Published: Wed, July 13, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Hoeven: GMO Labeling Bill Advances in Senate

"We're cautiously optimistic about the bill", he told FeedNavigator. It was approved after moments of unusual theater, including visitors in the gallery throwing cash on the Senate floor to protest contributions made by Monsanto to senators backing the bill. The House passed a bill previous year that would pre-empt states from enforcing such laws.

The U.S. Senate managed to pass a procedural cloture vote on GMO labeling, setting up a possible final vote.

"Under Vermont's law and my amendment, consumers can glance quickly at a product and be able to determine the GMO contents with no need for a smartphone or internet connection". The food industry, though generally a proponent of GMOs, is more accepting of a uniform national standard as opposed to state-based regulations. Sanders called Vermont's law "a triumph for consumers" that was shaping up as a hollow victory, with the Senate bill trumping his state's law. "This bill is a travesty, an undemocratic and discriminatory bill which preempts state laws, while offering no meaningful labeling for GMOs", said Friends of the Earth.

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, voted in favor of the labeling bill. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), allows food companies to label GMOs by using codes, symbols, or packaging language.

They reached "what we think is a pretty good outcome that respects [those who want to know] what is in their food and those who don't want to see unnecessary alarm and confusion raised about the safety and sustainability about feed with genetically modified organisms", he said. Unfortunately, it would allow companies to use confusing electronic codes for scanning instead of simple, clear labels. "It's a sad day when so many members of the U.S. Senate sell out to big food and big business and turn their backs on those who elected them", Shumlin said. It is crucial that technology which has been proven to be safe for human consumption is utilized to assure food security and access to sustainably-produced food. Next it heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. If the House does not pass the bill in its current form next week, the bill could still pass before Vermont's government starts enforcing its own mandatory GMO labeling law, which requires an on-package statement, on January 1.

"Companies are already labeling foods that contain genetic engineering", said Leahy, according to Vermont Biz.

One reason for that is the amount of feed crops that are strains created with biotechnology, said Gordon. He has sought insight from the Agriculture Department on how it would implement the law.

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