
- GMO labeling would continue to be “voluntary” on the part of food companies. As there has been a voluntary GMO labeling initiative for over a decade and most foods are still not labeled, AND the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) has spent many millions of dollars fighting against mandatory labeling, it’s pretty clear that a “voluntary” labeling law means NO labeling.
- Allow food manufacturers to put the label “natural” on their products, even if the product contains genetically engineered food.
Now, if you think GMO’s are wonderful and perfectly safe, surely you can at least concede that there are many, many of your fellow countrymen who are NOT convinced of their safety, and would like to have the option to NOT purchase foods that are genetically modified (at least until science proves them completely safe), right?
And if you are in that camp and can concede that your fellow countrymen disagree with you, surely you can also see that taking away their ability to choose what they eat is an infringement of their self-determination, their freedom, and their autonomy, right?
And surely you can see that allowing laws like this to pass sets a precedent. Perhaps next the government will start passing legislation that restricts the ability to gather pertinent information about other pressing matters: the houses we buy, the cars we drive, the insurance we carry…oh, wait.
That ship has passed.
So it becomes even more important for us, as a country, to put our collective foot down and say “NO MORE!”
NO MORE will we be insulted and denied the ability to think and choose for ourselves.
NO MORE will we be lied to about what we feed our families.
NO MORE will we tolerate big business conspiring and controlling the very foundation of our lives in order to make a profit.
You should care about H.R. 4432, the DARK Act, regardless of your personal stance on GMO’s. You should care about it because it is, at its core, an attack on our liberty and freedom.
GMO labeling may not be a big deal to you. It may be an issue you think is hardly worth getting upset about.
But someday, you might have a sick child. Someday, you might become ill. Someday, you may decide that you actually would prefer not to eat GMO’s for whatever reason.
And if today, right now, you don’t stand up for the right of all Americans to make their own decisions about what they choose to eat, well…when the day comes that you care?
You’ll be powerless to execute your own wishes.
It will be too late.
And that, my friends, is why we should all care about The DARK Act.
Be informed. Read more about this law.
- Environmental Working Group
- The Permaculture Research Institute
- Sustainable Business
- U.S. Food News
- Center for Food Safety
Google it for yourself. Knowledge is power!
Then take action:
Then spread the word!
Share this post everywhere you can, or share some of the links I provided (it’s not about me, here, folks), and ask all your friends and family to write their congressman and sign the petition.
Let’s make it clear: we want to know what we’re eating!
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