The U.S. Senate on Wednesday failed to move forward a bill that would have set voluntary standards for labeling foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which would also have barred states from setting their own rules.
The procedural vote on cloture, to end debate on the bill and move it toward a full vote, failed 48-49. It's by no means dead, but support remains for a competing bill on mandatory labeling, even as a Vermont law on labeling looms with a July 1 effective date.
While Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the agriculture committee, was a key author of the bill, the ranking Democrat on that committee, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), opposed it, favoring a mandatory labeling bill.
It's apparent there will be some back-room wrangling in the coming days to either get more senators on board or to craft a compromise bill.
The House last year passed a similar measure.