There may someday be a new tomato in the produce department. That’s coming up on this land of ours.
Norfolk Plant Sciences requested approval from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for a new tomato. The tomato was modified to alter its color and increase its nutritional quality. APHIS found that from a plant pest risk perspective, this plant may be safely grown and used in breeding in the United States.
Using genes from the common garden snapdragon, the scientists enhanced the tomato’s level of endogenous anthocyanins. Dietary anthocyanins are associated with a reduced risk of chronic and degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and some cancers. They also have been shown to protect against heart attacks and coronary heart disease. These genes also add color to the tomatoes and turn them a deep purple, similar to eggplants, which have these genes naturally.
This approval was just one step in the lengthy process of getting the new tomatoes available to the public.
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National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet News Hour and The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.