A proposal to force food producers to label genetically modified or engineered products cleared a significant hurdle in the Vermont Statehouse Friday.
The House Committee on Agriculture and Forest Products voted in favor of passage 8-3.
Experts estimate about 80 percent of processed foods contain at least one genetically engineered ingredient.
Earlier this year, Vt. Attorney General Bill Sorrell cautioned lawmakers that should such a bill pass, the state faces substantial legal challenges. But proponents say the issue is too important to ignore.
"We heard from many, many constituents and many Vermonters who really wanted to have the right to know what was in their food," said Rep. Carolyn Partridge, D-Windham.
Committee Chairwoman Partridge says the bill will not make it out of the House before the crossover deadline. She says she will ask for an exemption if the bill wins approval on the House floor.