WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted against legislation that would prevent states from setting clear rules regarding labeling on food packaging for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The legislation received a 48 to 49 vote, failing to gain the required 60 votes to advance. Senator Heinrich supports requiring a federal labeling GMO standard so consumers can make informed decisions about the food they purchase and feed their families.
"Like parents across New Mexico, knowing what's in the food I buy for my family is important to me. Which is why I think it's important that products sold in grocery stores be clearly labeled if they are genetically modified. I voted against the legislation today because it would have prevented transparency," said Sen. Heinrich. "Providing transparency to consumers will ensure they are able to make informed decisions about the food they purchase. We need a uniform federal GMO labeling standard."
Senator Martin Heinrich is cosponsoring S.2621, the Biotechnology Food Labeling Uniformity Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to ensure that consumers can find GMO ingredient labeling on food packaging, while ensuring that food producers are not subject to confusing or conflicting labeling requirements in different locations.
The Biotechnology Food Labeling and Uniformity Act would allow American consumers to see whether a food has been prepared with GM ingredients, while offering food manufacturers several options for including this information on or near the ingredients list. This framework meets the needs of consumers, the vast majority of whom support labeling according to polls, and producers, who worry that a patchwork of state labeling laws would be costly and difficult to comply with and confusing for consumers.