Industry groups pleased with Senate cloture vote on GMO labeling

Industry associations applauded the U.S. Senate for invoking cloture on a national GMO labeling measure Wednesday. The 65-32 vote allows for the Senate to vote on final passage.

“FMI commends the Senate’s action, which clears the procedural path for an important vote on final passage of the bipartisan Roberts-Stabenow legislation on genetically modified food labeling later this week. We commend those 65 senators voting in favor of moving this time-sensitive matter another step closer to final passage,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute, in a statement.

The bill would nullify state-based GMO labeling mandates such as the one that took effect in Vermont on July 1. But time is of the essence for its supporters who are mindful of the House’s July recess.

“Today’s strong bipartisan Senate vote is a key step towards passage of this vitally important legislation to protect consumers, farmers and businesses from the harmful effects of Vermont’s GMO labeling law,” said Pam Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, in a statement. “But the work isn’t done yet. The Senate needs to pass the bill this week so that it can be voted on by the House before the July recess at the end of next week.

“Vermont’s mandatory on-package GMO labeling law took effect on July 1 and consumers and small businesses in the state are already facing fewer products on the shelves and higher costs of compliance on small businesses.”

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The National Grocers Association, which advocates a national GMO labeling standard, was also pleased with Wednesday’s vote.

“NGA applauds those senators who voted in favor of advancing a national, uniform food labeling standard for foods containing genetically engineered ingredients,” said National Grocers Association president and CEO Peter Larkin in a statement. “Operating under a patchwork of state labeling laws will lead to unprecedented logistical problems for food distributors, which in turn will drive up costs for consumers and create onerous red tape for supermarket operators.”

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