Hershey official confident in SmartLabel technology

An example of Hershey's SmartLabel

An example of Hershey’s SmartLabel

An official of The Hershey Company is confident that consumers will embrace the industry’s new SmartLabel technology on food products.

Anti-GMO activists have argued that GMO disclosure statements need to printed on the labels of food products. They say a large segment of consumers either don’t have access to smartphones or won’t take the time to scan labels for the GMO information.

But Deborah Arcoleo, director of product transparency with Hershey, says their research shows consumers will use the SmartLabel technology.

“We did some research on probability of use, and for the general population the top two boxes—“extremely likely to use” and “very strongly likely to use”—were 72 percent,” Arcoleo says, “and that was consistent across age groups, racial groupings, households with and without children. So it was a pretty general number, that 72 percent.”

The Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that within five years, more than 80 percent of the food, beverage, pet care, personal care and household products that consumers buy will be using SmartLabel technology.

The option of providing biotech information via an electronic label was an important element in convincing food and agriculture groups to support the GMO labeling bill.

Arcoleo spoke at the recent annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in Lincoln, Nebraska.

AUDIO: Interview with Deborah Arcoleo

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