President Obama has finally signed a bill into law concerning the labeling of foods that contain genetically-modified ingredients. The law will require the packages of foods containing GMOs to be marked in one of three ways: information in the package’s text, a universal logo that has yet to be designed, or a QR code or 1-800 number where customers can go for more information.
Though it is a step in the right direction, this new law will not do much to inform the public, according to its critics. Big food companies that don’t want to admit to using GMOs, so they will obviously go with the third choice. Critics believe that they will then print the QR codes in such a way that they are too small or just look like a printing glitch, so customer’s will not scan them. Because QR codes require smart phones and an app to read, this option will also mean only the richest and most immediately concerned customers will scan them for the additional information. Older or poorer customers without access to a smart phone will have no idea that the product they are buying contains GMOs.
This law will override Vermont’s recent law, to which food companies were actually ready to comply, though begrudgingly. The state’s laws allowed packages to contain phone numbers or QR codes as a source of additional information, but still required the phrase “Produced with genetic engineering” as well.