Daines: Vermont Law is an Attack on the Heart of Montana’s Way of Life

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today spoke out in support Montana’s hardworking farmers and ranchers against Vermont’s law that could impact Montana jobs and the price families’ pay at the grocery store.

Tonight, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan compromise with a vote of 63-30 to protect Montana farmers and ranchers.

Click here to download Daines’ remarks.

Click here to watch Daines’ remarks. 

“Make no mistake, this Vermont law is an attack on the heart of Montana’s way of life,” Daines stated. “It’s an attack on Montana farm and ranch operations, and I won’t stand for it. I will stand up for Montana and continue to fight to ensure that Montana’s agricultural products are not unfairly and arbitrarily discriminated against.” 

Key provisions of the bipartisan bill include:

  • Pre-emption: immediately prohibits states or other entities from mandating labels of food or seed that is genetically engineered and interfering with interstate commerce.
  • National Uniform Standard: the U.S. Department of Agriculture establishes through rulemaking a uniform national disclosure standard for human food that is or may be bioengineered.
  • Disclosure: requires mandatory disclosure with several options, including text on package, a symbol, or a link to a website (QR code or similar technology); small food manufacturers will be allowed to use websites or telephone numbers to satisfy disclosure requirements; very small manufacturers and restaurants are exempted.
  • Meat: foods where meat, poultry, and egg products are the main ingredients are exempted. The legislation prohibits the Secretary of Agriculture from considering any food product derived from an animal to be bioengineered solely because the animal may have eaten bioengineered feed.   

Daines’ vote is supported by the Montana Grain Growers Association, Southern Montana Sugar Beet Growers, Montana Retail Association, Dr. Hikmet Budak, Plant Sciences Endowed Chair, Montana State University, Montana Farm Bureau and the Montana Beverage Association