The study, the release of which was the subject of a now-moot lawsuit from the Center for Food Safety last month, deepens the insight that lawmakers, regulators, manufacturers and retailers have on how consumers use in-store scannable package label technology. And while the 72-page report has a lot of data, the findings — and recommendations to manufacturers and retailers — are largely unsurprising.
The review was supposed to be published in July, but a USDA spokesman told Food Navigator the delay in publication came because it was being internally reviewed.
The main finding — that consumer education is needed to let people know that a QR code or other scannable label is there to provide more information — should be rather unsurprising. While a growing number of products feature QR codes as part of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association’s [GMA] unrelated SmartLabel initiative — more than 14,000, according to a statement from the industry group published Thursday — it has not yet been widely publicized among consumers.
In a statement, the GMA said it “strongly supports consumers having tools and information to make informed decisions about the products they buy and use. A consumer education campaign will be a vital part of the implementation and roll-out of the bioengineering disclosure regulations.”
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