The labeling issue appears to be coming to a head in Congress. Earlier this month, a Senate bill that would establish a "national voluntary standard" for GMO labeling was voted out of the Agriculture Committee. Sponsored by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., the bill would pre-empt state laws, such as Vermont's. It has widespread support from the food industry.

Roberts has framed the debate as an economic issue, not a matter of safety, and noted the regulatory oversight already in place from three federal agencies: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.

Opponents of Roberts' bill have dubbed it -- and a similar bill that passed the House last summer -- as the Denying Americans the Right to Know or DARK Act. Many of them support an opposing bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., which would establish a national standard for mandatory labeling.

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