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Other companies are weighing their options. Herr Foods Inc., a midsize snack food company based in Philadelphia, is considering pulling its products from Vermont if the law takes effect, said Daryl Thomas, senior vice-president for sales and marketing. "Just the logistics, the expense are horrendous," he said. "You'd have to duplicate that if any state went along with its own regulations and then multiple it again, again, and again times however many other states chose to have their own requirements," he said. In addition, he said, ensuring the differently labeled products are sorted and distributed correctly would be difficult and costly, he said. The food industry argues those costs will be passed to the consumer, and some independent Vermont retailers are worried how it could affect their bottom line. "As a retailer, there's all sorts of ways that this could backfire on us as a state, and a small independent guy like myself if I've got nothing on my shelves or I've got limited (supply) and my competitors have no problem with the staying power, we're done," said Ray Bouffard, owner of Georgia Market in Georgia, Vermont. The Food and Drug Administration says GMOs, which can include food made from seeds that were engineered in laboratories to have certain traits, are safe, but labeling advocates say not enough research has been done and they have a right to know what's in their food. They also say the use of GMOs has led to big increases in herbicide use. A 2014 Associated Press-GfK poll found that 66 per cent of Americans supported labeling of genetically modified food. Leaders of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee said they are committed to finding a compromise. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, chairman of committee, has already put forth a compromise that "will ensure consumer access to biotech information and affordable food while protecting farmers and manufacturers," spokeswoman Sarah Little said Friday. The top Democrat on the committee, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, said that while several of her proposals have not been accepted, she still believes "we need and can achieve a policy that creates a uniform national system of disclosure ... in a way that has common sense and works for everybody," she said.
"Just the logistics, the expense are horrendous."
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