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Senator Roberts’ Statement on Biotech Labeling Cloture Vote

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today released the following statement regarding the Senate’s failure to invoke cloture on the Biotechnology Labeling Solutions Bill:

“For more than a year, I have called on my colleagues across the aisle to come to the negotiating table to address the problems facing the nation’s marketplace should states continue to mandate confusing and differing biotechnology labeling standards.

“I have repeatedly put forward proposals to protect farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. I have been flexible and have compromised in order to address concerns about making information available to consumers.

“Simply put, if we are to have a solution, opponents of our bill must be willing to do the same.

“And yet opponents of this approach would not put forward a proposal for a vote. Why is that? Will their proposals pass the Senate or better yet, the House? In short, where is their solution?

“Without their own solution, opponents of this bill must favor the status quo. We cannot stand on the sidelines and risk increasing costs for consumers and further uncertainty in the marketplace for farmers and manufacturers.

“If we do not act, everyone loses. I have acted to provide a responsible, enforceable, scientific and proactive approach to arm consumers with the information they want to make informed choices about what to put on the dinner table.

“But most important, I respect the work of our farmers and ranchers that produce the food and fiber to feed a troubled and hungry world.

“Farmers, manufacturers and consumers should ask their Senator if they can say the same.

“My approach to labeling acknowledges what many American consumers forget: our food is abundant, affordable and safe. We must continue our reliance on science and technology to ensure our continued prosperity.

“I remain at the ready to work on a solution to a critical problem that will face every American every day.”

The Senate failed to invoke cloture on the bill with a vote of 48-49.