Tomatoes with an edited genome for hypertension appeared in Japanese stores

In grocery stores in Japan you can now find special tomatoes that are good for people with hypertension. Tomatoes, which have five times more gamma-aminobutyric acid than conventional tomatoes, were obtained using CRISPR/Cas genetic editing.

Genetically modified products frighten people far from science and cause economic conflicts, so their sale and cultivation are strictly regulated in many countries. But Japan is ahead of the rest of the world in this aspect – here it is easy to get permission to create and sell GM products, which was used by the company Sanatech Seeds, which released on the market modified tomatoes.

The authors of the project took the Sicilian Rouge tomatoes that were widespread in Japan and genetically edited the variety using the CRISPR/Cas tool. GM tomatoes have a significantly increased content of GABA, a substance that lowers blood pressure and helps slow the heart rate.

Whether such tomatoes will appear anywhere outside of Japan is hard to say. Genetically modified foods are still the subject of controversy in most countries, and this fact significantly hinders the introduction of such foods. Which, given the damage that traditional agriculture does to the environment, is a colossal omission.