Geneticallly modified food

Document Type



In July 2016, the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law was passed to establish a mandatory national system for disclosing the presence of genetically-engineered material in food (GMOs). The federal law preempts state and local initiatives to create labeling systems. This essay first analyzes the benefits and drawbacks of having a national GMO law rather than a patchwork of state laws. Then it provides commentary on how the USDA can create an effective and accessible labeling system, using scannable Quick Response (QR) codes.. The essay envisions a retail food system in which all consumers can easily and usefully obtain reliable information about GMO content and potentially other food characteristics.