Consumers need reform and they need it now so we can determine what products come from China and other parts of the world that sell contaminated foods.

Here is the current problem. Look at the coding systems in place for product identification. Just like user manuals coming in different languages, here is different identification coding systems being used.

What is the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) or the Global Location Number (GLN) or the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) or the Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) or the Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI) or the Global Service Relation Number (GSRN) or the Global Document Type Identifier (GDTI)? Confused? You should be confused, and I have to wonder if this isn’t part of the reason for using numbers to identify products, instead of using the English language.  If manufacturers and shippers need numeric codes then why not also include English descriptions of the country of origin?

And there is the Universal Product Code (UPC) or the UCC-12 and then the EAN/UCC-13 codes (The EAN-UCC-13 codes use 13 numbers.) and the consumer is terribly confused on how to tell a product’s country of origin.

We need to reform the coding of products to make the country of origin easily read and understood by the consumer.  The global language of business isn’t necessarily conducive to transparency for humans – and it’s humans that need to understand.  The GLN or Global Location Number isn’t the Kings English.

Consumers cannot protect our families and our country’s manufacturing industries without knowing a products country of origin. Go to the store and see if you can tell from what country a product originated and was manufactured?  You may be surprised at what you find.  I’ll have more on that tomorrow.

Identifying country of origin for drugs and foods are the most critical. In this blog I’m dealing only with food products. Food products are the toughest. The older I get the more it appears the most obvious problem is the reason for the problem or the answer to the motivation that created the problem. In this case the most obvious problem is the consumer can’t determine the country of origin. That is the motivation, at least in part, for this coding system. If consumers can’t tell the country of origin they are unable to select products based on country of origin. Is this the intention of the Republic of China Free Trade Agreements?

In the end the bar-coding system may as well be written in Chinese.

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