USDA clears new genetically modified purple tomato

Health

Courtesy: USDA

(WPRI) — A brand new purple tomato could soon be coming to a produce aisle near you, so long as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave Norfolk Plant Sciences the OK to continue growing its genetically-modified purple tomatoes.

Following a review of the tomato, which the company claims was “modified to alter its color and enhance its nutritional quality,” the USDA determined the plant “may be safely grown and used in breeding in the United States.”

The USDA also concluded that the tomatoes don’t pose “an increased plant pest risk compared to a nonregulated plant.”

The purple tomatoes, according to Norfolk Plant Sciences, have increased levels of “flavonoid antioxidants,” as well as the main antioxidant lycopene, which is present in ordinary red tomatoes.

The company said, “there is evidence that best protection against disease is achieved when both types of antioxidant are present in the diet.”

In order for the purple tomato to hit store shelves, it has to be given the green light by the FDA.

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