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Consumer group attacks vote by Senate panel on food labels

SHARE Consumer group attacks vote by Senate panel on food labels

WASHINGTON — A consumer advocacy group said legislation the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously approved Thursday would help the food industry pressure the federal government to void state laws that protect consumers.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest said consumers would suffer under the Senate bill, which would prevent states from requiring food safety warnings or labels that are at odds with federal standards.

Food manufacturers and farmers worry that mandatory labels on products could scare away buyers. For instance, some consumer groups want labels on products that contain gene-altered ingredients, something food makers say would be costly, if not impossible.