For that last 15 years, numerous organizations and legislators have been battling to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. During that time 64 other countries have mandated this labeling, but not the U.S. Many of us in the food movement have said that it was not a matter of if we would join with these countries and have GE labeling, but when. Well, it looks like when may have finally arrived.
Over the course of just a few days, several major companies have announced they will label GE products, including Kellogg’s , ConAgra, Mars and General Mills . Earlier this year, Campbell’s  announced it would label. What caused this wave of GE labeling? It certainly hasn’t been a sudden realization that more than 90 percent of Americans want labeling, which polls have shown for many years. And these companies have never been pro-labeling. Just the opposite. Each has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund massive PR campaigns opposing various state GE labeling initiatives.
This sudden turnaround was actually triggered by a remarkable triumph of democracy over corporate power that took place last week in the U.S. Senate. That vote involved an attempt to pass what many call The Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. This bill introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) was specifically designed to rescind all state laws requiring labeling of GE foods. Of special concern was Vermont’s labeling law, which is scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2016.