Don’t be quick to believe ‘informative’ e-mail | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

A friend forwarded an e-mail that claimed bar codes would tell consumers where a product was manufactured. The e-mail was supposed to help people find out the origin of products, particularly food, that they buy to help them decide if they would feel safe consuming those items.


It apparently started circulating after all those stories about tainted food products from China came out.


The e-mail alleged that the first three digits of the bar code would tell you which country produced a certain food item. It then offered a list of numbers and the countries they represented.


It went on to complain that, while consumers had the right to know, the government and other agencies “never educate the public, therefore we have to rescue ourselves.” It said countries whose products were suspect hid behind the bar codes so the public would not know the real origin of those items.


I am always skeptical of forwarded e-mail messages that offer some very “critical” information all of us should know or that warn us about some very scary possibilities. So I forwarded the e-mail to the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection to see if there was any truth to the e-mail’s claims.


I got a reply from GS1PH- Technical Helpdesk, which said the information in the e-mail “is misleading.” There was some very technical stuff in the response, but the agency’s main message was: “GS1 prefixes do not provide identification of country of origin for a given product.”


Moreover, it pointed out that, even if we could identify the country where a product was manufactured, we would have no idea where the ingredients came from. There is no arguing with that. We only have to look at our local products to know that this is true. Locally made shoes and slippers, for instance, use imported materials.


The helpdesk said what was important was the adoption of a traceability solution, which GS1 had already set up—the GS1 Traceability Standard and Product Recall Standard “to help provide a traceability process to comply with all quality and regulatory requirements.”


Cat@lyst deadline


Young Filipinos who may have project ideas on how to address current social issues may want to join Cat@lyst, a Tattoo-branded initiative implemented by Globe Bridging Communities, the corporate social responsibility arm of Globe Telecom, with Global Shapers Manila Hub, which is part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community.


Deadline for submission of entry is May 31. Five winners will be chosen, each of whom will receive cash grants of P200,000 to be used for program development, mentorship and information-communication technology support.


Winners will be announced in June.


Milk for baby’s skin


Tupperware has launched Baby Care Plus+ Milk, a new line of skincare products for babies with milk as a main ingredient. The products make the most of milk’s nourishing and moisturizing benefits to give a baby’s sensitive skin the gentle care and protection it needs. The product line includes liquid bath and bar soap and lotion.


Tupperware products are available only through authorized dealers. If you want to find out who are the dealers nearest your location, call the hotline 8672222. You may also call the number if you want to be a dealer; or visit www.tupperwarebrands.

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Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail

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