I mentioned the Good Guide iPhone app in a podcast with Maria Surma Manka a while back. It's a database of consumer products and corresponding ratings based on health and nutrition value, impact on the environment, and commitment to social causes or priorities. Until recently, the shortcoming of the app was its usability - you had to work your way through categories and brands etc to find the product you wanted, and if you're at the market it becomes a time suck.
Now they've added a barcode scanning feature so you don't have to work your way through their lists to get the info you want right away. Nice time saver. So I tried it out on a box of cereal.
And I learned immediately that the company that made the cereal has "violated the Clean Water Act."
And then I realized it's just a matter of time before I'm going to learn if a company discriminates against gay people, or is a union buster, or has a CEO that denies climate change, or has a political action committee that gives only to Republicans, or has a slew of OSHA violations, or doesn't pay any taxes, or has another product that's being recalled - ALL AT THE POINT OF SALE.
This means that a company will have nothing more than the time it takes to reach for the next product on the shelf to present its side of the story and restore its reputation. And if it hasn't built up its relationship with a customer ahead of time, and inoculated its reputation against this kind of "breaking" information, it's about to go the way of the dodo.