Originally posted by StoutBroux
reply to post by Rocker2013
Does the app identify only a company name, not necessarily the parent company? Koch Industries is mostly oil, minerals and such technologies. In
fact I can't find much of anything an average consumer would use, with the exception of Georgia Pacific products which are mainly TP and other paper
products. What name is going to show up on your smart phone when a bag of Green Giant corn from the grocery is scanned? Or maybe a bag of potato
chips, will it say Frito Lay or Monsanto? Considering Frito Lay and Green Gian are both Monsanto owned, how specific is the app?
Since you have used the app, can you explain exactly what I would see?
No problem... The database details who owns what brand, so it's not just the brand you scan, it traces ownership all the way back to the largest
Let me explain it more in-depth...
You start up the app, and you can pick causes to follow. For example, you can click on Avoid Koch Industries, and you'll get a page detailing why you
might want to boycott them. You then select this and add it to your list. There are all kinds of campaigns there, from avoiding factory farming to
avoiding companies that use sweat shops.
Then, when you're out shopping, you open the app and select SCAN from the bottom and you get a little camera window to put over the bar code of the
product and it scans it. If the item has never been scanned before it'll come up with what it thinks it is (using bar code database information as
far as it can) and ask you to confirm what it is so it can be added to the database for others using the app too - this is genius, because it means
the database is publicly built and always growing!
If it's in the database already then it'll tell you if there's a reason not to buy it. You get a red bar at the top saying "You're avoiding this
company" and then it says why you are avoiding it and what they are linked to that you have selected to avoid. At the bottom of that you can select
"Family Tree" and you get a detailed tree of where that brand or company is, and who owns it... it's interesting to see how many companies one
brand is owned by.
For instance, I scanned a box of Maltesers (Mars) and it gives me a warning that they spent $376,650 to No on prop 37 - they lobby to stop me from
knowing that there is GM ingredients in their products. When I click "Family Tree", I can see that Mars Chocolate UK owns another 11 companies, with
40 products between them. That's just one of their companies, there are another 18 companies which all own other companies and lots of other products
beneath them, all of this is owned by Mars Inc.
In total, Mars Inc operates 95 companies beneath it, and it sells 1587 products through its brands and companies around the world, and if you scan any
of them (food product or not) it'll tell you that you're boycotting them for their position on honest labelling.
This shows more powerfully how important and effective this app could be at really changing companies and corporate business. These brands and
companies beneath Mars funnel money to the main brand, the one that makes all the major decisions. So if thousands of people are all boycotting all
those items now, across the range, because they know a product is owned by a brand that's owned by a company that's owned by Mars Inc... then that
multiplies the damage done to that corporation.
Corporations have before relied on peoples ignorance of their brands and corporate ownership. Did you know that one box of Maltesers is in a chain of
companies like that? Mars sells everything from chocolate to chewing gum to cat food to soap, and they have relied on the fact that you wouldn't know
they make soap and cat food if you ever found out about them trying to stop honest labelling.
Just as their design allows them to funnel profits up and become more and more powerful, we can now use crowd power to use that design against them to
target boycott damage
There are a couple of things that go against this app though... 1. you have to create a basic account. But really, this isn't so different to you
joining twitter or a forum. Paranoid people don't like it, but I don't think it's that much of a big deal. 2. The time it takes to scan and give a
result is about 6 seconds for me, but it could be 1 second if it recorded your items on the phone. I think a future development would be to retain
commonly scanned items on the downloaded app to make the result immediate on more items.
But, apart from those two things, I love it, and I think everyone should have it. I just don't know what I'll do when I discover that every brand of
coffee has become evil and there's nothing left to choose from - start drinking only tea I guess! lol