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‘SmartLabels’ not good enough for GMO critics

| | December 4, 2015

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

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Proponents of mandatory GMO labeling do not see SmartLabels as a solution. Scott Faber, executive director of Just Label It, believes the QR-code based information is not sufficient to give consumers the information his organization believes they need. . . “There’s no wording to tell you to scan this for GMO information, and the information will not be easily available to consumers without a smartphone.” According to the Pew Research Center, about one-third of Americans don’t have a smartphone, and that group is older, less educated, and less affluent than those who do.

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Faber’s most serious problem with the initiative is that “this is not a proposal about giving consumers information. This is about providing cover to preempt mandatory labeling,” an issue being debated at both the federal and state level.

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Greg Jaffe, director of biotechnology for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says that mandatory on-the-box labeling should be reserved for “really important information, most critical for consumers, such as allergens, or food safety, or nutrition.”

Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity, an industry group advocating for transparency, agrees: “I appreciate that some want GMO information on the box,” he says, “but there are people just as passionate about workers’ rights, animal care, environmental impact. There isn’t enough real estate on any label to address every concern a consumer might have.”

Read full, original post: Food Giants Announce Major New Labeling Initiative

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