The U.S. Senate has blocked a bill that would have set a national voluntary GMO labeling standard. A cloture vote on the bill, submitted by Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), needed 60 votes to pass but came up short 48-49.
AgDay has the story.
Some industry groups, including the National Corn Growers Association, were in favor of the bill.
"U.S. corn farmers are disappointed that, despite the clear demonstration of support from nearly 800 groups, the Senate failed to move this reasonable legislation forward,” according to NCGA president Chip Bowling. “This legislation would have provided consumers with a greater amount of information in a consistent, clear manner.”
Recent farmer polling, however, suggests that most farmers are not in favor of GMO labeling requirements. More than 1,600 farmers responded to a March 16 Farm Journal Pulse poll – of them, only 19% are in favor of labeling food with GMO ingredients as such. Another 65% are against it, and 16% remain unsure. Those results are almost identical to a similar 2013 Pulse poll.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told AgriTalk that the bill was intended to provide consistency from state to state.
“The vote today was disappointing for people who understand that one of the purposes of the constitution was to ensure that interstate commerce worked,” he says. “And for interstate commerce to work, you can’t have every state have the potential to decide that they’re going to have a different labeling system and different penalties if something comes into their state that violates their unique labeling system.”
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