As state lawmakers have debated the merits of requiring labels on foods with genetically engineered ingredients last week, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has been involved with a similar debate on the federal level.
Early Friday morning, the state House of Representatives passed an amended bill which could require that foods produced with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, be labeled in Connecticut. But the legislation would only kick in if five other states passed similar statutes.
Advocates of GMO labeling were disappointed in the House legislation. They favored a bill approved by the Senate, which only required three other states to pass similar laws. That bill also contained a clause that would have seen Connecticut’s law go into effect in 2016, independent of the actions of other states.
On the federal level, there’s some debate whether states should be permitted to mandate that foods containing GMOs be labeled. Blumenthal was a co-sponsor of a proposed amendment to a farm bill, which would “permit States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient.”
The amendment was rejected by the U.S. Senate on a bipartisan basis Thursday morning in a 71-27 vote.