With the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard going into effect in the near future, discussion has been heating up on how to implement the labeling of genetic engineered foods on various products. This new set of rules will shake up the industry and have brands and retailers looking to tech solutions to help them comply with this regulation. QR codes have been considered an early solution to convey the needed information, but companies such as Digimarc have alternatives in mind.
The Digimarc Barcode has been adopted by the USDA as an approved digital disclosure method for products and packaging containing bioengineered food, which are often referred to as “GMOs” outside of scientific circles. The company basically replicates the product’s own barcode across the package in a way that’s not seen by consumers but is picked up by scanning devices — sort of like a watermark with information about the food product then available to consumers.
Watch this video for more on how it works:
The regulations for bioengineered labeling technically go into effect on Feb. 19, 2019, but the implementation date of the standard is Jan. 1, 2020, for most manufacturers. Small food manufacturers have until Jan. 1, 2021, to implement it.
Digimarc worked closely with the USDA to demonstrate how digital watermarking technology provides a flexible and scalable approach to handling not only the current requirements in the Standard, but also additional industry initiatives and potential future regulations fostering product transparency.
Digimarc said in a statement, “Digimarc Barcode is a new generation of barcode that can be added to product packaging, retail labels and hangtags, Point-of-Purchase (POP) displays and print material. It is reliably and efficiently scanned by enabled consumer phones, associate mobile devices, retail barcode scanners and computer vision systems. Digimarc Barcode for packaging is visually imperceptible to consumers in ordinary conditions, giving brands and retailers an effective means to satisfy the new federal regulations without having to add a QR code to the package design.”