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Nearly 4,000 chefs across the country have joined forces to publically condemn the support by the Senate Agriculture Committee of a controversial bill known as the DARK Act, which would prevent states from the mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.
The bill, introduced in its latest form by Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, which has been named the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” Act, or DARK, would block states like Vermont, Connecticut and Maine from enacting GMO labeling laws that have already been supported by voters. Since passing from the Senate Agriculture Committee 14-6, the bill will now be voted upon by the full Senate.
A petition against the DARK Act from Tom Colicchio, the prominent American chef and co-founder of Food Policy Action — an organization that monitors the way that U.S. legislators vote on important food issues — has been signed by thousands of chefs across nearly all 50 states.
“It’s unbelievable that members of the Senate Agriculture Committee would vote to continue the same broken system of voluntary GMO labeling that keeps consumers in the dark about what’s in their food and how it’s grown,” chef Colicchio said in a statement. “Americans deserve transparent and accurate information to make their own decision about what to feed their families.”
Members of the Senate have been urged to vote against the bill and support transparency in the food system, something that nearly 90 percent of American voters — whether Republican, Democratic, or Independent — have made clear is important to them. In a poll of 800 people who were likely to vote in the next election, only six percent of voters said they opposed GMO labeling.
In the event that the DARK Act passes through both the Senate and Congress, “we would like to see President Obama veto the DARK Act, or any bill that keeps consumers in the dark about what’s in their food,” Claire DiMattina, Food Policy Action’s executive director, told The Daily Meal.