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 Collins/King Oppose DARK Act, Though It Passes - July 6, 2016

US Senate Passes DARK Act

Maine Senators Vote AGAINST The Sell-out

Thank you Senator Collins and Senator King!

Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted 65-32 to proceed with a dangerous, Monsanto-backed bill designed to preempt strong state labeling laws for foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The federal law will overturn Vermont's GMO labeling law, which just went into effect on Friday, July 1, and will preempt implementation of similar laws in Maine and Connecticut.

Thanks in large part to your efforts, Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King voted against the motion. They recognized the many flaws in the proposed federal legislation and stood firm with Maine citizens and policymakers who agree that consumers should have the right to know what's in their food. While we are saddened by the tragic vote in Congress, we are deeply grateful to Maine's Senators for standing firm in support of consumers' right to know.

As the Senate prepares to take the final vote on this bill, please take a moment today to call Senator Collins and Senator King to thank them for this vote. Encourage them to continue to stand strong with Maine consumers and to urge their colleagues to do the same.

Thank you Senator Collins! Thank you Senator King!

Various forms of the legislation have been under debate in Congress for the past year and a half. Collectively, the industry-backed initiatives are known as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. Rather than requiring clear, consistent, on-package labeling, the law creates a voluntary system with confusing and inaccessible codes and 800 numbers.

Monsanto had resorted to desperate measures to try and generate bogus Maine citizen "support" for the bill, including use of out-of-state Robo-calls and sophisticated graphics-rich messaging that erroneously implied Senator King was advocating for the bill.

Virtually all of the authentic organic community opposed the Monsanto bill. Most, including MOFGA and the National Organic Coalition, considered the bill - and those mega-corporations supporting it - to be a total sell-out that placed the narrow self-interest of industrial agriculture, corporate food conglomerates and biotech interests ahead of consumers' legitimate right-to-know about GMOs.

MOFGA will provide a more detailed analysis of how the DARK Act will play out in the marketplace and how it will affect consumers' right to know. Please stay tuned.

Many MOFGA supporters helped shore up Collins' and King's opposition to the dangerously flawed federal legislation. Thank you very much for your calls, emails and letters. We respectfully encourage you once again to contact Senator Collins and Senator King to thank them for voting to defend consumers' right to know.

Thank Senator Collins:

  • in Augusta at 207-622-8414
  • in Bangor at 207-945-0417
  • in Biddeford at 207-283-1101
  • in Caribou at 207-493-7873
  • in Lewiston at 207-784-6969
  • in Portland at 207-780-3575
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-2523

Thank Senator King:

  • in Maine, toll-free, at 800-432-1599
  • in Augusta at 207-622-8292
  • in Presque Isle at 207-764-5124
  • in Scarborough at 207-883-1588
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-5344

  

 Monsanto or Maine? - July 5, 2016

 
Monsanto or Maine?
 

 

Senator Susan Collins
Senator Angus King
July 5, 2016 – Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King disappointed Mainers last week when they cast a procedural vote in support of Monsanto's sell-out bill that would keep consumers in the dark about foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

A final vote on this bill is imminent. Please let our senators know that we expect them to put Maine before Monsanto and vote against the Monsanto-Roberts-Stabenow labeling sell-out.

Monsanto calls their bill a compromise. Don't believe it! The bill is no compromise.
  • it nullifies Maine's and Vermont's GMO labeling laws
  • it changes mandatory labeling effectively to voluntary labeling, prohibiting financial penalties for non-compliance
  • it allows industry to substitute an array of illegible, confusing codes and 800 numbers for the simple phrase "Produced With Genetic Engineering"
  • its poorly constructed language creates grave concerns that most processed GMO foods would be exempt from labeling
  • it would not take effect for two more years
Many of you have contacted Maine's senators to let them know that it's not too late to do the right thing and vote against the bill. Thank you! Even if you've called, please call again and let them know you expect them to put Maine ahead of Monsanto.

Call Senator Collins:
  • in Augusta at 207-622-8414
  • in Bangor at 207-945-0417
  • in Biddeford at 207-283-1101
  • in Caribou at 207-493-7873
  • in Lewiston at 207-784-6969
  • in Portland at 207-780-3575
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-2523
Call Senator King:
  • in Scarborough at 207-883-1588
  • in Maine, toll-free, at 800-432-1599
  • in Augusta at 207-622-8292
  • in Presque Isle at 207-764-5124 
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-5344
MOFGA's Five Key Principles. The Stabenow-Roberts bill violates the important tenets of GMO labeling. Please urge our Senators to support only a GMO labeling standard that aligns with five key principles:
  • No State Preemption. Must not preempt established state GMO labeling laws.
  • Voluntary is Not Acceptable. Must require mandatory GMO labeling.
  • No Hi-Tech Gimmicks. No QR codes, 1-800-numbers, etc.
  • On-Package. Must require on-package GMO labeling.
  • Consumer Transparency. Must display the words "Produced with Genetic Engineering."
 

  

 Senators Cast Preliminary Vote For DARK Act - June 30, 2016

 
Collins and King Cast Preliminary Vote
To Block Consumers' Right To Know
About GMO Foods
It's Not Over Yet!
Final Vote Will Happen Next Week
 
We Must Pull Together To Encourage Our Senators
To Change Their Position

Please Contact Senator Collins and Senator King Today!
 
Urge Them to Reconsider Their Vote and Oppose the Roberts/Stabenow Sell-out


Senator Susan Collins
Senator Angus King
June 30, 2016 – Late on Wednesday night, the U.S. Senate voted to move forward on the new bill designed to kill mandatory labeling laws for foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The tally was 68 to 29, with three senators not voting. Disappointingly, Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King came down on the wrong side of the first vote on this sell-out bill.

If passed by the U.S. Senate after July 4th, the Monsanto-backed bill would overturn strong state GMO Labeling laws in Maine, Vermont and Connecticut.

It is tragic that Collins and King are defying the unanimous sentiment of Maine's State House of Representatives, Maine's State Senate, Maine's Governor, Maine's Attorney General, and 95% of Maine citizens who support Maine's labeling law.

But, it's not too late. The final vote will likely happen next week and, before then, we must convince Senator Collins and Senator King to oppose final passage. People across the country are working tirelessly to shore up votes to defeat this bill and protect consumers' right to know. We need Maine to lead the way.

Please let Senator Collins and Senator King know that no federal legislation is better than bad federal legislation. Tell them to vote no on the Roberts/Stabenow sell-out.

Call Senator Collins:
  • in Augusta at 207-622-8414
  • in Bangor at 207-945-0417
  • in Biddeford at 207-283-1101
  • in Caribou at 207-493-7873
  • in Lewiston at 207-784-6969
  • in Portland at 207-780-3575
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-2523
Call Senator King:
  • in Maine, toll-free, at 800-432-1599
  • in Augusta at 207-622-8292
  • in Presque Isle at 207-764-5124
  • in Scarborough at 207-883-1588
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-5344
Make no mistake - corporate interests want to keep consumers in the DARK. What Roberts and Stabenow have presented to the Senate is a sham.
  • It would overturn the mandatory labeling law in Maine, Vermont and Connecticut
  • It would allow for confusing, inaccessible gimmicks like QR codes and 800- numbers instead of the simple words "Produced with Genetic Engineering"
  • It would redefine the official term "Genetic Engineering" and significantly narrow the scope of products currently classified as genetically engineered.
  • It would have no penalties for non-compliance with the law.
MOFGA's Five Key Principles. The Stabenow-Roberts bill violates the important tenets of GMO labeling. Please urge our Senators to only support a GMO labeling standard that aligns with five key principles:
  • No State Preemption. Must not preempt established state GMO labeling laws.
  • Voluntary is Not Acceptable. Must require mandatory GMO labeling.
  • No Hi-Tech Gimmicks. No QR codes, 1-800-numbers, etc.
  • On-Package. Must require on-package GMO labeling.
  • Consumer Transparency. Must display the words "Produced with Genetic Engineering."
Thank you for helping ensure that Maine's entire congressional delegation maintains their perfect voting record in support of honest GMO labeling!

Please help spread the word. Thanks so much!
 

  

 Defeat Dangerous GMO Labeling Deal Now - June 24, 2016

 
Breaking News! Urgent!
Dangerous New GMO Labeling Law Threat
Must Be Defeated NOW
New Disastrous Monsanto-Backed Legislation
Aims For Immediate Preemption
of GMO Labeling Laws
in Maine, Vermont and Connecticut
 
June 24, 2016 – In what can only be described as a catastrophic industry sell-out, new legislation - falsely spun as a "compromise" - released yesterday by Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) would preempt existing strong state labeling laws for foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). If passed, the bill would create a toothless, national charade and instantly extinguish forever the strong GMO labeling laws passed overwhelmingly in recent years across New England.

Please call Senators Collins and King TODAY! Urge them to continue to protect Maine's universally-supported GMO labeling law by vigorously opposing the Stabenow-Roberts Bill.

The Stabenow-Roberts Bill Would Immediately Preempt Maine's GMO Labeling Law. The principle goal of this 11th-hour legislation is to stop Vermont's law scheduled to go into effect on July 1, as well as laws in Maine and Connecticut. USDA would have an additional two years to develop rules for a vacuous, weak labeling framework.
 
The Stabenow-Roberts Bill Would Take Transparency Away from Maine Consumers. Existing GMO labeling laws provide for clear, on-package labeling to ensure all Maine consumers are provided with the right to know what's in their food. Under the new bill, this would be replaced by electronic labeling gimmicks that would discriminate against those who don't have access to smartphone technology, such as our elderly populations, or high-speed internet access in rural parts of our state.

The Stabenow-Roberts Bill Outrageously Would Redefine Genetically Engineered Food. The bill radically departs from Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) definitions and shamelessly seeks to redefine genetic engineering (GE) as "Bioengineering." This new definition of "Bioengineering" is so narrow that it would exclude most products now considered genetically engineered, including those from novel GE methods such as Gene Editing. Also excluded would be products with no detectible rDNA such as highly purified soy, canola or corn oil, and sugar from genetically engineered sugar beets.

The Stabenow-Roberts Bill Cynically Lacks Provision for Enforcement. There would be zero financial penalties for non-compliance and non-compliant food could not be recalled.

Americans Support Strong State Laws. States like Maine and Vermont have pioneered strong, mandatory, overwhelmingly popular GMO Labeling laws that reflect the will of the people. Polls indicate these honest forms of labeling are supported by 90% of Americans.
 
No Federal Legislation is Necessary. Major food companies - such as Campbell's, General Mills, Mars, ConAgra, Kellogg's and many more - have clearly demonstrated timely and orderly compliance with Vermont's pending GMO labeling law. There is no crisis demanding federal legislation.

MOFGA's Five Key Principles. The Stabenow-Roberts bill violates the important tenets of GMO labeling. Please urge our Senators to only support a GMO labeling standard that aligns with five key principles:
  • No State Preemption. Must not preempt established state GMO labeling laws.
  • Voluntary is Not Acceptable. Must require mandatory GMO labeling.
  • No Hi-Tech Gimmicks. No QR codes, 1-800-numbers, etc.
  • On-Package. Must require on-package GMO labeling.
  • Consumer Transparency. Must display the words "Produced with Genetic Engineering."
Senators Collins & King: Please Stand Firm For Maine! Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King showed great courage in opposing Monsanto's last effort in the Senate to nullify Maine's GMO label law in March. Urge them to protect Maine again and oppose the Stabenow-Roberts Bill.
 
URGENT! Call Our Senators TODAY. Please take a few minutes to let Senator Collins and Senator King know that we are counting on them to lead the opposition to this brazen attempt to take transparency away from Maine consumers by killing honest GMO labeling laws in Maine and elsewhere.

Thank you for helping ensure that Maine's entire congressional delegation maintains their perfect voting record in support of honest GMO labeling!

Please help spread the word. Thanks so much!

Call Senator Collins:
  • in Augusta at 207-622-8414
  • in Bangor at 207-945-0417
  • in Biddeford at 207-283-1101
  • in Caribou at 207-493-7873
  • in Lewiston at 207-784-6969
  • in Portland at 207-780-3575
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-2523
Call Senator King:
  • in Maine, toll-free, at 800-432-1599
  • in Augusta at 207-622-8292
  • in Presque Isle at 207-764-5124
  • in Scarborough at 207-883-1588
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-5344
 
 

  

 Urge Our Senators To Stand Firm On GMO Labeling: June 13, 2016

- MOFGA GMO Labeling Law Update -

Now's The Time To Call To Protect Maine

Please give a friendly reminder to our Senators
urging them to stay firm in their support of our right to know about GMOs in food.

The Nation Is Watching. Mandatory labeling of foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is moving closer to a reality for U.S. citizens. Barring a diabolical maneuver in Congress, the country's first GMO labeling law will go into effect in Vermont on July 1.

Vermont's Law Will Help Maine & the U.S. Labeling in Vermont will greatly help implementation of Maine's own GMO labeling law as well. Many major food corporations are changing their labels nationally in order to comply with the bellwether Vermont legislation.

The U.S. Senate Voted No. Earlier this spring, the U.S. Senate cast a monumental vote against Monsanto-backed legislation that would have established a national, voluntary labeling standard. Voluntary GMO labeling is a foolish idea that would work as poorly as voluntary income tax.

Senators Collins & King Took A Stand For Maine! We are grateful to Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King for opposing the bogus Senate bill known as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. It would have undermined clear citizen support and overwhelming bi-partisan votes for mandatory labeling in Maine and beyond.

Keeping Our Watch. We know that a lot of mischief can happen in three weeks in Congress. We must remain vigilant. Monsanto and Big Food allies are working behind the scenes non-stop to kill mandatory GMO labeling.

Call Our Senators Now. Please take a few minutes today to let Senator Collins and Senator King know that we appreciate their support for Maine's Right-to-Know GMO Labeling Law and we urge them to stand firm in their opposition to efforts that would weaken existing state laws on GMO labeling.

MOFGA's Five Key Principles. Please urge our senators to support only a strong, national, mandatory GMO labeling standard that aligns with five key principles:

  • No State Preemption. Must not preempt established state GMO labeling laws.
  • Voluntary is Not Acceptable. Must require mandatory GMO labeling.
  • No Hi-Tech Gimmicks. No QR codes, 1-800-numbers, etc.
  • On-Package. Must require on-package GMO labeling.
  • Consumer Transparency. Must display the words "Produced with Genetic Engineering."

Thanks for any help you can provide to ensure that Maine's entire congressional delegation maintain a perfect voting record in support of mandatory GMO labeling!

Please help spread the word. Thanks so much!

Call Senator Collins:

  • in Augusta at 207-622-8414
  • in Bangor at 207-945-0417
  • in Biddeford at 207-283-1101
  • in Caribou at 207-493-7873
  • in Lewiston at 207-784-6969
  • in Portland at 207-780-3575
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-2523

Call Senator King:

  • in Maine, toll-free, at 800-432-1599
  • in Augusta at 207-622-8292
  • in Presque Isle at 207-764-5124
  • in Scarborough at 207-883-1588
  • in Washington, DC at 202-224-5344

  

 U.S. Senate Blocks DARK Act: March 16, 2016

Thank you Senator Collins! Thank you Senator King!

Senator Susan Collins
Washington, DC
202-224-2523
Senator Angus King
Washington, DC
202-224-5344

Today Maine's U.S. Senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, voted in opposition to the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, pledging support for states' rights and, more specifically, Maine's popular law requiring labeling of foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The bill got a bi-partisan rejection with a vote of 48 to 49.

Thank you Senator Collins! Thank you Senator King!

The bill, introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), sought to replace mandatory labeling initiatives with a misleading voluntary system phased in over time. Monsanto, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other big agriculture interests worked hard to craft the bill making mandatory labeling laws in Maine, Connecticut and Vermont illegal. Consumers nationwide opposed the DARK Act as it would prevent states like Maine from enacting mandatory GMO food labeling laws, and would overturn important laws regulating genetically engineered crops at state and municipal levels.

Thank you MOFGA Members!

Over the past two weeks, MOFGA members have contacted Maine's senators, expressing deep concerns about the DARK Act and urging defense of mandatory GMO labeling laws in Maine, Connecticut and Vermont. Thank you to all who helped amplify the urgency of defeating the DARK Act. Your calls and email messages have paid off!

Senator Collins is generally a strong supporter of states' rights. MOFGA sources in Washington, DC conveyed the message that Senator Collins defended Maine's labeling bill as a states' rights concern. Senator King was even more explicit in his support for our position.

"Consumers have a right to know what is in their food," said Senator King. "That's why I will oppose the Roberts bill."

While this is an important hurdle in the ongoing challenge to enact mandatory labeling, the struggle is far from over. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a strong proponent of the DARK Act, changed his vote to "No", a procedural move that allows him to reopen debate on the bill. Additional industry bills and amendments may reach the Senate floor.

Four Key Principles

MOFGA remains vigilant and underscores the importance of four key principles for any federal labeling law:

  1. No Preemption. MUST not pre-empt established State GMO labeling laws.
  2. Voluntary is Not Acceptable. MUST require mandatory GMO labeling.
  3. On-Package. MUST require on-package GMO labeling.
  4. Consumer Transparency. MUST display the words "Produced With Genetic Engineering."

Senator Collins' and Senator King's votes today place them on the side of consumer and sustainable agriculture groups like the MOFGA. We have advocated for GMO labeling for more than twenty years and are proud that Maine stands solidly in support of this ideal. Rather than appeasing the interests of Monsanto and industrial agriculture, Collins and King are standing with more than 90% of Mainers who want the right to know what's in their food. They're standing with the Maine Legislature. And, they're standing with their congressional colleagues, Representative Chellie Pingree and Representative Bruce Poliquin, who also courageously voted against the House version of the DARK Act last summer.

Stay tuned. MOFGA will keep you posted about related developments in the U.S. Senate.


  

 Action Alert: DARK Act - March 15, 2016

MOFGA Action Alert

U.S. Senate Scheduled To Vote On Bill
To Kill GMO Labeling Laws In
Maine, Connecticut, Vermont

Tomorrow - 11:00 a.m.

Please call our senators now and ask them
to stand with Maine!

Senator Susan Collins
Washington, DC
202-224-2523
Senator Angus King
Washington, DC
202-224-5344

Last night the U.S. Senate began debate on Monsanto's notorious DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which would preempt Maine's historic and popular law requiring labeling of foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

A Senate vote has been scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.

If, once again, Monsanto were to have its way with Congress, right to know GMO labeling laws in Maine, Connecticut and Vermont would be nullified.

It would be better to have no federal labeling law than to have a bad federal labeling law.

We know that, over the past two weeks, concerned consumers from Maine have flooded the offices of Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King with phone calls and emails urging them to oppose the DARK Act.

Thank you for your help. Please call again today!

Maine waits patiently for Senator Collins and Senator King to announce publicly that they will defend Maine's GMO labeling law.

  • More than 90% of Maine people support mandatory labeling of GMO foods.
  • The Maine Legislature voted almost unanimously to support mandatory labeling of GMO foods.
  • Maine's U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin voted to oppose the DARK Act.

Now it's Senator Collins' and Senator King's opportunity to defend Maine.

Monsanto is working hard to spread disinformation on the debate, pushing for variations on their ultimate protection act. While industry describes these variations as compromises, we know that they are crafted to preempt states' rights and keep consumers in the dark.

Please call Senator Collins and Senator King today and ask them to pledge their unequivocal opposition to any legislation that would overturn Maine's landmark GMO labeling law.

Any national GMO Labeling program:

  • MUST not pre-empt established state GMO labeling laws
  • MUST be mandatory
  • MUST require on-package labeling
  • MUST display the words Produced With Genetic Engineering

PLEASE CALL TODAY! Thanks!

Call Senator Collins in Washington - 202-224-2523

Call Senator King in Washington - 202-224-5344


  

 Action Alert: DARK Act - March 9, 2016

MOFGA Action Alert - Today - Urgent!

Please Urge Senator Collins and Senator King
to Fight for Maine's GMO Labeling Law!

U.S. Senate May Vote Tomorrow
To Overturn Our Right To Know

 

The Monsanto-backed Senate version of the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, S. 2609, would dismantle Maine's historic GMO Labeling law.

The DARK Act is an outrageous Federal preemption and would institute a vacuous, voluntary labeling system. S. 2609 faces an imminent vote in the Senate.

Mainers were justifiably proud last Summer when both of our congressional representatives, Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), courageously stood up for Maine and voted against the draconian House version of Monsanto's DARK Act. Despite Pingree's and Poliquin's leadership for States' rights and their opposition to the DARK Act, the bill ended up passing in the House.

Now Maine's influential senators - Susan Collins and Angus King - MUST step up and advocate publicly for Maine's unambiguous, universally-supported right-to-know GMO Labeling law.

It is CRITICAL that all of us in MOFGA make calls NOW to our senators urging them to VOTE AGAINST S. 2609 and DEFEND MAINE's GMO LABELING LAW.

Your calls will make a difference!

Call Senator Collins in Washington - 202-224-2523

Call Senator King in Washington - 202-224-5344

Here is what Senator Collins and Senator King need to hear from us:

  • They MUST OPPOSE S. 2609 and any proposal that would preempt States' Rights and Maine's landmark GMO Labeling bill.
  • They should support the excellent alternative bill sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and developed by MOFGA's GMO Labeling coalition allies. The Merkley bill would institute strong mandatory GMO Labeling nationwide.

This current political situation is extremely fluid and various amendments are surfacing.

Here is MOFGA's bottom line advice for Senators Collins and King:

  • OPPOSE all legislation that obstructs Maine's mandatory GMO Labeling Law.
  • Any national GMO Labeling program MUST be Mandatory, MUST require On-Package-Labeling, and MUST display the words Produced With Genetic Engineering.

PLEASE CALL TODAY! Thanks!

Call Senator Collins in Washington - 202-224-2523

Call Senator King in Washington - 202-224-5344

Background Information About
Maine's GMO Labeling Law and the DARK Act

Maine UNIVERSALLY supports our right-to-know and Maine's landmark GMO Labeling law. Polls indicate more than 90% of Mainers support our right-to-know GMO Labeling law. When MOFGA's GMO Labeling bill was introduced in 2013 it had a record 123 legislative co-sponsors. The bill passed with virtually unanimous support: 141-4 in the House and 35-0 in the Senate. Governor LePage then signed our historic bill into law.

Now the DARK Act has re-surfaced in the Senate in the form of S. 2609. Introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, this disastrous bill passed out of Committee 14-6 last week amidst massive pressure by powerful industrial agriculture lobbyists.

Monsanto's cynical goal is to invalidate, by federal preemption, existing mandatory GMO Labeling laws enacted overwhelmingly by the States of Maine, Vermont and Connecticut and similar bills now being considered in more than twenty State Legislatures.

A "No" vote on the DARK Act is a "Yes" vote for States' Rights!


  

 Action Alert: DARK Act - March 7, 2016

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee
Votes To Kill Mandatory GMO Labeling Laws

Full Senate Likely To Vote This Week

Please ask Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King
to OPPOSE federal legislation preempting Maine's right to know about GMO foods.

Senator Susan Collins
202-224-2523

Senator Angus King
202-224-5344

Last Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee approved, by a vote of 14 - 6, draft legislation that would prohibit states from requiring labeling of foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Now the debate moves to the full Senate, which likely will vote this week.

Even if you have already called Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, please call again now and urge them to vote AGAINST Monsanto's dream legislation that would forever invalidate Maine's historic right-to-know GMO labeling law. The legislation now under consideration in Congress is commonly referred to as the DARK Act, as it Denies Americans the Right to Know. Although the Senate version does not yet have an official bill number, the language is available online here:

The DARK Act - a.k.a. The National Voluntary Bioengineered Food Labeling Standard

You have to wonder, why would the U.S. need a law to allow companies to volunteer? They could and would just as easily volunteer not to divulge their dark secrets.

Instead of ensuring consumers' right to know, The DARK Act would prohibit states like Maine from adopting GMO food labeling laws, it would overturn important laws regulating genetically engineered crops at state and municipal levels, and it would, outrageously, sanction the federal government's role as cheerleader for agricultural biotechnology.

Please call our senators today and urge them to oppose preemption of our right to know, and to support mandatory labeling of GMO foods. Please share this message far and wide. The time to act is NOW! PLEASE HELP SAVE MANDATORY GMO LABELING!

Senator Susan Collins
202-224-2523

Senator Angus King
202-224-5344

We know that many, many of you have contacted Maine's senators over the last week. The calls are having an impact. Still, we haven't received definitive position statements from either of Maine's senators. We need to keep calls going to their offices. Please ask them to express clear support for Maine's right to know about GMOs.

We all worked so hard for so long to develop a GMO labeling policy on which Mainers could agree. Now a Senator from Kansas, backed by Monsanto and other industrial agriculture interests, wants to take away our right to know.

This is the most important discussion relating to labeling of GMO foods and we must act now to protect the progress we have made in Maine, Connecticut and Vermont.

Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas introduced this latest reincarnation of the DARK Act, which Congress considered also in 2015. The House of Representatives approved the DARK Act, though Maine can proudly state that its Representatives, Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poloquin, voted against it. The DARK Act then failed to move through the Senate before the end of 2015.

Senator Roberts' legislation is a renewed threat to the public's right to know and to organic agriculture as it seeks to preempt local control and cedes new power to the federal government.

MOFGA has always stood strong for the public's right to know about GMOs in food. Since 1993, we have organized five campaigns to require labeling of GMO foods and, with your help, we succeeded in passing Maine's GMO food labeling law in 2013.

The DARK Act is the ultimate protection act for Monsanto and other industrial agriculture companies. The DARK Act would take away Mainers' right to know. It would allow the federal government to wrest control from the people of Maine and nullify our historic GMO Labeling Law, passed by our Legislature with a stunning vote of 141-4 in the House and 35-0 in the Senate.

We need to remain vigilant to ensure that industrial agriculture interests don't overturn Maine's right to know about GMO foods, or take precedence over the interests of Maine's vibrant and steadily increasing organic farming community.

Mandatory labeling of foods derived from GMO crops is the right thing to do not only for consumers but also for farmers, processors and retailers.

Even the iconic Campbell Soup Company has committed to disclose the presence of genetically engineered ingredients in its products, noting that labeling would result in minimal financial impact. Campbell has called on Congress to adopt mandatory labeling for GMO foods.

Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said, "We've always believed consumers have a right to know what's in their food. We know that 92 percent of Americans support GMO labeling, and transparency is a critical part of our purpose."

If a company like Campbell can take this step to label their food accurately, then there is no reason the rest of the industry can't follow suit.

There are many things that we can do to protect and strengthen Maine's GMO labeling law. But the most important step we can take right now is to defeat the DARK Act, introduced by Senator Pat Roberts.

Please call Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King and urge them to oppose all attempts to preempt Maine's right to know about GMOs. Ninety-two percent of Maine people want to know about GMOs in their food. The Legislature was unified and passed Maine's GMO Labeling bill with a virtually unanimous vote. And Governor LePage signed that bill into law supporting the consumers' right to know.

A "No" vote on the DARK Act is a "Yes" vote for States' Rights.

Senator Susan Collins
202-224-2523

Senator Angus King
202-224-5344


  

 Action Alert: DARK Act - February 29, 2016

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Poised
To Take Away Our Right To Know About GMOs

Please ask Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King to OPPOSE federal legislation preempting Maine's right to know about GMO foods.

This is an urgent call to action. The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee is considering legislation that would nullify Maine's labeling requirement for foods with ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We all worked so hard for so long to develop a GMO labeling policy on which Mainers could agree. Now a Senator from Kansas, backed by Monsanto and other industrial agriculture interests, wants to take away our right to know.

Please call our senators today and urge them to oppose preemption of our right to know what's in our food. Please ask your family members, friends and colleagues to call as well.

Senator Susan Collins
202-224-2523

Senator Angus King
202-224-5344

Over the past several months you've probably seen dozens, if not hundreds, of messages, memes, tweets, action alerts, blog posts and editorials about legislation on labeling of foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). There is activity at just about every level of government. People are concerned about GMOs in the food supply, and it's difficult to keep all of the related initiatives straight.

We are writing today to highlight the most important debate before us, the National Voluntary Bioengineered Food Labeling Standard, a discussion draft introduced to the Senate Agriculture Committee of the U.S. Congress by Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas. This legislation is the reincarnation of the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which Congress considered in 2015. The House of Representatives approved the DARK Act, though Maine can proudly state that its Representatives, Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poloquin, voted against it. The DARK Act then failed to move through the Senate before the end of 2015.

Senator Roberts' legislation is a renewed threat to the public's right to know and to organic agriculture as it seeks to preempt local control and cedes new power to the federal government.

The DARK Act would prevent states like Maine from adopting GMO food labeling laws, it would overturn important laws regulating genetically engineered crops at state and municipal levels, and it would, outrageously, sanction the federal government's role as cheerleader for agricultural biotechnology.

Representative Lance Harvell (R-Farmington), the primary sponsor of Maine's historic GMO Labeling Law, advocates for his bill before the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation.

MOFGA has always stood strong for the public's right to know about GMOs in food. Since 1993, we have organized five campaigns to require labeling of GMO foods and, with your help, we succeeded in passing Maine's GMO food labeling law in 2013.

The DARK Act is the ultimate protection act for Monsanto and other industrial agriculture companies. The DARK Act would take away Mainers' right to know. It would allow the federal government to wrest control from the people of Maine and nullify our historic GMO Labeling Law, passed by our Legislature with a stunning vote of 141-4 in the House and 35-0 in the Senate.

We need to remain vigilant to ensure that industrial agriculture interests don't overturn Maine's right to know about GMO foods, or take precedence over the interests of Maine's vibrant and steadily increasing organic farming community.

Mandatory labeling of foods derived from GMO crops is the right thing to do not only for consumers but also for farmers, processors and retailers.

Even the iconic Campbell Soup Company has committed to disclose the presence of genetically engineered ingredients in its products, noting that labeling would result in minimal financial impact. Campbell has called on Congress to adopt mandatory labeling for GMO foods.

Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said, "We've always believed consumers have a right to know what's in their food. We know that 92 percent of Americans support GMO labeling, and transparency is a critical part of our purpose."

If a company like Campbell can take this step to label their food accurately, then there is no reason the rest of the industry can't follow suit.

There are many things that we can do to protect and strengthen Maine's GMO labeling law. But the most important step we can take right now is to defeat the DARK Act, introduced by Senator Pat Roberts.

Please call Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King and urge them to oppose all attempts to preempt Maine's right to know about GMOs. Ninety-two percent of Maine people want to know about GMOs in their food. The Legislature was unified and passed Maine's GMO Labeling bill with a virtually unanimous vote. And Governor LePage signed that bill into law supporting the consumers' right to know.

A "No" vote on the Dark Act is a "Yes" vote for States' Rights.

Senator Susan Collins
202-224-2523

Senator Angus King
202-224-5344

Stay tuned for additional upcoming information from MOFGA about related policy initiatives evolving in Augusta, including a recent legislative call for a referendum that would direct Maine to move forward with its mandatory GMO Labeling law. 


    

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