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Purple tomatoes soon to be sold in shops

Posted on Monday, 27 January, 2014 | Comment icon 18 comments

Some of the more traditional variety of tomato. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Hedwig Storch
Genetically modified tomatoes with added nutritional value could soon find their way in to supermarkets.
Despite a general lack of consumer interest in any food that has been genetically modified, the new purple-hued tomatoes are being touted as an improvement over traditional red tomatoes due to the addition of anthocyanin, an antioxidant with cancer-fighting properties.

"With these purple tomatoes you can get the same compounds that are present in blueberries and cranberries that give them their health benefits - but you can apply them to foods that people actually eat in significant amounts and are reasonably affordable," said Professor Cathie Martin.

The new tomatoes are being mass-produced in Canada for sale in Britain and elsewhere in the form of fruit juice. The modification process, which involves the transfer of a gene from a snapdragon plant, triggers a process that causes anthocyanin to develop.

Scientists are hoping that the same technique can be used to add nutritional value to other tomato-containing foods such as ketchup and pasta sauce.

Source: BBC News | Comments (18)

Tags: Tomatoes, Genetically Modified

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Azznerak the Black on 28 January, 2014, 2:41
And in twenty years we will be seeing a new generations of doctors yelling and b****ing about how these purple tomatoes caused cancer to rise 75% in three years...
Comment icon #10 Posted by beelzebufo on 28 January, 2014, 4:33
Believe it or not, purple ketchup has already happened. I remember it was around when I was a kid it was around. It was a flop and didn't last long.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 28 January, 2014, 5:19
I thought changing them through creative breeding was genetically modifying them too...
Comment icon #12 Posted by rashore on 28 January, 2014, 15:33
Comment icon #13 Posted by Calibeliever on 28 January, 2014, 16:55
It is, and while I'm unclear on the processes that are really being used in the new GMO, it's clear that it would be difficult to create some of these changes using simple splicing techniques. I think what bothers me the most is the secrecy that surrounds what they're actually doing to corn, wheat and other large crops. Trade secrecy is important to some extent to protect yourself from competition but it also scares the living bejeezuz out of an already paranoid population. Back in the day if I ate at McDonalds I knew I was rolling the dice a bit when I chose to eat that stuff. B... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Sundew on 28 January, 2014, 20:22
That is true, however now we have the ability in insert genetic material from bacteria, fish or other animals, unrelated plant species, and so forth which goes far beyond selective breeding. At one time I believe they inserted genes from the Arctic Icefish into Tomato plants to make them more cold tolerant. I do not know if they were ever put out for human consumption. Look up the Suntory Blue Rose (although as of yet it's not a true blue). Breeders have been trying to get the color blue into roses for some time, but the pigments needed to express blue in a flower do not occur in any kno... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Calibeliever on 28 January, 2014, 20:39
You only have to be a tiny bit right on this one. A drug gets tested and tested before we hand it to humans and say "here, eat this". And even then it goes horribly wrong sometimes. Where is all the testing on gene spliced food? Watching the news while hanging around up in Indiana last year there was a lot of talk about the different types of GM corn. There are many varieties. From drought resistant to bug resistant. And seeds are now getting cross contaminated in processing houses. Here's a question: what do you have to do to make corn bug resistant? I'm not an alarmist in... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Rafterman on 28 January, 2014, 21:02
(links to all mentioned studies and reviews included in the links - as well as a nifty graphic.) It is frequently claimed that GM foods are not properly tested, or asserted that few independent studies have been published to establish their safety. Another similar claim made is that the food regulatory agencies rely exclusively of corporate information to decide whether GM food and feed are safe. The further claim is made that very few independent tests relating to GM food safety are done. This conventional 'wisdom' is wrong. The modern scientific literature shows that these common... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Mark56 on 8 February, 2014, 2:26
There already are purple tomatoes ( they're actually more of a maroon/brick red). I've been growing "Cherokee Purples" in my backyard for 20 years. It's an heirloom tomato that the Cherokees have been growing for generations now. It's a delicious tomato. Check them out at this link:
Comment icon #18 Posted by regeneratia on 8 February, 2014, 2:29
The Cherokee Purples. Been growing them for a decade now.

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