In a statement posted on its website, Russkoe Moloko, which manufactures milk, fermented milk, butter, and cheese for domestic sale, gave in to consumer enquiries about the red cross that strikes through all bar codes on its products.
“It is well known that the bar code on products is a mark of the Beast," said the statement, "it contains three invisible sixes (666), the name of the Antichrist which is hidden in the Scriptures."
Barcodes are made up of both white and black lines. Each band of black lines and white spaces corresponds to a number between zero and nine.
The three bands not associated with a number - on the far left, far right and middle - resemble the band that represents the number 6, according to Russkoe Moloko.
The Number of the Beast, 666, is referred to in English translations of the New Testament's Book of Revelation. It is probably most associated with the 1976 film, The Omen, in which the main character, Damien, possesses a birthmark in the shape of three sixes - an indication that he is the Antichrist.
“By crossing our barcode we want to show our position – we are with our Lord Jesus Christ, not the Antichrist and his servants,” the statement continued. “It’s not superstition.”
"Many priests...oppose barcoding"
In its detailed explanation, Moscow-based Russkoe Moloko said that the practice of defacing or removing barcodes is common among Russian Orthodox Christians.
“Today, many priests, monks, theologians openly oppose barcoding,” said the statement.
“When many Orthodox Christians buy goods in a shop they throw the packaging away or tear off the part containing the bar code. But if this is not possible, they draw a cross over it.”
DairyReporter.com attempted unsuccessfully to contact the Russian Orthodox Church to confirm its position on barcoding.
Defending its use of devilish barcodes, Russkoe Moloko said that without them it would not be able to sell it products in stores.
It added however that it is on the lookout for product code alternatives.
“Nevertheless, we do not rule out the possibility in the future of other alternative sales procedures," it said.