QAre there commercially available tomatoes with animal DNA in Europe? or in the USA? and if not when could GM tomatoes with animal DNA be introduced in the market?

Are there commercially available tomatoes with animal DNA in Europe? or in the USA? and if not when could GM tomatoes with animal DNA be introduced in the market?

AExpert Answer

There are no GM tomatoes on the market but there is quite a bit of misinformation about GM crops on the Internet – for example “spooky” Fish DNA in tomatoes - that is designed to mislead and scare consumers.

                                                                                                                                                       

  1. There was once an experimental tomato that contained a gene from the winter flounder to increase the tomato's resistance to frost, but the tomato was never commercialized. Fran Castle, Global Senior Manager of Communications at BASF, helped answer a similar question about animal DNA in tomatoes here.
  2. No commercial GM crops on the market today contain “animal genes.” DNA from any source is made up of the same four basic nucleotide building blocks: adenine (A), cytosine (C), thymine (T) and guanine (G), and it’s estimated that 60 percent of the genes in plants have very similar copies in animals. Although no GM crops on the market today contain “animal genes,” there is nothing inherently unsafe about using fish DNA (or any other animal DNA) in a plant. Learn more about DNA and animal genes here.
  3. The Flavr Savr tomato was the first GM food crop to be available commercially in the United States in 1994. It was created to be less perishable. Due to weak harvests and costly shipping methods combined, it created an unprofitable tomato. As a result, the Flavr Savr tomato was commercialized for only three years, and is no longer on the market. Learn more here.
  4. However, apart from GMOs, scientists in France have created two new varieties of tomatoes which do not require pesticides to thrive. These tomatoes are being tested in restaurants before being released to the general public.

 

There is currently no work being done with animal DNA in tomatoes or in other foods. There are in fact no GM tomatoes commercially available today (and certainly no GM tomatoes commercially available with animal DNA).

Posted on June 19, 2017
Yes, the EU is one of the geographies where GM-derived food and animal feed must be labeled according to conditions outlined by the European Commission on this webpage. GM labels are very common on sacks of animal feed. Depending on the type of animal, GM labeled feed is often the standard – except of course when it comes to GM free or organic supply chains. Read More
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Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More
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