A new Annenberg Science Knowledge (ASK) survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) says that 4 in 10 consumers will likely use a QR code when shopping for food. The survey also found that Americans UNDERestimate the amount of genetically modified food they presently eat. See the APPC article here.
Weigh in below in the comments section. Do you presently use QR codes? Will you tend to use them more in the future (now that the labeling law has passed)?
Soylent, a meal replacement drink, is turning the tables on the labeling controversy. The word soylent is a conglomeration of the words ‘soy’ and ‘lentil’. The company proudly uses GMO ingredients, and although only available over the internet is taking a totally different stance on the labeling issue. While the rest of the world is running consumer-scared for the hills trying to skirt the labeling issue by removing GMOs from their products, Soylent is embracing the labeling requirement. Their product is designed to simply ‘feed people’ in an efficient manner. The product itself is not very tasty, but is designed to give nutrients in proper ratios. The focus here is to feed people efficiently, which is also the impetus behind the GMO movement (which is something the non-GMO camp has lost sight of). With a growing population, this is a worthy goal. Unfortunately, with Soylent’s less-than-marketable taste and it’s odd name (see the movie, Soylent Green), it’s hardly the poster child for GMOs.
Well, the President has signed it and it is finally law. The USDA has two years to write the rules that govern labeling. This law preempts the Vermont law that went into effect in July. Some are calling this the ‘Dark Labeling’ law due to the fact that it will allow producers to use a QR code instead of a plain English label. See this story about what the QR code might come to represent.
Addison Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org), in a piece for the Daily Iowan reports that Jen Angerer, the marketing manager for Iowas City’s New Pioneer Co-op is “disappointed” that the recent compromise labeling bill contains provisions for the use of QR codes. Angerer believes this may not be a positive thing for producers who wish to get around printing their ingredients in plain sight. The use of a QR code, according to her, will likely become the defacto symbol for “GMOs included”. Thus, someone without a smart phone (or the time to scan all those products), could simply avoid any product with a QR code on it, assuming it contains GMOs. Of course, all this hoopla is happening in the shadow of the fact that there is nothing factual to back up the fears that GMOs may be harmful. Read the original article here.
GMO-free Florida says they got 85,000 signatures in 13 days on a petition asking the President to veto the new labeling law that recently was passed by Congress. The problem, they say, is that a significant percentage (21%) of Americans do not own smart phones and have never used a QR code (or even know what one is). They would rather see a plain text label. Uncertainty about GMOs has consumers in some areas flocking to producers who pledge to provide GMO-free products. See the story by reporter Amanda Skrzypchak.