Coming soon to British produce aisles: purple tomatoes. Genetic modifications are not only changing this new type of tomato’s hue, they’re make it healthier as well. The BBC reports:
“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,” [Professor Cathie Martin] said.
The tomatoes are part of a new generation of GM plants designed to appeal to consumers – the first types were aimed specifically at farmers as new tools in agriculture.
Backers hope developing GM foods that offer nutritional benefits could break down the irrational, anti-scientific fears (with help from greedy European farm lobbies) that have kept GM crops and products out of the EU. That’s a good idea—consumer mistrust remains one of the biggest obstacles to the continued development of the GMO industry.GM crops are an important part of the information revolution sweeping the planet. They offer hope of better crop yields, more sustainable agriculture with fewer pesticides and chemical fertilizers used, massive reductions of CO2 emissions and, yes, healthier food and non-allergenic food that can be safely consumed by everyone.Greens, of course, hate them like the devil incarnate and want to demonize everyone and everything associated with this branch of research. Developing GM foods that protect against cancer and otherwise confer benefits that even greens ultimately will be unable to deny is a way to chip away at prejudice and anti-scientific superstition. Let’s hope it works.