Would You Scan A QR Code At The Supermarket To Read More About Food?

Last, the president signed into law a fast-tracked piece of legislation that both overturned existing state laws about labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients and established a vague timeline for eventually putting this information on barcodes that customers can scan with their phones. The question is: Will anyone actually do this?

Opinions are divided on whether or not people will actually bust out their phones, find the relevant QR code — some food packaging already includes these codes for purposes having nothing to do with GMO labeling — then scan the code, wait for the linked page to load, read the information on the linked page, then decide to put it in their cart or place it back on the shelf.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR) was one of the few members of the Senate given the chance to address the labeling law, and he was clearly on the side that contends that QR codes are not an efficient way of communicating to consumers.

“Package after package in America already have barcodes,” said Merkley. “This is not a label; it’s an obstacle course.”

Meanwhile, a Senior VP at the Food Marketing Institute — an organization whose logo includes a barcode — tells the Wall Street Journal that such concerns are a “red herring.” Yet FMI’s own research shows that only 20% of American shoppers are currently scanning the QR codes that are available.

We’re not going to get a real measure on this issue by looking at the two ends of the spectrum, so instead we’re asking Consumerist readers to chime in:

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