Produce Labelling: Organics and GMO

by katerina on May 28, 2009

I am currently skimming Jillian Michael’s newest book because, well, I have a bit of a girl crush on her and I saw it at the library. One thing I learned while reading it on the bus this morning was the breakdown on the numeric codes found on fruit stickers. The key is that the last 4 digits identify the item itself, if you preface that with a 9 the item is organic and if it starts with an 8 it is Genetically Modified (GMO).

So then I started wondering whether this is actually useful information, so I put it to the test, after reading this I dropped by the supermarket to pick up some apples on my way to work. Over one section of apples there was a large Organic sign. However on closer inspection the apples in that bin weren’t organic at all. I walked up and down looking at all the apples and the bin of organics was at the other end. Weird how that worked out, but seriously, who knew. (I like to buy oragnic apples since they are in the evil pesticide top ten.)

The other thing that struck me was the three high level categories chosen: regular, organic and GMO. Are there really that many GMO fruits and veggies we eat? I really don’t know much about GMO at all, and nothing from a Health perspective. Does anyone have any knowledge or opinions on genetic modification of everyday produce? I have read the Omnivore’s Dilemma so I know that most corn and soy crops are severely modified and that is a politically charged issue, but what about more everyday consumable items? Does anyone know or have any opinions on this?

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