Looks like the U.S. Congress is discussing GMO labeling. Specifically, a recent bill from Republicans (who in theory prefer state’s rights over federal control) to squash a recent Vermont law that mandated labeling foods that contain GMOs (the so-called “DARK Act”). This didn’t sit well with U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, D–Hawaii.
“As a longtime advocate for consumer choice, I support a mandatory federal label that will allow families in Hawaii and across the country to make more informed decisions about the foods they choose to buy,” said Hirono in a Mar. 16 news release. “I opposed Senator [Pat] Roberts’ proposal because it would override state labeling laws and prevent states from being able to take future action on the issue without requiring a strong federal alternative. I look forward to considering alternative proposals that empower consumers.”
That bill failed, 48-49. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D–Hawaii’s 2nd District, took an even harder line on the bill.
“The Senate’s vote against the DARK Act this week is a victory for American consumers, and a significant roadblock to big food corporations who are opposed to transparency for the American people,” Gabbard said in a Mar. 18 news release. “But make no mistake–this fight is not yet over. Until labeling of our food is mandatory, as it is in 64 other countries around the world, these companies and special interest groups will continue to try and strip away years of progress in food labeling laws made by states across the country in order to keep the American people in the dark. I call upon my colleagues to pass the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, and its companion bill in the Senate (S.511), to give American consumers and families the right to make transparent, informed decisions about their health and safety.”
Photo of Senator Mazie Hirono courtesy U.S. Senate/Wikimedia Commons