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Donfucius Says: March 29th, 2014. Random Bits Of Wisdom.

  1. “As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it!” — Buddy Hackett
  2. “Nature gave men two ends – one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most.”Donfucius
  3. Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.” — Aaron Rogers Quoting Francis of Assisi
  4. “Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie” until you find a rock.” — Will Rogers
  5. “Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?” –Patti Molloy
  6. “The way we’re going… if I called up another pitcher, he’d just hang up the phone on me.” — Any Brewers Manager
  7. “When someone is impatient and says I haven’t got all day,” I always wonder, “How can that be? How can you not have all day?” — George Carlin
  8. “We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” — Old & Wise Japanese Proverb
  9. “Blessed are the cracked – for they are the ones who let in the light.” — Donfucius
  10. “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” — Will Rogers
  11. “I don’t mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.” — Margaret Thatcher

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Posts Tagged ‘forensic digital code’



Mixing It Up.

March 21st, 2010

Mixing and rotating overt, covert, and forensic technologies can thwart counterfeiters.

By Donald J. Dobert
President and Chief Operating Officer
ATL Security Label Systems

It has been said dozens of times already, there is no silver bullet against counterfeiters and diverters. You’ve got to layer, layer, and layer some more. In the photograph below we have illustrated the different “layers” of a 3D hologram. These invisible layers give the security label three color kinetic movement.

These “layers”, which are not immediately known to the counterfeiters, can be mixed and rotated to protect original products and documents. In the example below a German ID card has hologram layers that reveal a pattern when the card is moved back and forth.

In the photo below, courtesy of Graphic Security Systems Corporation, Lake Worth, FL, you can easily see how (during manufacturing) each “layer” is structured with different anti-counterfeiting properties.

Just what exactly does layering mean? What layer comes first, what layers need constant updates, and what layers stay put? Who decides when and when to layer, when to update the layers, and when do you need to inform FDA?
A “mix and rotate” approach brings multiple technologies together in one package. To “mix and rotate” can be compared to software updates. As computer hackers invent new “bugs,” software companies develop new “anti bugs.” Every time you as a brand owner produce your product, you can “mix and rotate” the following security features:

Tamper-evident breakaway closures.
Invisible, hidden markers.
Anticounterfeiting holograms.
Color-shifting inks.
Tamper-evident unit closure.
Mass-serialization.
Two-dimensional bar codes.
RFID chips.
Void security closures or destructible tapes.

Here is an example. Tamper-evident substrates can employ destructible, paper-based face stock or nonreproducible covert security fibers. Distribution can be limited to approved secure suppliers for a secure chain of custody. Tamper-evident substrates can make label removal impossible without visible damage. Such features effectively deter remarking and help ensure product authenticity. They also provide simple in-field authentication.
In addition, color-shifting inks and other covert features can be public signals of authenticity. Invisible forensic markers alone can be used to detect whether a product has been repackaged or relabeled. Such forensic markers may be used in the varnish on the package as well as customized or serialized codes and holograms.
Combining these technologies, the hologram would be an overt feature, the forensic marker would be a covert one, and the code could be either overt or covert, depending on what you are doing with it. Special codes can be purchased or created that pertain to only one product, which tells the manufacturer where it was made, how it was distributed and on what days. While there are codes that are very obvious and basically list manufacture date and product code, there is a wide range of options in customized codes.
A Ubiquitous Example
Modern U.S. currency has changed many times over the past few years. With the exception of the one-dollar bill, all of these notes are obsolete (see photo below). This is because the U.S. government “mixes and rotates” (M&R) its overt and covert techniques to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters.

Shown below are examples of anti-counterfeiting “layered levels” of the “ever-changing” “face” of U.S. notes. You will notice the different colors when compared to the notes that are now obsolete:


Overt and covert M&R anticounterfeiting measures include fine detail with raised intaglio printing on bills. This allows nonexperts to easily spot forgeries. As a side note, on coins, milled or reeded (marked with parallel grooves) edges are used to show that none of the valuable metal has been scraped off. This detects the shaving or clipping (paring off) of the rim of the coin. However, this does not detect sweating, or shaking coins in a bag and collecting the resulting dust. Since this technique removes a smaller amount, it is primarily used on the most valuable coins, such as gold.
For paper bills, in the late twentieth century, advances in computer and photocopy technology made it possible for people without sophisticated training to easily copy currency. To combat this, national engraving bureaus began to include new (more sophisticated) anticounterfeiting systems such as holograms, multicolored bills, and embedded devices such as strips, microprinting, and inks whose colors change depending on the angle of the light. New technology also includes the use of design features such as the “Eurion Constellation,” which disables modern photocopiers.

Detecting counterfeit bills often isn’t easy to do by eye. One bogus $100 bill believed to have been made in North Korea, for instance, would be nearly impossible for a novice to identify as a fake. It has the security strip on the left side of the bill and a watermark of Ben Franklin (whose portrait is on the bill) on the right-hand side, as well as replicating other security features. However, its paper contains no starch and doesn’t reflect ultraviolet light, which is one sign of a counterfeit.Photo Below. The portrait on a genuine $50 bill (left) compared to a counterfeit. Notice the relative flatness and lack of detail on the fake bill.

Photo Below: The portrait on a genuine $50 bill (left) compared to a counterfeit. Notice the relative flatness and lack of detail on the fake bill.

Photo Below. $50 bill with three security features highlighted. A section of the security thread is visible in the circle near the portrait. The large circle to the right shows the watermark, and below that the color-shifting ink is circled.

There is now a scanner that searches for missing covert features in bogus “Super Dollars.” The device looks at several aspects of the bill to confirm its legitimacy. U.S. paper money is printed with magnetic ink, but that’s also used for many fraudulent bills. On real bills, the ink is distributed in a consistent pattern whose magnetic resonance can be mapped. The magnetic map is stored in the scanner, as well as three other maps containing ultraviolet, infrared, and other measurements taken from legitimate bills. Scanning a bill takes less than one second. If there’s any spike or anomaly in any of the threads of data, the scanner rejects the dollar.

Photo Below. Beginning with Series 2004, $10, $20, and $50 bills received a redesign with several changes to their overall look, notably the addition of more colors (see the picture of the $50 bill above). Probably the most important new security feature is the addition of EURion Constellations, a distinct arrangement of symbols (in this case, numbers) which triggers many color photocopiers to refuse to copy the bill.

SUPER LABELS=SUPER DOLLARS

What I have just described is a “layered” approach in anticounterfeiting. You may not be the government fighting “super dollars,” but then again, you are fighting to protect your brand from counterfeiters. The money a brand owner saves in brand protection and litigation should be considered as “super dollars” to the brand owner. In the process (of saving money), the brand owner will be protecting the public, and he can advertise as such.

PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
Here’s how forensic authentication works in a M&R layered approach:
A unique digital code, “ATL 12-IDGJ”, is set-up for a brand.
A digital code is incorporated into the label through multiple-entry points (inks, varnishes, adhesives).
The digital code is also incorporated into (or linked to) the pedigree documentation.
A scanner will indicate that “ATL 12-IDGJ” is the established digital code, allowing traceability.

Such uniqueness cannot be duplicated because the invisible, nondegradable forensic digital code is virtually impossible for the counterfeiters to duplicate. It only takes a second to authenticate a product anywhere in the world.


Today, FDA does not need to know what type of anticounterfeiting measures you are taking. In fact, to protect themselves, brand owners should limit such details to a certain number of trained individuals who are monitoring what features are being used and for how long.
Most important in the anticounterfeiting arsenal is the brand owner’s mindset. Nothing changes until this does. Counterfeiters have the mindset that they can break the laws, provide fake or diluted products, and they do not care if they place the public in harms way. We (you and I) have to assume the mindset that says to the counterfeit, “No, you can’t copy my products.”

Thank you for your time. Donald J. Dobert, President, ATL.

Recent Counterfeiters And Their Illicit Deeds – Leonardo DiCaprio In “Catch Me If You Can!”

January 24th, 2010

I am amazed when people look at a problem and choose to do nothing. It is very similar to talking about the heavens and stars. Why is it that when you tell a person that there are 400 billion stars in the sky – he will believe you? But tell this same person a bench is wet and he will have to touch it. The same holds true for counterfeiting. Most people know it’s a big problem, yet most people stay in denial, hoping the problem will not affect them (when in reality it already has). To help give you a perspective on the huge scope of the counterfeiting problem, I have chosen to tell you five stories about counterfeiters:

Counterfeiting History – Part 1: Frank William Abagnale Jr worked under 8 identities during the 1960s, including his first as Pan American Airlines Pilot Frank Williams. In 5 years, he passed over $2.5 million in counterfeit checks. This fraud was in 26 countries and all 50 states. He was arrested in France at an Air France ticket counter when an agent recognized his face from a wanted poster. In the movie based on his life, “Catch Me if You Can”, the real Abagnale made a cameo appearance as a French policeman (photo above). Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks were the stars.

Counterfeiting History – Part 2: Anatasios Arnaouti is a criminal from Manchester who led one of the most ambitious forgery operations in history. He and his accomplices were jailed in 2005. The total amount of counterfeit money they printed is unknown as their forgery operation had been in production for several years, and was capable of producing tens of thousands of counterfeit notes each day. The extent of the crime was considered so severe that it could have driven the United States and UK economies into panic.

Counterfeiting History – Part 3: In 2004, French police seized fake 10 euro and 20 euro counterfeit bank notes worth a total of around 1.8 million (pounds) from two laboratories and estimated that 145,000 counterfeit notes had already entered circulation.

Counterfeiting History – Part 4: In 2006, a Pakistani government printing press in the city of Quetta was accused of mass producing huge quantities of counterfeit Indian bank notes. The “Times of India” reported this scandal, based on Central Bureau of Intelligence investigation. The money was allegedly used to fund terrorist activities inside India. It is believed that bombings in Mumbai were funded using this fake currency.

Counterfeiting History – Part 5: Today the (hardest to detect) counterfeit notes are claimed to be US dollar bills produced in North Korea, called “Super Dollars” because of their high quality. The US government believes they have been circulating since the late 1980s and that they serve two purposes: as a source of income and to undermine the US economy. The United States has taken steps to “Mix & Rotate” the production of dollars. For more details, please reference “The President’s Corner” from October 7th, 2008.

How To Fight Back
Detecting counterfeit bills often isn’t easy by eye. A bogus $100 bill (believed to have been made in North Korea), would be nearly impossible for a novice to identify as a fake. The paper it is printed on contains no starch and doesn’t reflect ultraviolet light, which is one sign of a counterfeit. It has the security strip on the left side of the bill and a watermark of Ben Franklin (whose portrait is on the bill) on the right-hand side, as well as replicating other security features.

There is now a scanner that searches for missing covert features in bogus “Super Dollars”. The device looks at several aspects of the bill to confirm its legitimacy. U.S. paper money is printed with magnetic ink, but that’s also used for many fraudulent bills. On real bills the ink is distributed in a consistent pattern whose magnetic resonance can be mapped. The magnetic map is stored in the scanner, as well as three other maps containing ultraviolet, infrared and other measurements taken from legitimate bills. Scanning a bill takes less than one second. If there’s any spike, any anomaly in any of the threads of data, the scanner rejects the dollar.

What I have just described is a “Layered” approach in anti-counterfeiting. You may not be the government fighting “super dollars”, but then again, you are fighting to protect your brand from counterfeiters. The money you save in brand protection and litigation should be considered as “super dollars” to you. In the process (of saving money) you will be protecting the public.

Here How Forensic Authentication Works: (1) A unique digital code, “ATL 12-IDGJ”, is set-up for your brand; (2) Your digital code is incorporated into the label through multiple entry points (Inks, Varnishes, Adhesives) (This is a “mix and rotate” “layered” approach); (4) The digital code is also incorporated into (or linked to) the Pedigree Documentation; (5) If the scanner indicates “ATL 12-IDGJ” then the established digital code allows traceability; (6) This uniqueness cannot be duplicated; (7) Thus it is impossible to counterfeit.

It only takes a second to authenticate your product anywhere in the world (scanner photo above). This is because the invisible, non-degradable forensic digital code is virtually impossible for the counterfeiters to duplicate. This amazing technology is from ID Global, the leader in scientific identification.

Counterfeiters are attacking us on all fronts. Protect yourself and your brand. Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Even a tiny leak can sink a great ship.”

Loss Prevention Via Security Packaging.

December 31st, 2008

Increase in Drug Tampering Reports & Loss Prevention Spark New Security Considerations

Photo Above: Your profits and consumer loyalty can explode and literally “go up in smoke”, just as these defective (fake OEM) batteries did. Take simple steps in loss prevention through security packaging.

Efforts to identify and intercept phony medications are taking on a greater urgency amid increased concerns that tampering and counterfeiting may become an attractive vehicle for organized crime rings and even terrorists. Very few companies treat these events as viable loss prevention opportunities.

The profitability of expensive new drugs used to combat cancer and other diseases along with the growth of Internet and cross-border purchasing has raised the potential for exploitation motivated by greed.
Over the last decade there’s been a huge increase of tampering with or copying high value drugs that were largely injectables; now the trend seems to be more in changing labels-buying low potency materials then affixing high potency labels.

For example, vials of the anti-anemia drug Epogen were discovered with phony lot numbers. After analyzing the contents, the drug’s manufacturer sent letters alerting pharmacists and distributors that the vials each contained 2,000 units of the drug-far less than the 40,000 claimed on the labels.

A month later, manufacturer Ortho Biotech Products issued a warning to health care professionals that counterfeit lot numbers of their anti-anemia drug Procrit had been uncovered in Texas. In the process of the Epogen investigation, the Procrit vials were also found to contain concentrations of the active ingredient 20 times lower than the amount listed on the labels. How does this affect you, the consumer? How does this affect you, the brand owner? Simple: as a consumer, any fake drug can kill you. As a brand owner, lawsuits can cripple your company, and loss of public faith in your product could be devastating.

Photo Above: Security Label. Where is the covert feature? In the ink? In the adhesive? In the varnish? Just on page three? As a brand owner, only you will know, and this can be changed from production run to production run.

Consider the following loss prevention steps.

Secure your packaging against counterfeiting, tampering, fraud and diversion. This requires collaboration with someone who has the expertise and resources to provide a solution that is tailored specifically for your brand. ATL is one of the most respected security solutions providers. We offer a wide variety of technology, and we have the engineering capability to design, manufacture, and implement a security packaging solution that makes sense for you.

Photo Above: Security Labels can be “tracked and traced” all over the world, in a matter of seconds. This is a very valuable attribute for inventory controls and loss prevention.

Our printing, holographic, and overt/ covert layering production experience allows ATL to customize a security solution that can incorporate a combination of security layers such as holography, forensic digital codes, micro text, serialization, bar-coding (including 2D), track and trace, and tamper evident materials. We can combine these techniques to develop an effective security packaging solution that can work in combination with each other, or as a rotated defense (different features with varried production runs).

Photo Above: Jim Stiglich and Jeff Lord (ATL Security Label Specialists) travel the globe educating consumers and brand owners alike in anti-counterfeiting loss prevention.

Many of these solutions add a decorative dimension to your package – adding brand authentication and brand protection to your design. These same solutions reaffirm to your customers that you care about their safety and well being. And here is the kicker….

Loss Prevention. As a brand owner you can solicit your insurance company to reduce your rates. You can prove to them that you have the necessary security features that will aid law enforcement agents in the field. You will also have the evidence in place that will stand up in court. At pennies per unit, isn’t preventing a loss worth your time and effort?

Photo Above: Donald Dobert, President, ATL, speaks at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Cold Chain Conference). The subject was anti-counterfeiting and loss prevention. Other speakers included Phil Viggani (ID Global Corp.), Nathaniel Lipkus (Gilbert’s LLP, Lawyers, Patent & Trademark Agents), and Craig Thurber (United States Department of Homeland Security).

Earl Nightingale said it best: “As Ye Sow, Ye Shall Reap…..”
“We will receive not what we idly wish for but what we justly earn. Our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our service.”

Fight Back & Be A Champion. Philadelphia Won The World Series By Mastering The Basics. You Can Win, Too. Here Are 12 Anti-Counterfeiting (Loss Prevention) Tips:

November 11th, 2008

Defeating the counterfeiters is almost as good as winning the World Series. It’s a matter of your hard work paying off.

ATL’s Twelve (Cold-Chain) Anti-Counterfeiting (Loss Prevention) Tips
- Reprinted By Popular Demand From October 4th, 2008

Recently, in Philadelphia, I spoke to pharmaceutical and bio-technology companies (the makers of life saving vaccines). I recommended a 12 step approach to strengthen their cold-chain (the logistical system of safely delivering their products). My advice to them was that they understand the following:
1. Cold chain system weaknesses;
2. Quality System Management of the cold chain;
3. Risk Management Tools (including FMEA – Failure Modes & Effects Analysis);
4. Cold chain variation (Mean & Standard Deviation);
5. The “68-95-99.7 Rule” (and the law of large numbers);
6. Out of specification “assignable causes”;
7. Packaging and equipment validation (including IQ-OQ-PQ);
8. The risks of measurement error (Repeatability & Reproducibility);
9. Layering of anti-counterfeiting techniques;
10. How counterfeiters attack, their use of bucket shops;
11. M&R (mix and rotate) overt and covert anti-counterfeiting measures;
12. Forensic Codes (invisible, digital, and non-degradable) for “fail-safe” authentication.

Why not contact ATL for a free “honest to goodness, no obligation conversation” about your supply chain? We feel that we have solid experience in anti-counterfeiting. Our main focus is not that you buy something from ATL, rather that you learn from knowledgeable people about the perils of counterfeiting. We consider it our mission to help you protect the public. We would like to consider it your mission to take a leadership role and do the right thing.

Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, said it best:
“Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.”

Donald J. Dobert – President, ATL

The Tainted Baby Formula/ Milk Tragedy – From Wisconsin To China. Is It Zhende (Real) Or Jiade (Fake)? How To Fight Back.

October 17th, 2008
Chinese Child Lies In Hospital - Victim Of Tainted Milk

Chinese Child Lies In Hospital - Victim Of Tainted Milk

A hundred years ago, babies who couldn’t be breast-fed usually didn’t survive. Today, although breast-feeding is still the best nourishment for infants, infant formula is a close enough second that babies not only survive, but thrive. Commercially prepared formulas are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
The safety of commercially prepared formula is also ensured by the agency’s nutrient requirements and by strict quality control procedures that require manufacturers to analyze each batch of formula for required nutrients, to test samples for stability during the shelf life of the product, to code containers to identify the batch, and to make all records available to FDA investigators.
The composition of infant formula is similar to breast milk, but it isn’t a perfect match, because the exact chemical makeup of breast milk is still unknown. Human milk is very complex, and scientists are still trying to unravel and understand what makes it such a good source of nutrition for rapidly growing and developing infants. John C. Wallingford, Ph.D., an infant nutrition specialist with FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, says that “infant formula is increasingly close to breast milk.”
More than half the calories in breast milk come from fat, and the same is true for today’s infant formulas. This may be alarming to many American adults watching their intake of fat and cholesterol, especially when sources of saturated fats, such as coconut oil, are used in formulas. (For adults, high intakes of saturated fats tend to increase blood cholesterol levels more than other fats or oils.) But the low-fat diet recommended for adults doesn’t apply to infants.
“Infants have a very high energy requirement, and they have a restricted volume of food that they can digest,” says Wallingford. “The only way to get the energy density of a food up is to have a high amount of fat.” While greater knowledge about human milk has helped scientists improve infant formula, it has become “increasingly apparent that infant formula can never duplicate human milk. Human milk contains living cells, hormones, active enzymes, immunoglobulins and compounds with unique structures that cannot be replicated in infant formula.”

Illicit Baby Formula In Wisconsin
In 2007 a New Berlin (Wisconsin) grocery wholesaler was under investigation by the FBI on suspicion of buying and selling large quantities of stolen infant formula. Among other things, FBI agents saw approximately 200,000 cans of infant formula, some of which bore indicia (indications) of having been stolen. The FBI indicated that the company regularly received shipments of suspected stolen formula and repackaged the formula before it was sold.
The company “cleaned” the cans by removing store labels and price tags, wiped dust from the cans, repacked the cans into cartons of six, and shrink-wrapped the cartons. One search of trash at the firm’s warehouse (by agents in 2006) revealed that the company had sold more than 17,000 cans of infant formula over an unknown time period. These illicit sales would have generated more than $200,000 in revenue. More about safety risks below (at formula safety).

The China Tragedy. A Blow To Free Society.

Fear Grips Parents Over Tainted Milk & Baby Formula

Fear Grips Parents Over Tainted Milk & Baby Formula

In China, recent deaths related to tainted baby formula should trigger an alarm on more than one front. In the Chinese language, there is one pair of words that you hear constantly: zhende (meaning real, authentic), and jiade (meaning fake, imitated). This pair of words is especially important when shopping, as it depicts the difference in quality between brand name and counterfeit goods. But beyond a difference in quality, zhende and jiade also imply a difference between trust-an unwritten contract-and distrust-the absence of such contract. The deadly, ongoing scandal with tainted baby formula signals an erosion of Chinese trust in supposedly high quality, brand name products-zhende-and a setback to the development of a contract society.

The Chinese economy is growing by double digits. Their citizens hope that this will develop into a “reform and opening” to bring a higher standard of living. Part of this standard of living is symbolized in brand name products. Both small and large cities alike, with the support of officials at all levels, have stores emblazoned with names like Nike and Adidas, among others. Many of these stores and products are jiade (fake). The labels may be inscrutably similar, but the quality will almost assuredly be different. To domestic consumers willing to spend the money on the real deal, however, there is an unspoken contract: we are willing to pay if you are willing to deliver. When it comes to the well being of children, parents are universally willing to pay for zhende (authentic).

The company that is responsible for the tainted baby formula (we will call Comp-X) has essentially become a counterfeit of itself. During months of questions, tests, and reports from both parents and at least one pediatrician, the company continued to sell a product that was not zhende (authentic). Many believe that the Olympics propaganda and journalistic “security” measures stifled coverage of the fake baby formula, the “tainted product”. China is not yet a free and open society, so I believe that China’s period of strict censorship actually provided the company with a real (zhende!) opportunity. It was an opportunity they did not seize.

Hong Kong Police Check Shelves For Counterfeited Baby Formula And Tainted Milk Powder

Hong Kong Police Check Shelves For Counterfeited Baby Formula And Tainted Milk Powder

Above: Logo Of Product Being Removed From Chinese Stores

Above: Logo Of Product Being Removed From Chinese Stores

Comp-X did not quietly recall their tainted formula. They did not instruct health care centers to warn parents of babies with kidney stones that their children’s formula may be playing a role. Instead, Comp-X bribed noisy victims, ironically, with offers of more of their products. The responsibility that Chinese citizens expect from Comp-X was absent. Customers expect to fulfill their part of a public contract with Comp-X through paying more. In return, they expected a product that was not jiade (fake). Yet, for months, infants were suffering the result of Comp-X’s broken contract.

Inspection And Testing Of Counterfeited Milk Powder/ Baby Formula

Inspection And Testing Of Counterfeited Milk Powder/ Baby Formula

This is not the first deadly crisis involving baby formula. In 2004, 13 children died after being repeatedly fed formula that, unbeknownst to their parents, contained no nutrients whatsoever. The difference between the two crises, however, again illustrates the larger problem. The perpetrators of the 2004 incident were the makers of a counterfeit, off-brand product-jiade (fake). This time around, the perpetrator is Comp-X, a brand long held as zhende (authentic).

The difference between buying zhende (authentic) and jiade (fake) generally just means the difference between enjoying a treat and suffering upset stomach. For others, buying zhende or jiade can mean the difference between a year’s salary and a herd of dead livestock, as in cases of counterfeit animal feed. In 2004, although no parent wished his or her child ill, the price of buying jiade was a child’s life. Now, however, to the horror of millions, and a huge setback in the development of a contract society, the lines have blurred.

Why Target Baby Formula?
In the United States, baby formula is one of the more popular items with counterfeiters because of the ease of selling it. It has great street value. There are a lot of young mothers who are willing to pay 50 cents on the dollar for stolen formula. There is a high demand because baby formula is expensive. The consumers buying the stolen formula are young parents with not a lot of money to spend. Today, stolen formula is sold at places like flea markets or over the Internet. This poses a health risk because baby formula is temperature-sensitive.

Formula Safety
The conditions in which counterfeiters are warehousing perishable goods (including those with an expiration date) can be dangerous-even fatal-to consumers. Some baby formula has been stored in garages with rodents running across storage facilities that have no temperature controls whatsoever. When it gets hot the baby formula will break down in nutritional value if it is kept out of its correct temperature range.

The counterfeiters are good at hiding their craft. As part of their operations, the counterfeiters will clean, repackage, and re-label goods to make them appear as legitimate products. They will also switch labels, particularly if items are damaged or out of date. They think nothing of switching labels from one brand of formula to another. Counterfeiters also make counterfeit labels. (see article dated October 8th, 2008, “The Bucket Shops”).

In some cases counterfeiters may even sell the products back to the retailer, unbeknownst to them. And frequently, counterfeiters will sell the products via Internet Web sites, such as eBay. The ease with which criminals can use the Internet to sell the stolen goods now makes it more difficult to investigate these crimes.

Fighting Back

In addition to working with law enforcement, many retailers are trying to make it harder for counterfeiters to disguise the origin of the product. Many of them now stamp their product with their company name and logo, and a store number so that the retail source of the product can be identified if uncovered in a theft or for other purposes, such as a product recall.

Above: Parents In China Worry - The Chain Of Custody Has Been Lost And Children Are At Risk

Above: Parents In China Worry - The Chain Of Custody Has Been Lost And Children Are At Risk

Combating The Counterfeiters. ATL Security Solutions: Each member of the supply channel has to understand that the solution must be a collaborative, united effort to assure the safety of products that pass through their hands. This includes confirming the legitimacy of the item’s source; the doctor, wholesaler, ADR, distributor, manufacturer, and API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) sources.

All it takes is one bad apple: It could be one counterfeiter; one diluted product; one re-dated product; one product with fake labels; one false repackaging run… if any of these events occur, and the secure supply channel is broken, the patients are at risk.

ATL Security Labeling Systems (TM) has a solid product line to assist you in the detection of counterfeiting and diversion. Our brands make it more difficult to steal.
From the pedigree papers to the end user, our SecurBook (TM) labels can provide a complete (100%) supply channel authentication. Identical forensic markers on (pedigree papers, bulk containers, individual units) can be scanned and read to ensure 100% accuracy. This will verify that the brand has not been counterfeited. Patented, portable-scanning units can verify and authenticate in the field.

How Does This Work? ATL Pharma utilizes the unique technology of IDGLOBAL. This consists of custom forensic markers with digital data for tracking. Specific ATL SecurBook labels contain an invisible and non-degradable forensic marker. When applied (or linked) to pedigree documentation, packaging, and containers, the supply channel becomes “secure”, because all “digital data” scans must match as identical. If they match, brand authentication and anti-counterfeiting are ensured. This is why we call ATL brands the “Secur” product line.

Invisible (Non-degradable) Forensic Marker Is Your Assurance Of Brand Authenticity

Invisible (Non-degradable) Forensic Marker Is Your Assurance Of Brand Authenticity

ATL can provide custom solutions tailored to your specific supply channel.
Other ATL Pharma brands include:
SecurLock: Tamper-Evident breakaway closure;
SecurDetek: Invisible, Hidden Page Marker;
SecurMark: Anti-Counterfeiting holograms;
SecurStretch: Tamper-Evident Unit Closure;
SecurPly: Booklets for soft squeeze tubes;
PharmaVoid: Security Closure/ Destructible Tapes;
Triple-Ply: Three-Tier overt and / or covert levels of anti-counterfeiting;
D2 WAO: Wrap-Around style (up to 19 panels) that fit most cylinders-
(U.S. Patent Applied For).

Brand protection (safeguarding the public) doesn’t cost much more than the labels and packaging in use today. If you are a brand owner, why not do the right things. Provide your customers with layered anti-counterfeiting overt and covert protection.

Remember always: “It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” Helen Keller