And we did it thanks to the activism of ANH-USA members and our allies. Did your senators support your right to know?
Last week, the movement to block mandatory labeling at the state level was dealt a decisive blow in the Senate. Sen. Pat Roberts’ voluntary GMO labeling legislation did not pass a cloture vote (a vote to end debate about the bill and advance to the next phase).
The vote on the pro-GMO “Deny Americans’ Right to Know Act” we’ve been telling you about was divided largely along party lines, with Senate Democrats voting in opposition and Republicans voting in favor. We’ll only note the few exceptions: Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Mike Lee (R-UT) joined a majority of Democrats voting in opposition. Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) voted with Republicans in favor of moving the DARK Act forward.
It was an extremely close vote, with 48 voting “yes” to end debate on the bill and move to a floor vote and 49 voting “no.” Had the three presidential hopefuls in the Senate been present to cast votes, the “yes” side might have gained two votes—Sens. Rubio (R-FL) and Cruz (R-TX)—to the “no” side’s one vote (Sen. Sanders (I-VT). More importantly, the bill failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, which will likely forestall other efforts to pass similar legislation in the near future.
With the implementation date of Vermont’s mandatory labeling law nearing, Big Food companies are starting to see the writing on the wall. General Mills announced last Friday that it will begin to label foods that contain GMO ingredients to comply with Vermont’s law. Nestlé has also voiced support for mandatory labeling. We hope more companies will begin to join them as the prospects for a voluntary labeling standard start to vanish.
Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health: