After receiving recent permission from the United States Department of Agriculture, novel genetically engineered purple tomatoes may soon be seen in grocery stores across the nation by next year.
The fruit was altered to change its color and improve its nutritional value, the USDA said in a news statement earlier this month. Scientists claim it lasts longer than the ordinary tomato and is healthier.
According to the John Innes Centre UK, the deep purple color of the normally red fruit is caused by an increase in anthocyanins, an antioxidant that experts believe fights cancer. It is believed that other fruits and vegetables, like açaí, red onions, and normal tomatoes, also contain anthocyanins.
The fruit is currently awaiting the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for commercial distribution.
Critics have expressed fear that eating foods that have undergone genetic modification could be harmful to their health. However, GMO foods are strictly regulated by powerful organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA.