The first major agriculture organizations to react to the Senate’s failure to pass Sen. Pat Roberts’ uniform, national food labeling standard on Wednesday were disappointed and upset.

Senate Bill 2609, also known as the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act by supporters and the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK, Act by opponents, would have created a national voluntary labeling law for foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. A procedural vote on Wednesday failed to reach the 60 votes needed to advance the bill in the Senate. The law was considered crucial to be passed before Vermont’s GMO labeling law takes effect July 1. Vermont would be the first state to require foods containing GMOs to be labeled.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, issued a scathing response to the failure of the measure.

“It is inexcusable that today’s Senate vote on a voluntary federal GMO labeling bill that preempts a damaging patchwork of state measures fell short. While we appreciate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduling this floor vote today, we will continue our fight for this vital piece of legislation, along with Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and others, to secure a law that supports consumers, America’s farmers and ranchers and our nation’s system of affordable, productive agriculture.

“To say we are angry with those senators who abandoned farmers and ranchers and turned their backs on rural America on this vote is an understatement. Their votes opposing this measure ignored science, threw our nation’s food system into disarray and undermined the public’s understanding of the many benefits of biotechnology in feeding a growing and hungry population. We remain hopeful they will have a chance at redemption by correcting this situation that will otherwise lead to increased food costs for consumers and stifle agricultural innovation, which remains a strength of our nation. We must not let anyone forget that rural America and our farmers and ranchers do matter.”

National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling was disappointed in the vote.

"U.S. corn farmers are disappointed that, despite the clear demonstration of support from nearly 800 groups, the Senate failed to move this reasonable legislation forward,” said. Bowling. “This legislation would have provided consumers with a greater amount of information in a consistent, clear manner. Farmers are committed to creating greater transparency in the food system, but we also need Congress to set clear, commonsense guidelines that are based in science and keep food affordable for American families.

"We still see the possibility for a bipartisan agreement on this in the near future, and will continue working with Chairman Roberts and Senator Stabenow to realize this possibility.

 "The impending implementation of a patchwork of state labeling legislation will soon harm both the American families who grow food and those who buy it. Given the overwhelming scientific evidence of the safety of this technology and the vital role it will play in meeting the growing need to feed a growing global population, on-pack labeling that would create confusion and stigmatize biotechnology serves only a small activist population at the expense of consumers.

 "We urge the Senate to stand with farmers and consumers, not political activists. We must continue working to solve this critical issue."

Even House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) issued a statement, saying that senators failed the American public by not passing this bill.

"The House Agriculture Committee has been working for months to promote bipartisan solutions to the problems confronting American agriculture. We have listened to our constituents, engaged in deliberate public debate, and proceeded doing the jobs we were elected to do.

"My good friend Pat Roberts along with many members of his Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry have been true leaders. They have attempted countless times to do the work of the Senate but have been hampered at every step by an uncompromising and inflexible group of minority party Senators.

"Make no mistake, it's not Republicans these Senators have opposed, it's the American farmer and rancher. Enough is enough. Americans are tired of viewing a broken system that refuses compromise at the behest of extreme views be it on the left or the right. These Senators have refused to move from their position calling for a mandatory warning label for products of biotechnology. They have chosen to side with activists who have publicly acknowledged their objective is to stigmatize a safe and valuable tool for America’s farmers and ranchers.

"There are many marketing techniques available to provide consumers with information about the products they choose to purchase. Biotechnology is not an issue of safety. Therefore, government mandated warning labels having nothing to do with product safety and serve no purpose other than to disparage one product over another. These Senators cannot continue to say that they are advocates for America’s farmers and ranchers when they consistently oppose those who provide the food we eat and the clothes on our backs.

"Today, no thanks to this small group, the Senate defeated a motion to conclude debate on legislation to establish a standard for marketing products of agricultural biotechnology. Due to these actions, interstate commerce will be severely threatened; small, family-owned food companies face penalties that include a $1,000 per day, per product fine should their products intentionally or unintentionally cross into Vermont’s borders; America's farmers will lose access to vital technologies; and our ability to continue to provide the world’s safest, most abundant and affordable food supply will be threatened.

"Today does not need to be a bad day for American Agriculture. I call on the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Ranking Member to fulfill her responsibility by standing up for America’s farmers and ranchers. This issue cannot be resolved so long as it is viewed as a zero-sum game.”