Human or Animal, We ARE what we eat...
We are all becoming label readers and more people are now looking for the "Organic" label on edibles. Is this QR thing a sneaky end-run meant to confuse shoppers?
GMO LABELING BILL AND NEW QR CODE
Vermont was first to require GMO labels in grocery stores, leading to the GMO food labeling bill passed in July 2016 but in 2017 we have the digital QR code…
The confusion over the Genetically Modified Organism bill, i.e. the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, is caused by the lack of clarity over whether it provided the transparency consumers sought. The label doesn’t actually state that food product is non-GMO nor that it is not made with genetically modified ingredients, no, nothing so simple - it is simply embedded with a QR code (Quick Response Code) which is like a two-dimensional bar code. The QR code on the apple or meat sticker was designed to be read by store buyers and packers but newer cell phones can also read it.
Well… except… here’s the loophole with which the consumer is misled.
For a food to be labeled non-genetically modified, IT must not contain genetically modified material or ingredients. The tripwire is that the new QR code leads consumers to believe the food product contains no GMO ingredients. But it does not insure that it wasn’t produced with genetically modified materials or ingredients.
Right, and you wonder why we pay legislators such exorbitant salaries. The simple fact is that some people believe what they see but others see what they want to believe.
For example, you could pay top dollar for a prime steak with a label that says non-GMO when in fact the cow was fed genetically modified grain.
The other labeling problem is that if you don't have a smartphone you will not be able to tell the difference because that is the only way to pick up the new label as a QR code.
Here's where we stumble down the rabbit hole if we don't watch out. More food outlets will be using only the QR code, not so much to deceive shoppers as to make restocking the food quicker and easier. Note I did not say cheaper. If an apple or packaged mac and cheese can be made for less cost, the savings is not always passed on to consumers.
American consumers, along with label-watchers in other countries, have fought to ensure truth in labeling. Over 60 countries have succeeded in requiring food processors to label GMO foodstuffs. But still, U.S. shoppers must be alert to insure giant agricultural producers such as Monsanto don’t slip around the corner on this new GMO labeling bill.
Pet owners need to be especially watchful because even though our animals are shorter-lived, they suffer the same adverse impact from GMO food ingredients. Labels mean nothing to your dog but don’t despair, there are non-GMS pet food products. Most of them will be found in your refrigerator but be sure to check labels carefully.