There's a new bill floating around the Senate that would erase state laws to label GMOs passed in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine, and replace them with complicated computer QR codes or 800 numbers consumers would have to access instead of simple on-package labeling.
But QR code labeling is really no labeling at all – it’s discriminatory, incredibly burdensome, and even a threat to our privacy.
Only 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone. That means that more than a third of all Americans will not be able to use this form of labeling. Moreover, those left out are disproportionately low income and those living in non-urban areas. According to Pew Research Center, only 50% of low income people in the U.S. own a smartphone; only 52% of people living in rural areas own a smartphone; and only 27% of seniors own a smartphone. Even those who do own smartphones are not guaranteed consistent access to the internet. At the end of the day, a substantial majority of Americans would be deprived of their right to know if GE labeling were done through QR codes.
Knowing about the foods you purchase should be the right of everyone, not a luxury available only to those who can afford particular technologies and the capabilities to use them.