Posted 9 months ago on May 24, 2013, 12:17 p.m. EST by BradB
from Washington, DC
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Posted: 05/23/2013 11:31 am EDT | Updated: 05/23/2013 4:08 pm EDT
WASHINGTON -- The United States Senate decided again Thursday that it simply does not want to let states tell people whether or not they are eating genetically modified food.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly -- 71 to 27 -- against an amendment to the sweeping farm bill, squashing a measure that would not have required labeling of genetically modified organisms, but merely would have let states decide if they wanted to require such labeling.
"The concept we're talking about today is a fairly commonsense and non-radical idea," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the sponsor of the amendment, said shortly before the vote. "All over the world, in the European Union, in many other countries around the world, dozens and dozens of countries, people are able to look at the food that they are buying and determine through labeling whether or not that product contains genetically modified organisms."
Sanders has noted that more than 3,000 ingredients are required to be labeled, but genetically modified ingredients are not part of that list. His state and Connecticut have passed laws to require such labeling, but Sanders said local leaders fear that large biotech corporations such as Monsanto could sue the states on the grounds that they are preempting federal authority. He said his bill would make clear that states can do what they want on the issue.
But Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the chair of the Agriculture Committee, argued that the measure "is not germane to the farm bill" in the first place. She also said the labels run counter to science and the public interest in healthy food.
"This particular amendment would interfere with the FDA's science-based process to determine what food labeling is necessary for consumers," Stabenow said.