The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has accepted Digimarc Barcode as an approved digital disclosure method for products and packaging containing bioengineered food.
Digimarc Barcode is a new generation of barcode, which can be added to product packaging, retail labels and hangtags, Point-of-Purchase (POP) displays and print material.
It can be easily 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, enabling brands and retailers to meet new federal regulations without addition of a QR code to the package design
The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which was published last month, includes regulations such as provisions for label disclosure of food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They will be effective from 19 February this year.
As per the new standard, the food manufacturers, importers and other entities need to disclose information about bioengineered content in the label foods that go for retail sale.
A mechanism for disclosure stated in the rules is packaging that contains “digital watermark technology that is imperceptible to consumers but can be scanned anywhere on a food package using a smart phone or other device.
Digimarc noted that it worked with USDA to show flexible and scalable approach of digital watermarking technology to handle additional industry initiatives and potential future regulations for product transparency, in addition to meeting the current requirements in the standard.
The approval allows Digimarc Barcode to be linked with SmartLabel mobile consumer app, which provides product transparency content. The app is said to already detect Digimarc Barcode.
According to the company, the manufacturers and private label retailers can now use Digimarc Barcode as a one-source solution to satisfy both their voluntary SmartLabel program participation and mandatory bioengineered disclosures.
Digimarc CEO Bruce Davis said: “Implementation of the bioengineered food disclosure rules using digital watermarking technology is a major step forward for product transparency.
“Intelligent package labeling that incorporates Digimarc Barcode provides consumers with an easy and reliable way to get more product information using their phones. It also provides many additional business benefits for brands and retailers, including supply chain efficiencies and convenient checkout options, all without disrupting packaging aesthetics.”