Attempt To Overturn Vermont's GMO Labeling Law Falls Short In U.S. Senate

Mar 16, 2016

The U.S. Senate has rejected an effort to overturn Vermont's GMO food labeling law, but the fight over this issue might not be over.

At the center of this debate is a bill sponsored by Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts that would prevent individual states from passing their own mandatory GMO food labeling laws.

Vermont passed such a law in 2014 and several national food companies are currently challenging it in court.

Backers of the Roberts bill needed 60 votes to bring the legislation to the Senate floor for full debate - they got 48.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says it's critical to support Vermont's law.

"It's not only a states' rights issue but I think the American people ought to know what's in their food," Leahy says. "We're not banning food in Vermont. All we're saying is if you're going to buy food know what's in it."

Gov. Peter Shumlin says he's pleased by the Senate vote.

"That's a great sign for Vermont and we should work together to make sure that they're not back at this again next week," said Shumlin.

"We're not banning food in Vermont. All we're saying is if you're going to buy food know what's in it." — Sen. Patrick Leahy

The Senate bill is modeled after legislation that has already passed the House. That's one of the reasons why supporters of the Roberts bill are expected to continue their efforts to bring this issue to the full Senate in the coming months.