A fierce food fight has erupted in Congress over the labeling of genetically engineered foods.

At the center of the conflict is a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas that would block state and local laws from requiring food labels to disclose genetically engineered ingredients.

So far, three states – Vermont, Connecticut and Maine – have passed mandatory labeling laws for genetically modified food. At least fifteen other states are considering similar regulations.

Pompeo’s “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” would nix those laws and instead set up a voluntary nationwide labeling system overseen by the federal government.

The bipartisan bill has become the latest battleground over the use of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in the U.S. food supply. GMOs have been around for 20 years. About 90 percent of the corn, soybeans and cotton grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered, meaning that the crops have been artificially altered to use less water or resist pests.

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