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Maine House Gives Initial OK to Public Vote on GMO Labels

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine House of Representatives has given initial approval to a proposal that would allow residents to vote on whether packages of foods produced from genetically modified organisms should be labeled.

Maine has a GMO labeling law on the books, but it doesn't kick in unless enough other states pass similar laws by 2018. Rep. Michelle Dunphy, an Old Town Democrat, wants voters to decide whether to repeal that trigger provision and mandate labeling now.

The House approved the bill by an 85-59 count on Thursday. The measure now faces more scrutiny in the House and Senate.

Vermont is the first state to require GMO labeling, effective July 1. The food industry wants Congress to block labeling.

Scientific consensus says GMO food products on the market are safe to eat.