The British company Norfolk Plant Science has announced that super tomatoes created by its geneticists will soon appear in US supermarkets, according to New Atlas. To breed tomatoes that contain 10 times more antioxidants, scientists added genes for snapdragon flowers to regular tomatoes. Thanks to a high dose of plant pigments anthocyanins, new tomatoes acquired not only a purple color, but also antitumor, anti-inflammatory and other health benefits. The action of anthocyanins is based on their ability to absorb potentially harmful oxygen molecules from the body.
The new product has been tested on mice. One group of rodents with cancer was fed purple tomatoes, the other was fed regular ones. Mice from the first group lived on average 30% longer.
Super tomatoes were bred 15 years ago, and all this time the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was considering the application. This month it was finally approved. This is the first official permission to grow genetically modified foods in the United States.
Norfolk Plant Science intends to sell seeds to farmers, who in turn sell their grown tomatoes to consumers. After receiving feedback, breeders plan to develop other products. At the same time, the company is making efforts to get approval for its genetically modified tomatoes in the UK.