On Wednesday, March 16, the U.S. Senate stopped the advance of a GMO-labeling bill pushed by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts by a vote of 48 (supporting) to 49 (opposing). Considering 60 votes were needed to advance the bill, the outcome is a resounding defeat of legislation that would prohibit states or the federal government from enacting mandatory GMO labeling.
See how your U.S. State Senator voted on the U.S. Senate Roll Call.
Thank you to all of you who made a call or sent an e-mail in the past couple weeks.
In addition to prohibiting states from creating their own mandatory labeling, the defeated bill would have created a definition of “bio-engineering” – or GMOs – that would not have matched the definition of GMOs in the organic regulations. If a non-GMO label would have been created under this definition, it could have caused serious confusion for consumers about what organic as well as non-GMO mean.
What’s next: We expect Senator Roberts to re-start bill negotiations in the coming months. If and when any GMO-labeling legislation comes back to the U.S. Senate floor is unknown. What is known is the direction and text of the bill offered Wednesday is not what the U.S. Senate or American people want.
For additional information on the vote and GMO debate:
- “Senate Defeats DARK Act in Major Win for Consumers,” Just Label It
- “GOP Senators Fail to Pass Measure Barring GMO-Labling by States,” Washington Post
- “Bill to Stop States Requiring Labling of GMO Foods Fails,” New York Times
Organic Valley / CROPP Cooperative supports food labeling transparency and mandatory federal GMO-labeling.