Plenty #6: Shining Some Light into the DARK Act with David Durfee and Dan Bensonoff

July 29, 2016

In this episode, we are very pleased to have, as guests on this show, General Manager of Wild Oats Market in Williamstown, Mass David Durfee. and Dan Bensonoff, Policy Director at the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts (NOFA/Mass). We’ll be discussion legislation at the federal level that will determine how, and even if, consumers will be able to know whether or not their food purchases contain genetically engineered ingredients or if this is just leftover DARK Act servings from 2015.

"Resistance is Fertile" (photo by Lily Rhoads
Resistance is Fertile” (photo by Lily Rhoads)

The Senate version of the legislation, S. 764, is being described as a compromise bill that is essentially a mutation of “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 (H.R. 1599)” that earned the nicknames “The DARK Act” (Deny America’s Right to Know) or the “Monsanto Protection act.” The bill is currently sitting somewhere on President Obama’s desk, waiting for executive action.

By Heaviside glow (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Countries with Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Laws as of May 10, 2015. (image by Heaviside glow (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons Green: Mandatory labeling Red: Ban on import and cultivation of GMOs (in October of that year, the Russian parliament voted to ban cultivation and breeding of all GMO crops).
Although this discussion occurred over the course of two separate conversations in the first half of July, both Durfee and Bensonoff have very similar reactions to a proposed law that many transparency advocates say cloud the issue and flies in the face of overwhelming majority demand in the United States.

Locally, Ed Stockman contributed a letter to the editor on the subject to theBerkshire Eagle July 25, 2016.

Massachusetts listeners who’d like to find out more about the statewide mandatory labeling efforts can follow the work of Mass Right to Know GMOs, a statewide network of advocates declaring our fundamental right to know if our food contains ingredients derived from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Listeners in the New England and New York area interested in learning more about the organic food and the work of NOFA may be interested in attending NOFA’s Summer Conference.









Previous Story

WDIJW? “Dust Buddies”

Next Story

WDIJW? “Omelette”

Latest from Food & Drink