William K. Hallman
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard of 2016 mandates the disclosure of Genetically Modified (GM) ingredients in food products in the US by including text, a symbol, or a digital link such as a Quick Response (QR) code on product labels. Many food manufacturers will use QR codes that connect to a website, because they enable provision of detailed contextual information about GM ingredients. However, critics argue that this approach is inadequate because many consumers will be unable/unwilling to use QR codes to access information. Using a telephone survey of US adults (N=1,011), this study finds that consumers likely to use QR codes to check for GM ingredients are: those who already use UPC or QR codes, consider GM Organisms to be risky, approve of the mandatory labeling law, and are less likely to buy products with GM ingredients. The study concludes by discussing implications for implementation of the policy.
Key words: Consumer intentions, genetically modified organisms (GMO), mandatory GM labeling policy, QR codes for GM labeling, responses to food labeling.