‘QR code’ to label GMO foods?

QR code

QR code

by Catherine Haug, Dec 14, 2015; updated Jan 15, 2016 (image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Can you translate the sample QR code image (right)? More importantly, do you want a QR code as the only type of  GMO label on GMO-containing foods?

Or do you want the product label to state clearly in English: “Contains Genetically Engineered (GMO) Ingredients”?

Jan 16, 2016 update: According to Oregon’s ‘GMO Right to Know’ (7), the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Monsanto, et. al. just funded and launched a huge TV ad campaign “aimed at tricking consumers and politicians into supporting ‘smart labels’ [QR codes] — intentionally confusing labels that can only be read with a smart phone — and outlawing state and local GMO labeling laws.” This is in addition to the huge amount of money they are already spending to lobby congress to support hiding GMO ingredients in foods.  Both are in defiance of Campbell’s recent announcement that they will label all of their foods that contain GMO ingredients (see my Jan 14 posting: A win in the GMO battle: Campbell’s will voluntarily label GMOs.

Dec 16, 2015 update: Great news! According to today’s GMO-Free USA newsletter, the Dark Act (HR 1599) failed in the Senate. We can say goodbye to QR-code labeling; we can still fight for states’ rights to label GMOs, and Vermont’s mandatory labeling will go into effect on Jan 1, 2016.

QR Codes

The QR code requires a smartphone to read; the clear statement only requires your eyes. See my earlier post: What is glaringly missing on FDA’s new food label?

An April 2015 PEW Research study (1), found that only 27% of Americans 65 and older own a smartphone. But Big Food, Big Ag and Big Chem, including Monsanto, want only the QR code to label GMO foods, precisely because consumers cannot read them without using a smartphone.

They say they oppose clear labels because that would be too costly. Yet they already do all the record keeping, etc. required for clear labels on US foods exported to all of Europe and most of Asia. See Just Label It (2) for a world map and a complete list of all countries that mandate labeling of GMO foods..

If you have an opinion on this, contact your senators to make your voice heard. Time is running out; the US House has already passed the DARK act (HR 1599),* and the Senate will soon vote on it. Among other things, this act would (3)

  • Invalidate GMO labeling already mandated in several states and keep other states from passing such laws;
  • Eliminate FDA’s ability to craft a national GMO labeling system;
  • Defy the 90% of Americans who support labeling of GMO/GE foods.

For more detail about this bill, see the following, courtesy of JustLabelIt.org:

NOTE about the name of the act: ‘DARK’ is the acronym for its nickname,”Deny Americans the Right to Know.” It’s exact title is “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015,” which disguises its true intent.

For more about GMO foods, see my earlier posts:


  1. Pew Research study: pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/chapter-one-a-portrait-of-smartphone-ownership
  2. Just Label It map: justlabelit.org/right-to-know-center/labeling-around-the-world
  3. Just Label It on the DARK act” justlabelit.org/dark-act
  4. Just Label It: DARK Act Fact Sheet (4bgr3aepis44c9bxt1ulxsyq.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/JLI-GMO-Fact-Sheet.pdf)
  5. Just Label It: HR 1599 Bill Language (4bgr3aepis44c9bxt1ulxsyq.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/HR-1599-Bill-Language.pdf)
  6. Just Label It: HR 1599 Summary (4bgr3aepis44c9bxt1ulxsyq.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/HR-1599-Summary.pdf)
  7. Oregon Right to Know: oregonrighttoknow.org

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