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Author: admin, 19.10.2015. Category: Healthy Foods

Price Look Up codes went into use in 1990 to identify the type of produce being sold in a grocery story. The code system does offer retailers a way to distinguish GMOs: Four digit PLU codes are for conventionally-grown food, while the pre-fix 8 is suggested for use on GMO foods, and the pre-fix 9 identifies organic fruits and vegetables.
Consumer advocate Jeffrey Smith emphasizes that GMO codes are hypothetical, and that the pre-fix 8 to indicate GE has not caught on with retailers. Genetically modified foods are so prevalent in the food chain that you have to actively seek out what is not GMO. Until the USDA requires GMO’s to be labeled it is nearly impossible to know if you are eating them. For conventionally grown fruit, (grown with chemicals inputs), the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. At this present moment, the only way to safely avoid GMO’s is by buying organic or to buy locally (just make sure you ask your farmers where they get their seed). It tells us if the produce was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.


One mnemonic device to help us remember organic from genetically modified organisms is 8 you hate and 9 is fine.
Can PLU codes – those four- or five-digit numbers on produce stickers – really indicate whether a food is genetically modified? There are over 1,300 PLU codes, currently in the 3000-4999 range, administered by the International Federation for Produce Standards, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association.
If the grocer is using the PLU codes as suggested, a conventional banana is #4011, an organic banana with #94011, and genetically modified is #84011. Also, there are not many GMO produce items approved in the US beyond alfalfa, corn and Hawaiian papaya. Here is the myth: One of the best ways to avoid GMO produce is by understanding the PLU codes in the grocery store. Because they know that consumers won’t buy GM foods if they are properly labeled, and so far there is nothing that is making them do that. So, while it might seem like a nifty tip, Price Look Up numbers are about just that: price.


To address the systemic issue, the Right to Know campaign is leading a grassroots effort and ballot intiaitve to introduce a real labeling standard to all food packages and produce in California. As Jeffery Smith says, “Those that run PLU-universe figured that someday some retailer might want to distinguish between a GMO and a non-GMO for price or inventory purposes. Take the time to look at the PLU’s, choose organic, choose local, or look for this label. There are other surefire ways to avoid GMOs, and a big effort underway to put a real red flag on genetically modified produce and packaged foods. A more important indicator is the certified organic label, an enforceable standard that excludes genetically engineered foods.
Let’s hope there comes a time you don’t have to seek out insider tips to know what you’re eating.



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Comments to «Organic produce plu codes»

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