East Hawaii News

Gabbard Discusses DARK Bill Opposition

July 23, 2015, 2:07 PM HST
* Updated July 23, 3:05 PM
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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard voted against H.R. 1599 on Thursday after publicly opposing the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK), along with various representatives on Wednesday

The opposed legislation would deny consumers the right to know what is in the food they are consuming, overturning state laws that require genetically modified organism labeling.

Under the bill, state laws on GMO labeling would be preempted and would allow for voluntary labeling and loosened restrictions. The Food and Drug Administration would also be required to allow misleading information, such as natural food claims, on GMO products.

“Almost 90 percent of the American people want to know what’s in their food,” Gabbard said. “The DARK Act would roll back steps taken by a majority of states and countries, including communities in Hawai’i, to better inform people about the ingredients in the food they eat. This bill takes away a basic consumer right for people to know what’s in their food, and undermines local control. This bill is bad for transparency, consumer rights, and democracy, and should be defeated.”

There is currently no federal policy in place to label genetically modified food. Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut have passed their own laws regarding the labeling of GMO’s, and dozens of addition states, including Hawai’i, have considered similar legislation.

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H.R. 1599 was passed on Thursday with a vote of 275-150 and will now move to the Senate for consideration.

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Along with Congresswoman Gabbard, Representatives Peter DeFazio, Oregon; Nita Lowey, New York; Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut; Earl Blumenauer, Oregon; Peter Welch, Vermont; Chellie Pingree, Maine; and Ann McLane Kuster, New Hampshire opposed the Act on Wednesday.

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