Ohio battle over UPC codes
Universal Product Code erases stamped prices "Most food buyers are unaware that, sooner or later, stamped prices will be taken off almost all supermarket packages unless action action is taken by the present legislature," Clinton Clinton L. Warne, Consumers League of Ohio president, president, said. The Universal Product Code, the vertical black lines now on many packages, would make prices on individual items unnecessary at the computerized checkout register, Warne said. Instead, prices would appear on shelf labels. "Ignorance is not bliss if the consumer finds there is no way to check the shelf label price against the price actually charged," he said. "There are several ways that fraud or deception deception can take place by manipulating the computer prices and not changing the shelf labels up or down at the same time." Warne said that since such changes could be made without consumer detection, supermarket supermarket managers would be tempted to use them wherf prices come off. Legislation pending In the Ohio Senate would require that individual packages be marked with the price, except for small items. However, the Ohio Retail Merchants Association Association has proposed an amendment, Warne said, that would gut the bill. As a result, the bill is stalled in senate subcommittee, subcommittee, and may not be ready in time for a floor vote this session. The house has already passed the measure, he said, which is considered considered by consumer groups to be of major importance importance to food shoppers. Among supporting organizations are the Ohio Council of Churches, the Catholic Conference Conference of Ohio Social Concerns, the Ohio Consumers Consumers Association, the Office of Consumer Affairs of Cleveland, the Urban League of Cleveland and Women Speak Out For Peace and Justice. Similar legislation has been passed so far in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and California.