03.16.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate’s Procedural Vote Against The Bill To Nullify Vermont’s GE Labeling Law

“Today the Senate rejected a hasty and short-sighted effort to roll back Vermont’s GE labeling law.  This was a hard-fought victory for Vermont, on our state’s right to honor Vermonters’ right to know what’s in the food they buy.  Our defense of Vermont’s law has been fought with skill and determination in the courts, under the leadership of Governor Shumlin and others, and in the Congress. 

“Consumers everywhere simply have the right to know.  We are not asking manufacturers to change their production processes.  We are simply asking them to tell consumers what is in the products that go on store shelves.  Vermont has led the way in this debate, as our state has in so many important national issues.  This is a significant and hard-fought victory for Vermont, but this fight is not yet over.  I hope that now we can all come together to find a path forward to a strong mandatory disclosure policy that can be applied across the board and across the nation.  Vermont has done pioneering work on behalf of consumers, and Vermont’s law is a good place to start that national debate.”

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[In Wednesday’s cloture vote on the bill, advocates of the Senate bill fell 12 votes short of achieving cloture to proceed to the bill, in a vote of 48 to 49.  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has led Vermont’s efforts in the Senate to protect Vermont’s GE labeling law.  Leahy, a leading member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, is the ‘father’ of the highly successful national organic foods standards and labeling law.]

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