Sen. Brian Schatz plans to vote against a bill that would ban states from requiring labels on genetically engineered food.

House Bill 1599 is up for a vote in the U.S. Senate Wednesday. The measure would create a voluntary federal labeling program while preempting states from passing their own laws mandating labels for genetically modified organisms.

The measure was introduced by Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas and is backed by food and agricultural industry leaders including Monsanto.

Vermont passed a mandatory GMO labeling law in 2014 that is supposed to go into effect July 1. Similar bills were introduced in the Hawaii Legislature this year and last but didn’t gain much traction.

A spokesman for Sen. Mazie Hirono didn’t respond to a Civil Beat inquiry regarding her position on the bill.

Both Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Congressman Mark Takai voted against the proposal last year.

About the Author