Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GMO's how to find 'em and avoid 'em

Although the U.S. does not require GMOs to be labeled, you can still
find out whether or not your produce is genetically engineered, by
looking at its PLU code. For example:

A conventionally grown product carries a 4-digit PLU code (Ex:
conventionally grown banana: 4011)
An organic product carries a 5-digit code, starting with the number 9:
(Ex: organic banana: 94011)
A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) product has a 5-digit code,
starting with the number 8: (Ex: GE banana: 84011)
Here are a few other fruits that are LOW in pesticide residue, and
therefore good candidates to purchase as conventionally-grown, however,
double-check to make sure you're not buying a GMO variety.

Avocado - A new GMO avocado variety is scheduled to be introduced this
year that is immune to "stress" and pests, per an Indian state report
published in March, 2008.

Bananas - The first GMO banana with extra genes that increase its levels
of pro-vitamin A and iron is being unleashed in Australian field trials
this year. At Cornell University, researchers are also working to
develop a banana that carries the hepatitis B vaccine.

Pineapple -- GMO pineapples, designed to produce greater levels of
proteins, vitamins and sugars may already be on the market. Australia
applied for pineapple into environment all the way back in 2002. The
pineapple is called "Smooth Cayenne," which has delayed flowering and
herbicide resistance. It also contains the tobacco acetolactate synthase
gene (suRB) from Nicotiana tabacum.

Kiwi -- The transgenic variety of kiwi fruit is the Actinidia deliciosa
from Italy.

Remember, if you can't afford to purchase all organic food, at least aim
to buy produce that has a lower toxic load and is non-GMO.

3 comments:

Diana Dyer, MS, RD said...

Ashley,
Thanks for telling us how to easily find GMO foods by product coding. I did not know this and will share the information on my blog, too.
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Anonymous said...

There is no truth to the #8 being GMO. They're not gonna give people a way to avoid them.

Anonymous said...

I have been in the produce biz for 13 years now and I have NEVER seen an item with a code starting with an 8. Nor have I seen any real info that gmos are labeled as such. The growers are not obligated to tell you their seed stock by any laws or regulations. Organic products however are governed and mandated to be gmo free. Buy organic from trusted sources to avoid gmos.