Coming To Your Dinner Plate Soon? Potentially Unsafe GM Tomatoes

Coming To Your Dinner Plate Soon? Potentially Unsafe GM Tomatoes by Sustainable Pulse

GNN Note – Who knows what a GMO vegetable does to the body? I don’t, do you? Where is the data on the effects of GMO’s on the body? / END

Sanatech’s CRISPR gene-edited tomato engineered to contain higher levels of a sedative substance, GABA, is being sold on the open market in Japan. While GABA is reportedly viewed as a health-promoting substance in Japan, findings in studies are mixed and there are no studies at all showing that eating the gene-edited tomato has health benefits or is even safe, GMWatch reported.

In an article about the development, the journal Nature Biotechnology quotes Maarten Jongsma, a molecular cell biologist at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, who studies the effects of plant compounds on human nutrition, as saying “There’s no consensus” on the health benefits of consuming GABA. Nor is there evidence that it can cross the blood–brain barrier and reach the central nervous system, adds Renger Witkamp, a nutrition scientist also at Wageningen.

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Nature Biotechnology notes, “Sanatech has been careful not to claim that its tomatoes therapeutically lower blood pressure and promote relaxation. Instead, the company implies it, by advertising that consuming GABA, generally, can achieve these effects and that its tomatoes contain high levels of GABA. This has raised some eyebrows in the research community, given the paucity of evidence supporting GABA as a health supplement.”

The article also reports on news regarding the purple tomato developed by Cathie Martin at the John Innes Centre in the UK using older-style transgenic GM. Martin says she expects a regulatory decision from the USDA by the end of February for her purple tomatoes. Martin’s targeting of the US is no surprise, given the weak regulation of GM crops in that country.

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