Lindsay Mitchell

Feb 16, 2016  |  Today's News

Last week, the Grocery Manufacturers Association sent a letter laying out the many consumer-friendly benefits of the SmartLabel™ initiative – a program that will provide consumers with more information about the products they buy than ever before.

IL Corn is in favor of science-based labeling that preempts state-by-state labeling laws and help consumers understand their food without causing the fear that one sort of food is better or worse than another.

The SmartLabel™ proposal doesn’t replace the package label but complements it.  The label will include a QR code, easily accessible from a smartphone, as well as other options to connect with your food through a 1-800 number, a website and more.  The label’s links will provide information about allergens and environmental factors, as well as sustainability.

Early estimates indicate that within five years, more than 80 percent of the food, beverage, pet care, personal care and household products that consumers buy will be using SmartLabel™.

Opponents of GMO foods aren’t necessarily proponents of the SmartLabel™, however.  According to a petition circulating right now on social media, “These so-called “smart labels” will make it more difficult – or impossible – for many people to find if GMO ingredients are in their foods. That’s because most Americans won’t take the time to scan a label, don’t know what a QR code is, or don’t have the required technology to access the labels in the first place.”

Although the label does indeed provide options (like the 1-800 number) for those without smartphones or for those that don’t know what a QR code is (and if consumers aren’t willing to scan a code to find out information, perhaps they aren’t concerned anyway), this “anti” group is calling Congress and farmers and pro-science activists need to do the same.

Visit the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food if you would like to contact your Congressman and Senators on this issue.