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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

USDA Approves the Genetically Modified Purple Tomatoes

USDA Approves the Genetically Modified Purple Tomatoes
The Siliconreview
13 September, 2022

Genetically modified purple tomato deemed safe to cultivate by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

After over 14 years of development, genetically modified (GM), the nutritionally enhanced purple tomato has been deemed safe to cultivate by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The seeds of the plant, which were developed by Norfolk Plant Sciences (NPS) are said to enter the market for sale by 2023. The researchers have gene-edited the tomatoes to produce 10 times more antioxidants than pre-existing varieties.

Talking about the antioxidants, it is said that the purple tomato produces a higher amount of antioxidants called anthocyanins. "The anthocyanin content of purple fruits from a hemizygous Del/Ros1 plant averaged approximately 500 mg per 100 g fresh weight whereas anthocyanins were undetectable in wild type red tomatoes", the company's filing with the USDA read.

With the approval from USDA, the crop is free from regulations and it can be grown freely across the USA. However, the USDA has stated that the fruit will have to go through various scrutinies like the sale of the seed of the plant in the open market and recording the response of the home growers before being sold in the markets.