A UK-based company that has applied for approval to sell its genetically modified purple tomatoes in the US says it may receive the OK soon, New Scientist reports.
New Scientist adds that the tomato, which has been modified to include snapdragon and thale cress genes encoding antioxidant anthocyanin pigments, was developed by the John Innes Centre's Cathie Martin. These tomatoes include 10 times more anthocyanins than other tomatoes, and when she and her colleagues fed mice purple tomato powder, they lived 30 percent longer than those given no or regular tomato powder, it says. The modified tomato also has an increased shelf life, it says.
The company, Norfolk Plant Sciences, hopes to sell both seeds to gardeners and tomatoes to stores, according to New Scientist. It notes that the US revised its rules for reviewing genetically modified livestock and seeds in 2019 to make to make the process faster.
New Scientist adds a genetically modified tomato called the Flavr Savr was approved in the US in 1994 but never made a profit.