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'729' Barcode of Israel?


Alerts regarding identifying Israeli products by their barcode have been circulated over the internet, one example is shown below:


Boycott '729' Barcode

Most of the products have a barcode to identify them. Each barcode contains a lot of information such as the factory and also the country where it is produced.

The following system is not necessarly waterproof but will certainly allow you to screen a lot of products coming from Israël.

You can retrieve the list of these countries and the according numbers on the internet.

 Some examples :

 383 EAN Slovenija

 471 EAN Taiwan

 Notice that these one have NOTHING to do with Israël.

A barcode starting with "729" indicates that this product is produced in Israël

 729 Israeli Bar Code Association - EAN Israel

Don't buy them if you want to protest against the current agression!!

Sometimes brands are misleading, a barcode never lies if it carries that 729 !!!


Others have added more targets to the barcode boycott list:

The American ones start with 00 till 13. 


But upon investigating the barcodes of know Israeli goods people found the barcodes weren't always correct:

The Israeli bar code story is not so simple. I purchased several food items from Israel to investigate which could be from the occupied territories. The Achdut Tahini from Industrial Zone Barkan (Occupied Territories) starts out: 7 219.... Pri-Vayerek Olives from  Industrial Zone Har Tov starts: 7 922... (Barbet (Jam) imported from Israel by Supreme Foods of Concord Ont.: 6 507...)

I notice that foods from Sweden start out with either a 7 or an 8, so there is no consistant labeling for some countries. As a matter of fact, I notice that the first number is not consistantly the same on goods from any particular country; foods from Canada usually start with a 6, but not always.

There must be a better way to tell...


Then someone investigated what EAN (the barcode number) actually mean. From the EAN international FAQ:

Does the EAN number indicate the country of origin of a product?

No, the numbering of a product with EAN numbers does not imply any significance. An EAN number simply starts with the prefix of the member organisation that has allocated a bank of numbers to a company. This does not mean that the product was manufactured in a specific country or by a specific manufacturer.


So where does this leave us?

We recommend you read all the labels and not rely on the barcode as it clearly does not indicate the country of origin although it might be accurate on many occasions.