FDA To Consider Approval of Laser Labeling For Produce

Posted on June 15, 2012

If you’ve been to the grocery store to buy produce, you’ve no doubt come across the stickers that are placed on each item to designate what kind of fruit it is.  But if a new report is any indication, those stickers could soon become a thing of the past.

The Food and Drug Administration has apparently reviewed the process known as laser labeling, and their initial outlook appears to be favorable.  Initially, some worried that laser labeling would put fruits in danger of being contaminated by salmonella.  After a study conducted by a horticulture sciences professor looked at the potential for this contamination in oranges, though, it was discovered that orange peels etched with lasers did not test positive for the dangerous organism.

Laser labeling would potentially be used as a cost-efficient alternative to the practice of sticking labels on produce items.  The system allows producers to etch numbers, letters, and even logos directly onto the fruit itself, making the need for a sticker simply nonexistent.  A laser etch is also permanent, unlike stickers.  The technology was invented by a scientist with Florida University.

The FDA has now opened the matter up to potential comments from the general public as well as other experts.  People will have 30 days to voice their opinion, after which the FDA will make a final decision on whether or not laser labeling will be allowed.

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