Politico reports that Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is working on “new language” for a federal GMO labeling bill to keep Vermont’s law from taking effect July 1. And that Sen Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), architect of the Senate version of the DARK Act, a voluntary federal labeling bill intended to preempt Vermont, is waiting to see that language, before the two engage in another round of negotiations.
Stabenow and Roberts both have dug in their heels. Under relentless pressure from constituents, Stabenow is calling for a compromise of some sort that would include mandatory QR codes or toll-free numbers or some such technological fix.
Roberts wants nothing short of a voluntary scheme.
Both Senators are determined to preempt Vermont, no doubt thanks to the lavish spending by biotech and food industry lobbyists. One of those lobbyists, Randy Russell, president and CEO of The Russell Group, told Bloomberg: “As we get closer to July 1, the reality and chaos in the marketplace looms, and I think it’s going to drive people to the table to get a deal.”
“Reality and chaos” in the market? If Russell and his fellow lobbyists succeed in knocking down Vermont’s law, consumers will unleash our own brand of “chaos” in the market—and it won’t be pretty.
We’ve all had our sights set on July 1, thinking if that date comes and goes, we’ve won. But let’s not forget that while the law takes effect July 1, Vermont’s attorney general has given food companies until January 1, 2017, before the law will actually be enforced.
That could mean another six months of battling the preemptors in Washington D.C.
It is absolutely critical that we all continue to call, email and visit our Representatives and Senators. The minute we slow down, the minute things get quiet on our end, the more opportunity for Roberts, Stabenow and others to ram a bill through Congress during the lull.
Dial 888-897-0174 to tell your Senators to vote against any compromise that would block or delay Vermont’s bill from taking effect
If you live in Michigan, call Debbie Stabenow today! 202-224-4822
h/t: Organic Consumers Association