BURLINGTON, Vt., April 23 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today congratulated the Vermont Legislature for passing a bill making Vermont the first state in the nation to require labels on food containing genetically-modified ingredients.
“I am very proud our small state stood up to Monsanto and other multi-national food conglomerates and is taking the lead in a movement to allow the people of our country to know what is in the food that they eat,” Sanders said. “Working with Vermonters, I will continue my efforts in Washington to pass national legislation on this important issue.”
In Montpelier, Vt., Gov. Peter Shumlin said he will sign the bill making Vermont the first state to require labels on genetically-modified foods. Connecticut and Maine have passed GMO labeling laws, but they won’t take effect unless other states pass similar laws.
In Washington, D.C., Sanders earlier this year proposed an amendment to the farm bill to let states require labels on food or beverages made with genetically-modified ingredients. The amendment was defeated but Sanders said he would continue to press for federal action on food labels.
His proposal would have required the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to report to Congress within two years on the percentage of food and beverages in the United States that contain genetically engineered ingredients.
Sixty-four countries around the world already require the labeling of genetically modified foods, including all of the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, labels must list more than 3,000 ingredients but the Food and Drug Administration has resisted labels for genetically altered foods.