The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp: Help Us Stop the DARK Act
Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young are speaking out against the controversial Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599), also known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act.
The legislation would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the distribution and labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs), thus preempting states' rights to label GMOs themselves.
The famous musicians, who serve as board members of Farm Aid, signed a joint letter calling on President Obama to stop the DARK Act rider, which some lawmakers in Congress are trying to sneak onto to the year-end omnibus spending bill.
"Giant food, chemical and biotech corporations have spent millions of dollars to block our right to know what's in our food. Their latest effort is to pass what's been called the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act," Farm Aid wrote on a Facebook post last Friday. "It would preempt GMO labeling laws already passed in Connecticut, Maine and Vermont and obstruct mandatory federal labeling of GMOs."
In their joint letter, Matthews, Nelson, Mellencamp and Young bring up the "clear public support for labeling and transparency in the food system." According to Just Label It, 89 percent of American voters are in support of mandatory GMO labeling.
Additionally, the letter states, "That same right is already held by citizens in 64 countries and it is a right that we, as board members of Farm Aid, have fought to attain for some time."
Farm Aid is a nonprofit organization that organizes its famous annual benefit concert to raise money for family farmers in the U.S. Nelson, Young and Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert on Sept. 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois. Matthews joined the Farm Aid board of directors in 2001. The 30th anniversary of Farm Aid was held on Sept. 19, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. To date, Farm Aid has raised $48 million for the country's family farmers.
"This is an issue that matters dearly to farmers and eaters alike," the letter continues. "As citizens, we believe transparency is fundamental to our democracy and indispensable to a fair and competitive marketplace. It is unconscionable that the will of multinational corporations would trump something so essential to American life."
Introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, H.R. 1599 passed the House of Representatives in July and currently languishes in the Senate.
As EcoWatch exclusively reported, powerful food and beverage organizations have heavily lobbied and spent eye-popping sums to fight state-by-state labeling mandates before Vermont’s precedent-setting GMO labeling law takes effect in July 2016.
Unless it's stopped by a federal ban, Vermont's law will have far-reaching implications for the labeling of GMO food products in the U.S. For instance, once (or if) Vermont's law kicks off, it will trigger Connecticut's and Maine's own GMO labeling mandates.
"The White House has a critical role in shaping the outcome of this rider," the letter concludes. "There is no room for corporate riders like this in the omnibus appropriations bill and we urge you to stand up for what Americans want."
Read the full signed letter below. Those interested in joining the rockers' cause can visit this link.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.