On Thursday, the Senate rejected an amendment to the 2013 U.S. Farm Bill that would allow states to require genetically modified foods to be labeled as such on their packaging.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont began Thursday's vote with the amendment, which ultimately failed 71-27. Senators from states that produce an abundance of genetically modified crops opposed the amendment in fear that the labels would scare off consumers and raise the cost of packaging.

Genetically modified foods are plants and animals that have been genetically engineered using foreign genes to produce certain desired traits. Farmers and breeders often employ genetic engineering to produce the most nutritious, tasty foods possible. However, others see the creation of these foods as unnatural and potentially harmful.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require labels for genetically modified foods because most enhancements to the crops and meats are done to make the food safer and more nutritious. According to The Guardian, many genetically modified foods are so safe that they can't be significantly distinguished from nonengineered foods.

In a statement last month, the FDA acknowledged the concerns of some organic food companies and consumer groups in a brief statement:

"FDA supports voluntary labeling for food derived from genetic engineering. Currently, food manufacturers may indicate through voluntary labeling whether foods have or have not been developed through genetic engineering provided that such labeling is truthful and not misleading.

FDA's role is to ensure that foods under its purview meet applicable safety, labeling, and other regulatory requirements. Foods derived from genetically engineered plants must meet the same requirements, including safety requirements, as other foods, such as foods derived from traditionally bred plants. "

Sen. Sanders said that he maintains his commitment to implementing labeling laws for genetically modified foods. "The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what's in the food they eat," said Sanders.