Koch Blocker: App Lets Consumers Boycott Koch, Monsanto Products
A new "Buycott" application allows consumers to boycott all products tied--even indirectly--to companies like Monsanto or the Koch Brothers.
According to Forbes, Ivan Pardo, a 26-year-old based in Los Angeles, is the main person behind the app, which can be downloaded on the iPhone or Android.
Consumers can "scan the barcode on any product and the free app will trace its ownership all the way to its top corporate parent company, including conglomerates like Koch Industries." The app also allows users to "join user-created campaigns to boycott business practices that violate your principles rather than single companies."
Yet, Pardo insists there was no political agenda behind the app.
“I don’t want to push any single point of view with the app,” Pardo said. “For me, it was critical to allow users to create campaigns because I don’t think it’s Buycott’s role to tell people what to buy. We simply want to provide a platform that empowers consumers to make well-informed purchasing decisions.”
A keynote speaker at last year's Netroots Nation gathering pitched a similar app. According to Forbes, Darcy Burner "figured the average supermarket shopper had no idea that buying Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups meant contributing cash to Koch Industries through its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific" or "purchasing a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet meant indirectly handing the Kochs your money."
Forbes concedes, though, that the application may make it impossible for some "socially conscious" consumers to even purchase basic items--like cereal--at the grocery store.