Sunday, April 18, 2010


A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a life form whose genetic material has been altered using recombinant DNA technology, with the nuclear material from different sources, to create a new set of genes. The new organism, then has a modified or even a novel set of genes. These are non-affectionately called Frankenfoods. They are referred to as Transgenic if a subset of GMOs, had the DNA inserted that originated in a different species and Cisgenic if from the same species. For conventionally grown fruit, (grown with chemical fertilizers, and pesticides), the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 9. Genetically nodified (GMO) 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 GMO banana would be: 84011. The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a Newark, Delaware based trade group for the produce industry. “We hate 8, but 9 is fine!” However, no store uses the 8, since most folks would avoid GMOs if they were so labeled.

The adhesive used to attach the stickers is considered Food-grade, but the stickers themselves are not. There is a trend now to individually envelope the individual product in shrink wrap that may not be so healthy in that some of the plasticer could migrate into the product. Hopefully this will be changed in the future. The best is to grow your own organic produce, or buy it from a farmer who does.

1 comment:

  1. Write, call or e-mail companies that might be using GMOs in their products. Tell them you will not buy their products unless you can be sure they are mutation-free. When you get the song and dance to the effect that "there is no evidence that GMOs are harmful…." tell them you want to see the scientific evidence that proves that they are absolutely safe. Boycott Monsanto and other companies involved in producing these ‘frankenfoods’.