Fruit Stickers Explained!
Article in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer Food section explains what the
codes on those individual pieces of produce really mean. This is actually
*quite* significant because the GMO industry, despite consumer pressure
(and the law in Europe) has refused to label GMO/non-GMO food in the
US. So, while there may not be any grocery store label, if you can read
the individual stickers, you can find out *exactly* what the produce you
are buying is!
Never underestimate marketers -- they *want* to know *exactly* what the
consumer is buying! ;-D
Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden
A mission of
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460
Sticky But Useful Fruit Labels
As much as we may dislike them, the stickers or labels attached to fruit
speed up the scanning process at checkout.
Cashiers no longer need to distinguish a Fuji apple from a Gala apple, a
prickly pear from a horned melon, or a grapefruit from an ugli fruit.
They simply key in the PLU code - the price lookup number printed on the
sticker - and the market's computerized cash register identifies the fruit
by its PLU.
The numbers also enable retailers to track how well individual varieties
For conventionally grown fruit, 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 fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced
by the number 8.
So, a conventionally grown banana would be 4011, an organic banana would be
94011, and a genetically engineered banana would be 84011.
The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification
Board, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a Newark,
Del.-based trade group for the produce industry. As of October 2001, the
board had assigned more than 1,200 PLUs for individual produce items.
You can read the full article at
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