Memo on the Discriminatory Nature of QR Codes and the DARK Act
March 15, 2016
QR codes are inherently discriminatory to the poor, the elderly, the rural and minorities.
- Half of low-income people do NOT have smartphones
- Almost half of rural Americans do NOT own a smartphone[i]
- Only 16% have EVER scanned a QR code and only 3% of those people do it regularly[ii]
- QR codes and 1-800 numbers place an undue burden on shoppers who want to know what is in their food
- Nearly half (48%) of smartphone-dependent Americans have had to cancel or shut off their cell phone service for a period of time because the cost of maintaining that service was a financial hardship[iii]
Minorities represent an overwhelming part of the food movement.[iv]
- CA Prop 37 - the ballot initiative in California to propel labeling of GE foods
- 56% of African Americans voted yes
- 61% of Latinos and Asians voted yes
- Overall support for GE Labeling:
- 79% African Americans
- 74% Latinos
U.S. courts have recognized a fundamental “right-to-know” rooted in the individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and by common law.
- Unlabeled genetically engineered (GE) foods are misleading and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a duty to prevent consumer deception by requiring that certain information be disclosed.
FDA already requires the labeling of nearly 4,000 ingredients, additives, and processes.
- Labels do not depict a “skull and crossbones” as some claim nor are labels only required for foods that have been proven dangerous.
- In the U.S., we do not label dangerous foods; we take them off the market.
[i] U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015: Chapter One: A Portrait of Smartphone Ownership. Aaron Smith. Pew Research Center. April 1, 2015.
[ii] Findings From A National Survey Of Likely 2016 General Election Voters November 2015. Mark Mellman. The Mellman Group, USA. Dec, 2, 2015.
[iii] US Smartphone US in 2015. Pew Research Center. Aaron Smith. April 1, 2015.
[iv] Big Food Discriminates Against the Poor by Pushing QR Codes to Label GMOs. Rebecca Spector. Alternet, USA. Dec. 7. 2015