Proposition 37, a failed 2012 ballot measure, would’ve required labeling of packaged food products containing genetically modified ingredients.
As Prop. 37 supporters work on a revised ballot measure for 2014, there’s a new tool for tech-savvy consumers: the Buycott app. Users can scan barcodes to find out which corporation owns the brand.
Most of the information on corporate structure has been input by users, according to L.A.-based app builder Ivan Pardo. “There was a good deal of data before the app began to get some buzz, but users have proven to be very willing to contribute data,” he writes by email.
Buycott users can create their own campaigns, from Second Amendment supporters to LGBT supporters.
Demand GMO Labeling was the most popular May 21, with 35,831 members and counting. Scanning barcodes shows users which food companies donated $150,000 or more to fighting Prop. 37. Say No to Monsanto was fifth, with 17,012 members.
After receiving national attention in Forbes and other media outlets, Buycott was flooded with users; Pardo hopes to switch hosts and work out bugs this week.
“This is a larger part of a consumer information revolution,” says Jason Scorse, environmental policy chair at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. “There’s strong evidence that it does affect corporate behavior.”