GMO labeling study finds problems with QR codes

On July 29, 2016, then President Obama signed the National Bioengineered Disclosure Standard, requiring mandatory disclosure of GMO ingredients in food products in the United States, with implementation slated for late summer 2018. In favor of national mandatory labeling of genetically engineered products, the Organic Trade Association has expressed concern whether all consumers would have the technology to use QR codes to readily access this information. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has now released a “Study of Electronic or Digital Link Disclosure,” a third-part evaluation of any challenges that might arise for consumers trying to determine if specific products in the marketplace have been genetically engineered. This report acknowledges that QR codes could pose a problem for some consumers. “Without an educational campaign, the law may result in increased cost to retailers and manufacturers without providing additional benefit for determine this information,” the study report notes, pointing out that “offline alternatives will be necessary for consumers who lack access to a scanning device or broadband.”

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