A Vermont Senator attempted to pass an amendment that would require food labels to note that the contents had been genetically modified.
Labeling of genetically modified food has surfaced as a debate topic in the past few years and even made it onto state ballots, such as in California, during the 2012 election. However, the initiative is still largely unpopular across the states as most farmers grow genetically modified crops and most Americans care more about low food prices than the contents of the food they are purchasing.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont introduced the amendment as part of a farm bill aimed at providing more support for farmers of crops such as corn and soybeans. The bill was voted down 71-27.
States such as Vermont and Connecticut are leading the charge in requiring food labels to include if the contents are genetically modified, as both states passed legislation this month to require food companies to do so.
As of now, the Food and Drug Administration does not see a need to require companies to label genetically modified ingredients, claiming that the contents are safe and nearly indistinguishable from non-altered varieties.
Farmers and big agriculture businesses argue that genetic modification is a necessary, first-world development in order to improve crop yields, boost nutrient benefits and protect against insecticides and herbicides. Modification also helps to lower the price of food at grocery stores.
On the other hand, many consumer groups are pushing for food labeling legislation, arguing that they want to know what is in their food when purchasing it at the market.