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Be careful Dangerous Full of Pesticide Apple From USA to India...
This is a '4015 Red Delicious' apple (USA) which my frnd have bought from one of the local market in India. which is full of pesticide grown And also no information was displayed about the wax (if it is edible, how toxic it is etc.) anywhere in the store.
You’ll be surprised to know that those stickers tell you whether or not a product is organic, conventionally grown or genetically modified.
A conventionally grown product (grown with chemical assistance) will have a 4 digit code. (Example: conventionally grown Red Delicious apple: 4015)
An organic product will have a 5 digit code starting with the number 9. (Example: organic Red Delicious apple: 94015)
A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) product will have a 5 digit code starting with the number 8. (Example: GMO Red Delicious apple: 84015)
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Hoax or Fact:
Mixture of hoax and facts.
This message circulating on Facebook and other social networking platforms warns people about the '4015 Red Delicious' apple, supposedly from USA. It raises concern that those particular apples sold in Indian markets are genetically engineered, with full of pesticide growth and also have harmful wax coating. The claims are mixture of hoax and facts.
Before discussing the facts, let us first understand the concerns rose in the message. Many people understand the difference between Organic and GMO food produce, but not all may be aware of the conventional foods.
Conventional foods are produced using farming methods that employ synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides that also get absorbed into the soil, which again affects the next produce. This is because conventional farming uses monoculture for mass production, i.e. the crops are planted at the same place again and again. This is the reason why the conventional foods are considered less healthy.
Waxing of Apples
As mentioned in the message, the waxing of apples is a known issue these days. Fruits and vegetables like apples, peaches, citrus fruits, cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers are often coated with wax. This is done to help prevent their damage and increase their shelf life. Ideally, the wax used to coat apples and others should be edible one which is safe to consume, however, some unscrupulous producers can coat apples with petroleum-based waxes that are harmful for human health. You can read about it in detail here. In that article, you can also learn how to safeguard yourself from this kind of damage.
Stickers and Labeling
The stickers used over apples sold in the markets and their labeling has somewhat different story to it. The stickers are generally used for fresh, unprocessed foods and the labeling of code, i.e. the Price Look Up (PLU) code is administered by IFPS, the International Federation for Produce Standards. The Price Look Up (PLU) codes are 4 or 5 digit numbers which have been used by supermarkets since 1990 to make check out and inventory control easier, faster, and more accurate.
According to the IFPS standard, the 4 digit codes are for conventionally grown produce and the 5 digit codes are used to identify organic or genetically modified produce. In case of a genetically modified produce, a prefix of ‘8’ would be placed in front of the 4 digit code of the food product, and the prefix of ‘9’ would be placed in front of the 4 digit code in case of organic produce. But it is important to note that very few producers use this kind of coding, especially considering the GMO concerns around the world. Moreover PLU codes are not designed for the benefit of the consumers.
So if you need to know how a particular food product is grown, you have to look for the indicators like 'GMO-free', 'non-GMO', 'Organic' or '100% Organic'. And if you have the PLU code and like to know some information about it, you can search for the code here. A search for the PLU code '4015' does say that the product is Red Delicious Apple with a botanical name Malus pumila, but apart from America, it also shows that those variety of apples are available in other countries of Europe, middle east and Africa.