How to identify genetically-modified produce

Did you know that the FDA does not require genetically modified food to be labeled?  Most people don’t!  The FDA has decided that the consumer doesn’t care if a tomato has been cross-bred with frog genes, to render the tomato more resistant to cold weather. Some consumers may not be concerned with eating Frankenfood, but for those who are, here’s how to determine if the fruits and vegetables you’re buying are (GM) genetically modified.

Thanks to Marion Owen for her valuable information. Here’s how it works:

Banana How To I.D. Genetically Modified Food at the SupermarketFor conventionally grown produce, the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. Organically grown produce has a five-numeral PLU, prefaced by the number 9. Genetically engineered (GM) produce has a five-numeral PLU, prefaced by the number 8.

For example:

A conventionally grown banana would be: 4011

An organic banana would be: 94011

A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011

These tips are specially important now that over 80% of all processed foods in the US are genetically modified. Many countries in the European Union have been banning GM products and produce (including Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg).

original post by Spence Cooper

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Categories: check this out!, nutrition


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4 Comments on “How to identify genetically-modified produce”

  1. Angela Grizzle
    May 18, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    You state in your blog post “fruit” but do you mean “produce”….doesn’t this work for all produce, or is it only fruit?

    • melissadavisfood
      May 18, 2011 at 11:09 am #

      My mistake. This system is for all produce, not just fruit. Thank you for the correction.

  2. Angela Grizzle
    May 18, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    Also, although this is great tip for buying whole foods from the produce section…unfortunately, it doesn’t help those who buy processed foods. They are eating GM “food” in their chips, crackers, cereal, etc. and there is no label to warn them. I believe the long-term consequences of this trend are going to be a nightmare. People are less healthy now than ever and I think it is going to get worse.

    • melissadavisfood
      May 18, 2011 at 11:19 am #

      I fully agree with you. This method only works for produce, unfortunately. I wish there were labeling in processed foods as well, or at least a way that a person could easily determine if the food they are considering buying is genetically modified or not.

      As most processed foods are now genetically modified, I consistently reach for only the products made with organic ingredients. Consumers can rest easy, knowing at least organic products do not contain GMOs.

      I was in Costco the other day, and they were sampling out some new popcorn chips. Knowing that most non-organic corn is genetically modified, I asked the girl if these were GMO-free. She responded with, “well, they are Kosher. That means they don’t have anything GMO in them.” WRONG!! I called the hotline on the back of the bag, and they said the chips “are not GMO-free”. Lots of misinformation out there!! Be very wary, and call the company if you’re unsure.

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