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stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - Printable Version

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stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - h3rm35 - 08-20-2012

What Do Those Codes On Stickers Of Fruits And Some Veggies Mean?

[Image: code-on-stickers.jpg]

Although they seem like a nuisance, the stickers or labels attached to fruit and some vegetables have more of a function than helping scan the price at the checkout stand. The PLU code, or price lookup number printed on the sticker, also tells you how the fruit was grown. By reading the PLU code, you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.

Here are the basics of what you should know:

If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011.
If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8″, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is possible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011
If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9″, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011

Incidentally, the adhesive used to attach the stickers is considered food-grade, but the stickers themselves aren’t edible.

And here is the full list from the Environmental Working Groups of fruits and vegetables with the least to most pesticides. When shopping, the most important produce to buy organic are those at the bottom of this list http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php .


RE: stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - wawaontario - 08-20-2012

Thank you!
Very helpul info. I assume these codes are true for Canada too.


RE: stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - h3rm35 - 08-20-2012

I'm pretty sure its international. It'd be pretty easy to check the next time you go to the market I think.


RE: stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - Anarchist - 08-20-2012

Good to know. Now I can see if those mangoes at the store are GMO or not...


RE: stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - h3rm35 - 08-21-2012

gmo labelling is not mandated in the US, so an 8**** number is GMO, but a **** number can be as well.

another decent article on the topic:
http://blogs.webmd.com/health-ehome/2011/03/how-can-you-avoid-genetically-modified-food.html


RE: stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - Anarchist - 08-21-2012

Ahh, so if anything this is just an exclusive, but not all-inclusive method to incorporate with strategies already employed... Still, good to know, something so easy as to check the sticker be no problem. When buying organic, it will be easy to check for the "9".


RE: stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - bristopen - 08-22-2012

Remarquable, thanks!


RE: stickers on fruit tell you if they're GM or grown w/toxins - h3rm35 - 08-23-2012

(08-20-2012, 11:46 PM)Anarchist Wrote: Good to know. Now I can see if those mangoes at the store are GMO or not...

most "conventionally grown" mangoes tend to be pretty low in pestcides at least.