Food

Activists Throw Money on Senators Voting on GMO Labeling Bill (Video)

Protesters charge the Senate is being bribed by Big Ag to pass the DARK Act.

Washington capital building top coming off with flying money.
Photo Credit: mj007/Shutterstock

Paying the Senate to squash an pro-Monsanto bill? Not quite. But that's what it looked like when Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, and Adam Eidinger, founder of Occupy Monsanto, dropped more than $2,000 in dollar bills onto the Senate floor Wednesday to highlight the influence large corporations have on legislation, Roll Call reported

As the dollars fell, the protesters called on senators to reject a new version of H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, dubbed by its opponents the "Deny Americans the Right to Know" or DARK Act. Though the Senate blocked the bill in March, a new compromise engineered by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) now threatens to nullify the landmark Vermont law that requires mandatory GMO labeling, something 90 percent of American consumers want.

In Wednesday's key procedural vote, the Senate voted 65-32 to move toward final passage of the contentious Roberts-Stabenow bill.

CT Mirror reported:

[T]he bill's opponents, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said the law would "insult" states that had passed more stringent regulations and would not disclose to consumers what's in their food.
 
“There are clear defects in this law—the lack of a clear and stringent standard for labeling, the lack of enforcement, and the lack of transparency," Blumenthal said.

In 2013, Connecticut became the first state to pass a law requiring mandatory GMO labeling. However, the law has not yet been implemented due to a trigger provision: four other states with a combined population of 20 million have to adopt a similar standard before Connecticut’s law will go into effect. Vermont became the first state to implement a GMO labeling law on July 1.

"The Senate is being bribed," the protesters shouted. "This is not what democracy looks like."

Security arrived quickly. Three protesters, including Baden-Mayer and Eidinger, were escorted out.

“When Congress moves to crush the will of nine out of 10 Americans because they need companies like Monsanto to fund their campaigns, you know our democracy is in real trouble," Baden-Mayer said. "The corporate lobbyists are totally corrupt."

Watch:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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