The Wall Street Journal: New GMO labels could be too high tech for consumers

If nutrition labels require a smartphone app to unlock, will consumers read them?

That is the debate dividing healthy-food advocates and some food manufacturers that intend to use so-called QR codes in part to comply with new federal label requirements.

The law, signed last week by President Barack Obama, obliges food companies to flag genetically modified ingredients with plain writing, an icon developed by regulators, or digitally readable symbols known as a QR code.

Short for quick-response code, the digital symbols provide product information to smartphone users who scan them with a dedicated app. That cumbersome process has drawn criticism from healthy food advocates who want ingredients derived from biotech crops flagged as explicitly as possible.

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