On Senate floor Tester demands no GMO rider in omnibus

(U.S. Senate)-Jon Tester, the United States Senate’s only working farmer, today took to the Senate floor to demand that a controversial genetically modified organism (GMO) bill not be included as a rider to the omnibus appropriations bill.

The DARK Act removes the public’s ability to know if the food they are buying is genetically modified.

“I am a farmer and I know exactly where my food comes from, but not all Americans have that ability,” Tester said. “This bill allows the federal government to undermine local stakeholders and denies consumers the right to know what is in the food they eat. This bill is not fair to consumers and it is not fair to the folks who produce food in this country.”

Currently there is no federal requirement for companies using genetically engineered ingredients to disclose that information on food labels. Sixty-four countries across the world require GMO labeling including Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia.

In 2013 Tester led the charge to remove the controversial “Monsanto Protection Act” rider from a funding bill that directed the U.S. Agriculture Department to ignore any judicial ruling that blocked the planting of genetically-modified crops.

Tester is cosponsoring the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which requires labeling of genetically engineered food.