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"USA Product for International Sales Only"...what does that mean, exactly?

I don't know if this is the right forum, but I'd like to get information (not speculation) from someone with knowledge on this.

I see a little label on some cereals in the grocery (I live in Trinidad & Tobago) with the label in the thread title. There are a few variations as well, including "Made in the USA for Export Only. It's usually displayed quite prominently. I see it a lot on Quaker cereals.

What do those labels mean, exactly? It's reasonable to suspect that they've been deemed unsuitable for the US market for quality/safety reasons, and dumped in the developing world, but I see a lot of other cereals that don't bear that label. Is it some sort of price- or shipping-related technicality, or should I start avoiding these foods?


I've seen this too when I've been out of the country.  Sometimes it's bad but not always.  The US has the most disgusting lax laws for what corporations can put into food and Trinidad & Tobago may have restrictions on some of these ingredients.  There are also laws regarding percentages of products companies can make for domestic sales versus exports.  The bottom line is, always read the ingredients (I always do) and buy the product that has the simplest list.

Quaker Oats is owned by Pepsi, which can't be trusted, so I'd buy something else in that case.


I think YT may have it backwards, but I can't find definitive proof. Two cases where that label has been used before that I know. First, the item was made in the US, but no US taxes have been paid on it, so it must be sold overseas. Second, the item contains material banned for consumption in the US, but not in other places. It could be a mix of YT's example about domestic sales versus exports. Some sort of tariff dodging or tax exemption by labelling it that way.


I don't know for sure.  I do know US companies (like Nestle) have committed heinous acts selling sub-par products to overseas consumers.  But, for example, Mexican Coke is made with sugar because Mexico doesn't allow High Fructose Corn Syrup.  The taxes thing makes sense with labeling. You get the same thing when you buy stuff in the duty free shops at int'l airports.


Thanks for the info. I'm going to follow up on this with an e-mail or two to Quaker.


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