QI have a bag of apples upc code is 8 83391 00381 8 is this a gmo productThe label says it is certified organic by Washington State Department of Agriculture. I just read in your article that the number 8 signifies GMO and the number 9 (which is not found

I have a bag of apples upc code is 8 83391 00381 8 is this a gmo product The label says it is certified organic by Washington State Department of Agriculture. I just read in your article that the number 8 signifies GMO and the number 9 (which is not found on this bag) means organic. Please explain. The label is Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wa

AExpert Answer

The UPC (Universal Product Code) is a barcode (which has numbers beneath it) which identifies the product and the manufacturer. I think you may be thinking of the PLU (Price Look Up) code which is the 4 or 5 digit number on produce used to link a price with an item. The PLU code is a voluntary program that assigns numbers to produce items, this helps cashiers identify the correct price for a produce item.

Growers/Packers can use the number "9" prefix to this 4-digit numeric code to identify fruit and vegetable items that are USDA organic. Initially it was proposed that the "8" prefix would be used for "genetically engineered" aka "GMO' however it is not used for this purpose.

"Though the ‘8’ prefix (83000-84999) was once reserved for GMO produce items, the prefix was never used at retail." 

Posted on March 21, 2018
There are currently no tomatoes that are GMO on the market or commercially available. For more information about the common misinformation around GM tomatoes, please check out this previous response.  Nearly all foods today have been genetically modified or altered in some way over thousands of years through selective breeding. However, there are only 10 commercially available GMO crops in the U.S: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash,... Read More
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Posted on March 9, 2018
Sun Pacific oranges are not a GM food, in fact all oranges are not a GM crop. Nearly all foods today have been genetically modified or altered in some way over thousands of years through selective breeding. But there are only 10 commercially available GM crops in the U.S: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya, potatoes and apples. Below is a table outlining what year the 10 crops became commercially available:  ... Read More
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Posted on March 8, 2018
That’s a great question because so many people ‘expect’ there to be a difference and taste is purely a subjective assessment. So the answer is – it depends. Examples when the “look” would be different: Golden Rice: his rice has been engineered to be higher in Beta-carotene, using a gene from maize/corn, to help reduce the incidence of Vitamin A deficiency in developing countries whose Vitamin A content in the diet is so low, that results in blindness,... Read More
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