the code to bar them all

Many countries’ regulations on food production are a far cry from Australian and there is a loophole when importing that companies milk for all they’re worth.

Code (semiotics), device to carry information in a verbal and/or nonverbal form

Code (cryptography), device for hiding the meaning of a message

Simply put: A barcode is no guarantee that a packaged product is actually Australian grown.

GS1 system was established by industry for industry and is industry-governed – Harks of conflict of interest and should ring loud alarm bells.  Basically, any company can buy a series of barcodes from any country they wish to sell to.

On top of that, the list of barcode numbers is categorised by country, however, a product only has to be 51% “produced” here for it to be able to get the label “Made in Australia”.  Most international companies (read, ‘with off-shore shareholders‘) hide the fact of where the actual product/contents of a pack originated by having it washed, cut, and otherwise processed then packed (eg. in materials made in Oz) in Australia so that most of the cost (51% +) is incurred in Australia, hence they are allowed to call it “Made in Australia”.

Fresh food is the best you can do for your health in any case.  Produce with skin that is peeled off is OK if not organic.  Otherwise, organic is the best – studies show up to 40% more nutritional value – just watch the small text (if it is processed) for sugar, salt and fat content, which can all be organic as well after all.

Dick Smith has some great articles on this and related issues at his website. For updates and more info join/Like the Dick Smith Foods FaceBook page.

Also, you might be interested in this article on barcodes at the ‘Brisbane Local Food’ website.

This from Wikipedia ‘Barcode‘ entry:

“The global public launch of the barcode was greeted with minor skepticism from conspiracy theorists, who considered barcodes to be an intrusive surveillance technology, and from some Christians who thought the codes hid the number 666, representing the number of the beast. Television host Phil Donahue described barcodes as a “corporate plot against consumers”.

How far from truth were they?…

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