After years of heated debate, Congress has finally passed a bill requiring mandatory labeling for foods that contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), which President Obama is expected to sign into law. The bill gives manufacturers several labeling options to disclose GMO ingredients: They can add text, a symbol (not yet determined), or a digital link (such as a QR code) to packaging, reports the New York Times. While the bill ensures GMO information is available, obtaining it may require a few extra steps (and a smartphone). For instance, manufacturers that use QR codes are only required to include text on the packaging which reads, “Scan here for more food information”—consumers will then need to scan the QR code to access the information. Further, small food packages with limited label room have the option to just display a website URL or phone number, which consumers can then use to find out about GMO information.
On the flip side, the bill will make spotting non-GMO, organic products even easier—organic food companies will be allowed to label their products as simply “non-GMO.” Expect to see the label changes in the near future—some retailers and manufacturers have announced that they will implement them within one to two years.
Source: New York Times