How To I.D. Genetically Modified Food At The Supermarket


Not many consumers realize that the FDA does not require genetically modified food to be labeled. That’s because the FDA has decided that you, dear consumer, don’t care if the tomato you’re eating 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.

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

For conventionally grown fruit, (grown with chemicals inputs), the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 9. Genetically engineered (GM) fruit 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).  We say “Eat healthy, buy or grow organic”.

American readers should print this chart, and always take it with them when they go grocery shopping.  When Americans buy fruits and vegetables individually, there is usually a small sticker on them.  This sticker will include a ‘PLU’ number.  The first digit in that number is significant.

The Meaning Of The PLU First Digit On Fresh Produce

8 The product is definitely genetically modified (G.M.O.), and almost any chemical may have been used on it, at any time.  It is a toxic Frankenfood.  Please avoid, and boycott whichever company is producing it.
3 The product is likely genetically modified (G.M.O.), and almost any chemical may have been used on it, at any time.
4 The product was ‘conventionally grown’ with synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides.  Make note that there is a new generation of pesticides cannot be washed off, because these pesticides are fed to the roots, and infuse into every cell of the plant.  These ‘conventionally grown’ foods have approximately 1/10th of the nutritional value of equivalent organic produce, and are significantly less flavorful.
9 This is the highest quality produce, the most nutritious, the most natural, and the most safe.  The product is organic (non-G.M.O.), and it was grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or any chemicals whatsoever.   These are truly all-natural.  When you see a PLU number beginning with 9, think purity and extremely high nutritional value.  For example, an apple with a PLU of 9 will usually be more nutritious than a bowl of PLU 4 spinach.