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The U.S. Senate is meeting up March 1st to consider Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts' biotechnology labeling solutions markup.
Farm groups are lining up behind this legislation they think will head off a thread of patchwork GMO labeling laws. That is, laws from multiple states legislating labels.
In July, Vermont will be the first state to impose a mandatory labeling of foods that have GMOs.
Farm groups and senate backers think legislation like that will create market chaos and higher food costs.
On March 3rd, the Senate Ag Committee will then mark up the labeling bill.
Roberts released the draft last week, but it's unsure if there will be enough votes on the Democrats' side. According to the draft, the Senate bill would require USDA to set a voluntary national food labeling standard for genetically engineered foods, preempt state labeling laws on both GMO foods and seed, and require USDA to provide consumers with information on the benefits of biotechnology.
Roberts says he is open to amendments to the bill. He hopes that will stop the labeling law in Vermont from going into effect.