Ingredient label, schmingredient label. Representative Mike Pompeo doesn’t really care if you want to know what’s in the food you’re eating.
The Kansas Republican introduced legislation this month called the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” (um…what?) that would ban states from requiring GMO labeling in the future and invalidate the two current state laws in place (Connecticut and Maine). It would also prevent states from banning the term “natural” on products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.
The bill has sparked outrage among food activists, including one celebrity chef Tom Colicchio (of Top Chef, and such Manhattan restaurants as Gramercy Tavern and Craft) who’ve renamed the bill the “DARK” Act, which stands for “Deny Americans the Right to Know.”
“As a chef, I want to know what I’m serving my customers, and as a father, I should be able to make an informed decision about what I’m feeding my kids,” Colicchio said in a press release. “This bill risks pre-empting states, and taking that right away from consumers.”
Colicchio banded together with Food Policy Action to launch a petition at StoptheDarkAct.com last week, and so far more than 250,000 people have signed it.
Which isn’t surprising since a recent New York Times poll found that 93 percent of Americans support labeling genetically modified foods. It seems the term “representative” may also need to be changed soon. —Lisa Elaine Held