The U.S. Senate on Wednesday rejected a controversial bill that would have made labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products voluntary. The bill needed 60 votes to pass and only received 44. Opponents of the bill have referred to it as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act and warned that it would favor corporations over consumers, who widely support labeling GMOs.
“Today, the Senate did the right thing,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “People want to know if the food they buy contains GMO ingredients. It’s time for Congress to create a mandatory on-package labeling requirement so people can decide for themselves whether they want to eat a food that has been produced using genetic engineering.”
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, said the vote was a “major victory for the food movement and America’s right to know.”
“It also is an important victory for Democracy over the attempt of corporate interests to keep Americans in the dark about the foods they buy and feed their families,” Kimbrell said.
Had the legislation passed, it would have preempted states from enacting their own GMO labeling requirements. Vermont is poised to put just such a law into effect in July.
Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont, said he was “pleased that Congress stood up to the demands of Monsanto and other multi-national food industry corporations and rejected this outrageous bill. Today’s vote was a victory for the American people over corporate interests.”
”All over this country, people are becoming more conscious about the food they eat and the food they serve their kids. When parents go to the store and purchase food for their children, they have a right to know what they are feeding them. GMO labeling exists in 64 other countries. There is no reason it can’t exist here,” Sanders said.