Just last week, the Senate shot down a proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to let states require labels on any food or beverage containing genetically engineered ingredients. The amendment was rejected by an overwhelming 73 to 26 votes.
In the last year alone, 36 bills have been introduced in several states urging law makers to mandate labeling foods that have been genetically modified. California joins that list with an initiative on the ballot this coming November.
The Senate amendment, co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mark Begich (D-AK), would have given states the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering.
“This is the very first time a bill on labeling genetically engineered food has been brought before the Senate,” said Senator Sanders. “It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country. While we wish we could have gotten more votes, this is a good step forward and something we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”
Earlier, the state of Vermont considered a bill that would have required labels on genetically engineered food products, but the bill was stymied after GMO giant Monsanto threatened to sue the state.
Pro-consumer organizations backing the Sanders amendment included the Center for Food Safety, Union of Concerned Scientists, National Farmers Union, Environmental Working Group, American Public Health Association, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG, New England Farmers Union, Environment America, National Cooperative Grocers Association, Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club and others.
Source: Eco Watch