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"Want to know if a Hershey’s chocolate bar contains GMOs or sustainably produced cocoa? Soon there will be a company-supported app for that. As the fight heats up in Congress over whether to prohibit states from requiring food companies to detail genetically modified ingredients and potentially other information about their products on packages, the industry is pushing forward with its own solution. Starting this fall Hershey’s product labels will get a QR code that shoppers can scan to get a detailed list of ingredients and information on the company’s practices and policies. The Pennsylvania-based confectioner looks to be among the first to adopt what is expected to be an industry-wide smart label. About 90 other companies are also involved with the program, which is being coordinated by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and is scheduled to be more widely rolled out by mid-2016. The app won’t only target GMOs, a departure from other independent efforts to flag those ingredients. The industry wants to create a platform that could provide consumers with all the information that interests them, said John Bilbrey, CEO of the Hershey Company and GMA’s chairman...Consumers are concerned with sourcing and chemical use on their food, but what they really want is readily accessible information, Bilbrey said. “The biggest thing with consumers’ changing relationship with food, it’s not about how they eat and all that, it’s really about transparency.” The program is voluntary, but it will pressure companies to be complete in what they disclose."

Posted July 16th, 2015
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