This article is not new, but I continue to see otherwise credible blogs/news sources post misinformation about PLU codes and GMOs. Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology wrote this article to help clarify what the PLU labels will tell you.
There are two great websites that I reference before food shopping:
The EWG posts the “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” lists that tell you which fresh produce items test highest for pesticide and chemical residue vs. those that test lower. This list changes during the year, so check back every few months or download the App for your phone. Kale was not on the list the last time I checked, but I notice that it is today.
For packaged and frozen foods, check out the Non GMO Shopping Guide and the App for your smartphone to take along while shopping.
From their website:
Look for the Seal
What does “Non-GMO Project Verified” mean?
First of all, let’s explain what it doesn’t mean. It is not a guarantee that the product is 100% GMO free. The reason for this is that our program is process-based, using a set of best practices to avoid contamination. We do require testing of all ingredients (everything being grown in GMO form in North America), but we don’t require testing of every single finished product. Instead, testing can be done at any one of a number of places in the production chain, for example right after harvest. Following the test, which must indicate that the ingredient is below 0.9% GMO (in alignment with laws in the European Union), we require rigorous traceability and segregation practices to be followed in order to ensure that the tested ingredients are what get used in the product.
So in short, what our seal means is that a product has been produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, including testing of risk ingredients.
Companies enrolled in the Non-GMO Project are serious about keeping GMOs out, and work hard to do so. The Non-GMO Project is the only organization offering independent verification of testing and GMO controls for products in the U.S. and Canada.
Buying products that are enrolled and verified in the Project is a great way to support the sustained availability of non-GMO choices in North America.
My best tip is to start growing your own greens, join a CSA, get to know and support local organic farmers. Start small and grow big!
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