Vilsack said smartphones might offer an eventual solution by allowing consumers who wanted extensive information, such as on GM content, to gain access to it by scanning a barcode in a supermarket.
Vilsack said the European Union should also rethink its current bans on chlorine-washed chicken and beef from cattle raised with growth hormones.
Only last month German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out imports of the former. But Vilsack said the chlorine treatment was a safe way of reducing pathogens.
He added that a deal struck with the EU to allow in a quota of hormone-free U.S. beef to settle a dispute at the World Trade Organisation was not a permanent solution.
"We are still going to have to have some conversation about the beef question," he said.