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MICHIGAN: Urgent! Act by Thursday. Tell Sen. Stabenow, No DARK Act!

Dear Supporter,

Michigan-based GMO giants, including Dow Chemical and Kellogg’s, are counting on their campaign donations to Sen. Debbie Stabenow to help them mount a last ditch effort, at the federal level, to block state GMO labeling laws.

If we don’t stop Stabenow and her corporate friends by Thursday, they will block Vermont’s GMO labeling law from taking effect on July 1.

CALL TODAY! Please call Sen. Stabenow at (202) 224-4822 to ask her to reject Sen. Robert’s DARK Act. And ask her not to offer any “compromise” that would block or delay Vermont’s GMO labeling law.

When you call, please remind Stabenow that the solution to a patchwork of state laws is simple: pass a mandatory federal labeling law that meets or exceeds the standards set by Vermont.

On Thursday, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), is holding a vote on his version of the DARK Act, the bill that the House of Representatives passed last summer. Roberts’ bill could pass the agriculture committee, but it doesn’t have the 60 votes it would need to block a filibuster, pass the full Senate and get President Obama’s signature.

This is why your voice in Michigan is so important: Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is likely to help Roberts get the votes he needs to stop Vermont by offering the “compromise” (capitulation) that USDA Sec. Vilsack has been pushing. The compromise would delay Vermont’s law from taking effect while the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) rolls out its so-called SmartLabel (QR barcode) technology.

Sen. Roberts Can’t Do This Alone

Sen. Roberts admits that his bill can’t pass as is. He knows it will have to be amended. The Agriculture Committee Chairman described his bill as “a framework to find a solution” and said, “Negotiations will continue in an effort to reach committee agreement.”

Likewise, Sen. Stabenow says, “There’s still a lot of work to do to get the broad bipartisan support needed to pass the U.S. Senate.”

President Obama’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has offered a compromise that could draw the six Democrats Roberts needs to create the 60-vote majority necessary to prevent a filibuster: It’s called delay Vermont, implement voluntary SmartLabels.  

SmartLabel: Monsanto’s “Absolute Favorite Idea”

Sec. Vilsack is pushing Congress to delay Vermont’s law from taking effect while the GMA rolls out its so-called SmartLabel system. SmartLabels can only be “read” with a smart-phone that scans a QR (Quick Response) code to access a website where answers to questions about GMOs would be buried.

At the end of last year, Sen. Stabenow expressed skepticism that QR codes could get support, saying, “My colleagues on the Democratic side, there are just many, many who are fundamentally opposed to even the use of electronics [for labeling]. I think this is very controversial so it would be a difficult thing to get done.”

But, the word on Capitol Hill is that she’s going to give it a try now.

The SmartLabel scam, a project of the GMA (which has, so far unsuccessfully, sued to the State of Vermont to block its labeling law), has wide support across the food industry, including from GMA member Monsanto.

Fox Business ran the headline, “Monsanto: We Support GMO Labeling,” on a story where Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Robert Fraley came out in favor of voluntary labeling saying, “We support these kind of choices. My absolute favorite idea on labeling is the SmartLabel, which the food industry is working on today. It uses a Quick Response Code so you can use your smart phone to find out every single thing you ever wanted to know about where that food came from.”

Stabenow Takes Monsanto’s Money, Dow Chemical’s and Kellogg’s, Too

It’s no surprise that Stabenow would try to block Vermont’s law, given the campaign cash she has raked in from the biotech industry.

One of Stabenow’s top funders is Dow Chemical. Dow makes the infamous Agent Orange GMOs, that are engineered to survive Dow’s Enlist Duo, a custom cocktail of two deadly herbicides: Monsanto’s Roundup, a probable carcinogen, and 2,4-d, which was half the formula of the Vietnam-War-era defoliant. The combination is so dangerous that the Environmental Protection Agency has been forced to reconsider its approval.

Kellogg’s is also a big Stabenow funder. A member of the GMA, and contributor of hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-labeling campaigns, Kellogg’s is notorious for hiding GMOs in its so-called “natural” foods.

Stabenow also takes money from Monsanto.

Stabenow insists that we can’t allow Vermont’s law to take effect, because we can’t have a “patchwork” of state laws. If she is truly worried about minor differences in state labeling laws, but also is genuinely committed to representing Michigan consumers, she will propose a mandatory federal labeling scheme—not a compromise that allows food companies to label GMOs only if they feel like it.

Please remind Sen. Stabenow that she works for the people of Michigan, not these corporations.

CALL TODAY! Please call Sen. Stabenow at (202) 224-4822 to ask her to reject Sen. Robert’s DARK Act. And ask her not to offer any “compromise” that would block or delay Vermont’s GMO labeling law.

Thanks for taking action!

- Alexis for the OCA team


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