Biotech Updates

Prospects of Purple Tomato in Australia

November 2, 2022

Photo Source: Cathie Martin/John Innes Centre

Last month, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a regulatory status review about the genetically modified purple tomato. "The tomato was modified to alter its color and enhance its nutritional quality," the USDA wrote. The statement also indicated that the GM tomato is unlikely to pose an increased plant pest risk compared to other cultivated tomatoes. An article from Cosmos explored the idea of having the GM tomato in Australia.

The GM crops being grown in Australia are cotton, canola, and safflower. "Certainly, for a while we were getting left behind," says Professor Christopher Preston from the University of Adelaide. In terms of having purple tomatoes, he said that there are some signs that the consumers would be open to it. "I think what's happened is it's become a lot more familiar to people," says Preston. "We started growing GM canola in Australia and the sky didn't fall in."

The New South Wales government lifted an 18-year moratorium on GM crops in 2021, while South Australia lifted the ban in 2020.

Read the original articles in Cosmos and the Genetic Literacy Project.

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