Food Safety: How do we keep our children safe without knowing the country of origin?

Food Safety: How do we keep our children safe without knowing the country of origin?

Here is the problem. This is the label of the powdered coffee whitener at our office. It clearly demonstrates the consumer’s problem in determining the country of origin (COO). And leads one to think our own government is working to maintain the difficulty of consumers determining COO. So if I’m wrong then how about the FDA or someone from the FDA telling me I’m wrong or telling us how to determine COO.

I did search the FDA site for “COO + country + origin + consumer + products + UPC + Code”.

1.      Do I need to specify the country of origin if my product, or the ingredients in my product, is not from the United States?

Yes. Unless excepted by law, the Tariff Act requires that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States conspicuously indicate the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 304)

2.      Who regulates the statement "Made in the U. S. A."?

FDA does not have regulatory authority over such statements. The U.S. Customs Service regulates country of origin marking (i.e., "Made in the U.S.A.") as authorized by the Tariff Act of 1930. Their website is

3.      How do I obtain a UPC bar code?

The UPC bar code may be obtained from the Uniform Code Council. Their website is Click on the button that says "I Need a UPC Bar Code."


Here are labels from Nestle coffee whitener in our office. As you can see there is no way to tell country of origin. If we are supposed to assume that unless indicated it's MADE IN THE USA, that is inadequate and not a safe assumption.

UPC Code for Nestle Coffee Whitener
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