The First 3 Digits On Barcode Labels Represents The Country of Origin-Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A forwarded email that shows how to determine whether a product is from China from by looking at the the Universal Product Code label.
This forwarded email is partially true.
The first digits of a UPC barcode are referred to as a company prefix. It’s used to identify product manufacturers, and their country of origin. Companies that are based in China are assigned a three-digit company prefix between 690-699.
But there’s a catch.
The company pre-fix doesn’t identify a product’s country of origin. It identifies the origin of the company that made the product. That means if you buy a product with a U.S. company prefix (1-19, 30-39 or 60-139), there’s a chance that the product was manufactured outside the U.S., and possibly in China.
A non-profit group called GS1 manages the UPC system that is used by retailers, manufacturers and suppliers around the world. Companies that want a barcode that can be scanned anywhere in the world have to apply to become a GS1 member. The next step is for a company prefix to be assigned so that every product can be traced back to its manufacturer.