06 January, 2009

UPC Codes Won't Protect You From The Scary Chinese.

So I checked my email inbox this morning and found this little gem:

BAR CODES - country of origin info - Important

Why are we buying MADE IN CHINA when the USA produces (or used to produce) the best and the most food in the world? Is everything we have being OUTSOURCED With 'Melamine' and 'Rat Poison' laced foods flooding the market...... You need to read this article... and print out the list and carry it with you when you shop. China is not putting "Made in China" on it's labels anymore as sales drop for that product, but you can still know where a product comes from by reading the barcodes. The whole world is scared of China-made 'black hearted goods'.
Can you differentiate which one is made in the USA , Philippines , Taiwan or China ?
Let me tell you how... The first 3 digits of the barcode is the country code wherein the product was made. Example: all barcodes that begin with the numbers 690, 691, 692, 693, 694 and 695 mean the products are MADE IN MAINLAND CHINA .
This is our human right to know, but the government and related department never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves.

00 ~ 13 === USA & CANADA
30 ~ 37 === FRANCE
40 ~ 44 === GERMANY
471 ====== Taiwan
480 ====== The Philippines
49 ======= JAPAN
50 ======= UK
57 ======= Denmark
628------------Saudi Arabia
629 ====== United Arab Emirates
64 ======= Finland
690----695 = Made in China
740 ~ 745 = Central America
76 ====== Switzerland and Liechtenstein
What the hell is wrong with the dumbasses that send this kind of shit around? Are there people so damn stupid that they would believe a claim like "China is not putting MADE IN CHINA on its labels any more"? And what the hell are "black hearted goods"?

Allow me to debunk this email with a dose of fact:
  1. Country codes are used at the beginning of the European Article Number standard EAN-13, which is used in Europe and not the USA.
  2. Those country codes don't necessarily have any relationship to where the goods were produced anyway. They indicate only which numbering organization has assigned the codes to products by a specific company. So, if a Chinese company is selling wholesome red-white-and-blue-American-grown wheat, the package gets a Chinese code. The numbering system was devised to allow all EAN member organizations to assign codes without having to worry about duplicates.
  3. US bar codes are based on the Universal Product Code type A (UPC-A) system, which doesn't include country codes at all.
  4. All products sold in the US are required to have the country of origin indicated on the packaging. There are no exceptions to this rule.
I'm not saying China hasn't got some quality-control issues right now. They are in the midst of their very own Industrial Revolution - one that is causing upheaval in many different markets across the economic spectrum - and their growing pains are being felt around the world. But anyone who rushes to condemn evil Chinese black hearted goods and puff up with moral superiority about the USA and our BEST AND MOST FOOD, is best advised to pick up a copy of Sinclair's The Jungle, do a little reading, and shut their stinking piehole. China is eventually going to get past this rough spot in their economic development, just like the US did a hundred years ago, and the Bald Eagle would be a lot better off with the Dragon as a trading partner and not a rival.


Snopes.com page - Determining Product Origins by Bar Code
Google Books result for Upton Sinclair's The Jungle


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