US Senate Passes Cloture Vote on GMO Labeling

With a vote of 65 – 32, the United States Senate passed a cloture vote for the GMO Labeling Bill, S. 764. Today’s cloture vote means the Senate could have their final vote on the bill as early as Thursday.

“It is a relief to have the Senate pass a GMO Labeling Bill and come to an agreement on the issue,” said Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) President Theresia Gillie.

Earlier in March, the Senate failed to pass a similar bill in that was authored by Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts, R – Kan.

The bill that passed Wednesday, S. 764, was a bipartisan compromise written by Sen. Roberts and his colleague on the ag committee, ranking member Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D – Mich. S. 764 provides three options for labeling products with GMO ingredients which include on-pack wording, a GMO symbol or word signifying GMOs may be present, and QR codes.

Both Minnesota Senators, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken voted in favor of the cloture vote.

The House previously passed a bill addressing the labeling of GMO ingredients on food packages over a year ago. The bill the Senate is currently considering will have to go back to the House for re-consideration.

Vermont was the first state to pass its own GMO Labeling Bill. On July 1, Vermont’s GMO labeling bill went into effect and there are already noticeable repercussions being seen from a single state label.

“We will need the house to take up action on the bill. The Vermont bill has already been enacted and many products have been removed from the shelves limiting the consumer’s choice and creating confusion,” Gillie said. “We need to get all of our food products back on the shelves to give consumers the choice they deserve and keep the marketplace profitable for every business that works with the products we grow.”