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In a national effort to stop the passing of the legislation known as the DARK Act, an anti GMO-labeling bill introduced by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, more than 4,000 chefs have signed a petition calling on members of the U.S. Senate to reject the bill.
“We, the undersigned 4,053 chefs, representing 49 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have a fundamental right to know what’s in the food we cook and serve our customers,” reads the petition from Food Policy Action, an organization that follows the voting records of U.S. legislators on issues in the food system. “We urge you to reject this bill and any attempt to prevent the mandatory labeling of genetically modified food.”
In its latest form, Roberts’ S. 2609 bill would prevent states from the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans — whether Republican, Democratic, or Independent — support GMO labeling. The DARK Act would also block states like Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine from enacting GMO labeling laws that have already been approved by voters.
“Senator Roberts’ misguided bill ignores the voices of Americans who want information about what’s in their food and how it’s grown,” said chef Tom Colicchio, the petition’s author and co-founder of Food Policy Action. “It’s disappointing that Senator Roberts is advancing this giveaway to processed food companies at the expense of consumers’ right to know. As food professionals, parents, and consumers, thousands of chefs are calling on the Senate to reject the DARK Act and stand up for transparency in our food system.”
The bill has already passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee, and is expected to be voted on by the full Senate as early as next week.