The office of U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today issued the following statement from spokeswoman Rachel MacKnight:
"Senator Mikulski understands the anger over this provision. She didn't put the language in the bill and doesn't support it either.
"It was originally part of the Agriculture Appropriations bill that the House Appropriations Committee reported in June 2012, and it became part of the joint House-Senate agreement completed in the Fall of 2012 before Senator Mikulski became Appropriations Chairwoman.
"That agreement was not reopened when the Agriculture bill and several others were included in the Continuing Appropriations Act to prevent a government shutdown.
"Senator Mikulski has a strong food safety record. She has supported a bill requiring labeling of genetically engineered fish, an amendment to the Farm Bill that allows states to require labeling of edible foods and beverages for sale that contain genetically engineered ingredients, and called for labeling of cloned animals or their progeny.
"As Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski's first responsibility was to prevent a government shutdown. That meant she had to compromise on many of her own priorities to get a bill through the Senate that the House would pass. She will continue to fight for a regular and timely Appropriations process and other valuable priorities, including food safety."