A January 18, 2012, Mobiledia article has highlighted the increasingly sophisticated technology used to trace food back to its source, exploring how QR codes and other tracking devices can help consumers, retailers and regulators follow products from farm to fork. According to Mobiledia contributor Janet Maragioglio, systems like IBM’s InfoSphere label products with unique bar codes “at each stage of production and distribution” to identify “farms, slaughterhouses, shipping containers, trucks, grocery stores and other stops along the food supply chain.” As Maragioglio reports, InfoSphere can even tag specific animals so that consumers with smart phones could “theoretically, find out which specific cow their milk came from or which pig provided their bacon.”

Meanwhile, the capabilities of these systems have drawn attention from government agencies interested in accessing information about the entire market. “Federal regulators are imposing increasingly strict requirements on food suppliers, and may soon need them to adopt traceability systems like the ones IBM has developed,” concludes Maragioglio, who notes that IBM has already partnered with “a few government regulators around the world to further adoption of its food traceability technology.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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