The Vermont Senate voted on Wednesday to require labels on food containing genetically-modified ingredients. “I am very proud that Vermont is taking the lead in a growing national movement to allow the people of our country to know what is in the food they eat. GMO labeling exists in dozens of countries around the world and should exist in the United States,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “I will continue my efforts in Washington – against Monsanto and other multi-national food industry corporations – to pass national legislation on this issue. In the meantime, it is extremely important that Vermont and other states lead the way,” Sanders said.
In Vermont, the Senate vote puts the state on course to become the first to require labels on genetically-modified foods. The House passed a similar bill last year. Elsewhere in New England, 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 lost, 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.