What is the Barcode Conspiracy Theory? Explanation, Meaning, Definition

Barcode conspiracy theorists believe that the barcode on food emits dangerous radiation when scanned at the checkout, and that people need to protect themselves from it. According to them, the radiation emitted not only degrades the quality of the food, but is also harmful to humans. According to the barcode theory, harmful vibrations are released during the scanning process, which are transmitted to the human body. With interference suppression, the harmful effect can supposedly be neutralised. The interference suppression is done in the simplest way: According to this, it is sufficient if the barcode is crossed out.

What are barcodes and what is their function?

Barcodes (EAN barcodes) are bars of different widths printed in black on food packaging, which are scanned at retailers‘ checkouts and converted into number combinations by a computer. The sequence of numbers provides information about the characteristics of the scanned product and the price. Our everyday life is hardly imaginable without the black and white barcodes. They are just as common in logistics and production as they are in retail. In recent years, the view has spread, especially in the esoteric scene, that EAN barcodes emit dangerous radiation.

What kind of radiation is meant? Barcode conspiracy theory

According to this theory, the barcode is capable of absorbing negative vibrations from the environment (for example, electrosmog) and transmitting them to humans. It is not defined what kind of vibration this could be. The fact that barcodes are only read optically speaks against this. Just like the human eye, the scanner „sees“ the code, illuminates it with a light-emitting diode (external light source) and processes it into the EAN number, which contains up to 13 digits. This allows the product to be clearly identified. The code is merely printed and has the same meaning as the numbers encoded in it, but can be read by machine. If it had antenna-like properties, this would also apply to the rest of the packaging. Like a house number, however, it is 100% passive.

There is only one type of barcode that can emit radiation: Transponder tags (RFID tags). But the radiation of these labels does not come from the barcode or the printing ink, but from a built-in mini-antenna. This makes it possible to track the path of the product. These labels also do not emit radiation just like that, but only when they are read by a reader. The principle is based on magnetism. The biggest problems with transponder labels, however, do not arise from radiation, but from data protection issues.

How is the barcode deactivated? Barcode conspiracy

An imprint over the barcode should simply neutralise the radiation. But it is also possible to cross out the barcode by hand with a special felt-tip pen. Due to the widespread use of the barcode theory and the high number of customer enquiries, many companies have decided to add a corresponding cross bar to the barcode during the manufacturing process. Many try to cushion complaints received in this way. They do not want to further annoy their customers and possibly lose them. Some also hope to gain a new customer base. Most of these companies are in the bio- or esoteric industry and themselves advocate the barcode theory, which is considered a conspiracy theory.

Another way to neutralise radiation is to place the product on a silver tray specially designed for this purpose. These „suppressors“ come at a price: they can cost up to 1,000 euros.

How credible is the barcode conspiracy theory?

The barcode theory is discussed very controversially. It finds many supporters, but also a large number of opponents. Opponents of the barcode conspiracy theory argue that the light needed to scan at the checkout is completely harmless. It has the same properties as normal, visible light waves. For this reason, the rays cannot penetrate the human body and damage the cells.

So far, there are no scientific studies that would confirm the barcode theory. Everything that is claimed regarding possible damage is based on conjecture. Like many other conspiracy theories, it is also fed by a fascination with mysticism and, in many cases, a lack of technical understanding. Anyone who takes a closer look at how it works will not be able to avoid doubting the barcode theory.

Who invented the barcode? History

The inventor of the barcode we know today is Georg Laurer. In 1973, when a group of supermarket CEOs were looking for a simple way to automatically record product data, they launched a tender. Their goal was to reduce the long queues at the checkouts. Because before the development of the barcode, every cashier:in had to enter the product number into the cash register by hand. Laurer was employed by IBM at the time and also had the task of developing a suitable solution there.

The existing ring-shaped symbol was far too expensive and unsuitable. Laurer created a rectangular, universal product code that was first printed on a chewing gum package in 1974. But it was not until 30 years later that discounters introduced the scanner cash registers we are familiar with today. In the meantime, it is even possible to scan barcodes with a smartphone.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

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