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« DARK Act victory! But watch out on April 1st. | Main | New US Dietary Guidelines miss chance to reduce disease, climate change »
Wednesday
Feb242016

Please help stop the DARK act in Congress

Today Next week the DARK act goes to the Senate Agriculture committee.  The official name is the National Voluntary Bioengineered Food Labeling Standard but the acronym reflects its effect: Denying Americans the Right-to-Know. It will block states' efforts to require labeling for genetically modified food. Vermont voted to require GMO labeling beginning this July, so the food manufacturers are rushing this through Congress. I just sent this email alert to subscribers, something I do once a year or less, only when our ability to choose safe and healthy food is at risk. [Update 2/25: they delayed the markup until sometime next week. Still time to act! Watch for updates with #DARKact.]

Please help stop this bill
Why is this a big deal?

As I wrote recently on GMO labeling, approved GM traits in the US do not focus on drought. Instead, they allow plants to:
  • Poison bugs that eat them with a protein originally found in Bt bacteria. This means every bite you take has pesticides in it, ones which you can't wash off.
  • Thrive despite being doused by Roundup or other herbicides, allowing farmers to weed fields chemically. This means the crops have traces of herbicides and that the ground and water are becoming increasingly contaminated.
In 2015, 77% of corn grown in the U.S. had "stacked" GM genes, allowing them to poison bugs and resist herbicides. Overall, 92% of corn had at least one GM trait, with 12% only herbicide resistant and 4% killing bugs. In 2015, 94% of soybeans grown in the US were genetically engineered to resist herbicides. In 2009/2010, 95% of sugarbeets were genetically engineered to be herbicide resistant. Herbicide-resistant crops are sprayed by ever more herbicides.

Last year, the World Health Organization listed glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. Glyphosate also been linked to increases in birth defects, autism, digestive problems, and even killing monarch butterflies. It's persistent, too, appearing in the rain, rivers, tap water, and even breast milk. 

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