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November 26, 2012

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Code shows GM, organic fruit

CUSTOMERS are advised to pay attention to the four- or five-digit price look-up number on the label when choosing imported fruit.

Agricultural researchers confirmed yesterday that the code helps identify organic and genetically modified fruit from traditionally grown ones. A four-digit code, with a prefix of "3" or "4," indicates the imported fruit is conventionally grown, while a five-digit code is for non-conventionally grown products, such as organic with a prefix of "9" or GM fruit with a prefix of "8."

The confirmation came after a Weibo posting that said the code could tell GM fruit from others.

"The code is not a hard-and-fast rule for imported fruit in China," said Yuan Yaxiang, president of the Shanghai Fruit Association. "Such prefixes may be reliably used by consumers to tell whether a product is genetically modified or not."

The code is on imported fruit such as red delicious apples and kiwi fruits but vendors seldom know what they were.


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