06 December 2013

Six Advantages (or Myths) of Genetically Modified (GM) Fruit: Case study - Tomato

Basically, farmers are required to harvest tomatoes earlier when tomato is still green to ensure that the tomatoes can reach market before it rots. However, the problem is, those earlier harvested tomatoes have less chance to develop flavor, colour, and nutrients naturally.

Genetically Modified (GM) tomato, on the other hand, has been claimed to have six advantages as follows.

(1) Slow ripening process

Yes, according to an article from the “discover magazine” at February 2010, the world’s longest-lasting tomatoes have been developed by biologist in India. This tomato can retain its qualities up to 45 days without refrigeration compared to 15 days which a conventional tomato can.

However, my question is, do you dare to eat this longest-lasting tomato?

(2) Superior flavor

According to the “Blind taste test” experiment from “Scientific American” in June 2007, up to 60 percents of the testers preferred the flavor of GM tomato compared to the conventional tomato.

However, we should bear in mind that only 37 testers involved in this experiment and it was reported that the taste of GM tomato did not exactly like conventional tomato.

So, my question is, did they eat a tomato or something else?

(3) Nutritional value

Again, according to the study from “Journal of Agricultural and food chemistry” (2008), researcher reported that GM tomato is nutritionally similar to conventional tomato on the market today. This result is expected according to the publication from “Iowa State University (ISU) United States” which reported that there was no significant nutrition difference between GM tomato and conventional tomato.

(4) Lower production cost

According to that fact that our first marketed GM food, GM tomato, was very popular since the price was 20% cheaper than conventional tomato in February 1996. During that time, the sellers were very confident about GM food and just labelled “GM tomato” on any GM product. It was also found that the business was pretty well since most public were willing to accept those GM tomatoes product.

However, all the GM tomatoes products had been withdrawn after 3.5 years. The answer from the producer was “the demand was high but the product was never profitable”.

My question is - if the demand of a product is high, then the price of the product can be increased, and finally it should be more profitable!!

(5) High yield

Although no evidence has been found in tomato case, there is a good news for the farmers in India at 2003 since GM cotton has higher yield compared to the conventional cotton as reported.

(6) Pest Resistance

Again, no evidence has been found so far in tomato case about pest resistance. However, Scientists have found that through the mutation process, pest has developed resistance to GM cotton at 2008. Let me repeat it again. Pest has developed resistance to GM cotton through mutation process.

In other words, GM cotton is no longer have pest resistance after a period.

This should not be an unexpected finding for green groups who have long predicted this kind of case based on their study about chemical insecticides.

This case study also shows that more investigations are needed toward the long term effects of GM food. Besides, we should not merely put all our hope to the GM food as a solution of food crisis. We should other solutions which are both environment sustainable and nature. These kinds of solution might not exist now.

That's all for today. More fascinating articles and sharing will be updated weekly in Xaivier Blog. So, you are welcome to subscribe our feed to receive our latest sharings.

Written by: Xaivier Chia

P/S: The above sharing is solely based on personal insight and information that believed to be reliable. Your valuable feedback are very welcome.


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