PLU Codes: FYI – a Must Know

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The sticker on your produce is very important as it reveals a lot about how the produce was grown. The sticker is called a PLU or price look-up code. The sad news is that PLU codes are not mandatory, thanks to our governments that are in bed with Monsanto and its array of subsidiaries (including Cargill, American Seeds, Kruger, Western Seed, Ontario Seed, and many more). Click here for a list of Monsanto subsidiaries

The PLU code for conventionally grown US produce have traditionally maintained an individually unique four digit PLU code. Traditional or conventionally grown produce is grown using pesticides. When the dangers of GE crops became known, organic produce gained in value and consequently, it became paramount to distinguish products grown traditionally, organically and those grown by genetic modification.

A four-digit PLU code begins with a three (3) or four (4) and means the produce is ‘probably’ conventionally or traditionally grown with the use of chemicals such as chemical fertilizers, fungicides and/or herbicides. The word ‘probably’ was mandated by lobbyists as a way to downplay the use of chemicals on food products. These four digits represent the type of produce it is. As an example, large lemons conventionally grown in the US have a PLU code of 4053.

lemon plu code

In the above image, the lemon has a five digit “price look-up” code that begins with a nine (9). A five digit code beginning with a nine means that the produce is grown organically and is not genetically modified. This is the sticker or PLU code that you want to find when feeding your loved ones.

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A five digit code that begins with an eight (8), as in the above apple example, means that the apple IS genetically modified (it contains genes from other organisms). The most commonly sold GE produce with a PLU code beginning with an eight (8) are various species of corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, papaya and squash.

There is a problem with this system in that product labelling for GE produce is not mandatory. As a result,it is rare to see a five digit PLU code that begins with the digit eight (8). Why? The simple answer is that any consumer who knows the dangers of genetically modified produce would certainly refuse to buy those identified as such (i.e. produce that contains five digits and starts with an 8, as laid out in the present system). In fact, many subsidiary seed companies of Monsanto do not even want any gardener to know which of their seeds are genetically modified.

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