In the US, organically grown foods are labeled. Since organic food is healthier and more expensive, every producer will make sure that their organic produces are clearly labeled as such.
But it is a different story with genetically modified food. Genetically modified food is not labeled. It is not required to be labeled. Since the safety of the genetically modified food is questionable, people will likely stay away from it if it is clearly labeled.
How can you tell whether the food you buy from the store is conventionally grown, genetically modified or organically grown?
Yes, you can tell the difference by looking at its PLU code.
What is a PLU code?
PLU stands for price look-up code. PLUs are used on items that are sold loose or bunched, by weight or by each (i.e. an individual apple or bunch of greens). A PLU code contains 4-5 digits total. The PLU is key-entered at point of sale in order to obtain the price.
How is organically grown produce coded on a PLU label?
The number 9 is added to the front of the regular four digit PLU code. (e.g. an organically grown banana would be 94011)
How is genetically engineered produce coded on a PLU label?
The number 8 is added in front of the regular four digit PLU code. (e.g. a genetically engineered vine ripe tomato would be 84805)
Here is a comparison chart:
|Conventionally Grown||Organically Grown||Genetically Modified|
|4-digit code||5-digits starting with # 9||5-digits starting with # 8|
|Ex: Conventionally grown banana: 4011||Ex: Organically grown banana: 94011||Ex: GM banana: 84011|