A new study comparing genetically modified (GM) and conventional tomatoes lends further support to the pro-GM food movement. Cornell University scientists found no significant biochemical differences between the two.
Led by Cornell professor Owen Hoekenga, the researchers extracted roughly 1,000 biochemical metabolites from a group of tomatoes that had been genetically modified to ripen more slowly. Then they compared the metabolic profile of these GM tomatoes to those of unmodified modern and heirloom tomato varieties.
Aside from the GM tomatoes differing in metabolites related to fruit ripening, as they were designed to, there were no significant biochemical difference between the GM and other tomatoes. The results, published in The Plant Genome, challenge the growing belief that GM foods are inherently less nutritious than conventional counterparts.
The findings suggest little or no accidental biochemical changes due to the genetic modification process, Hoekenga said. He hopes the research—which can be adapted and applied to any plant or crop—will prove a "useful way to address consumer concerns about unintended effects" with GM foods.
For more on GMO food safety, see Ronald Bailey's dismantling of five persistent anti-biotech lies.