The FLAVR-SAVR tomato was developed by Calgene and given approval for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994. This tomato is genetically modified to prevent production of an enzyme called polygalacturonase (PG) that breaks down pectin, a type of carbohydrate that keeps the tomato firm. The gene that codes for the production of PG was "turned off" in the FLAVR-SAVR tomato by the insertion of an"antisense" or mirror-image gene. Since the fruit cannot make PG, they can ripen on the vine without becoming too soft to transport.
(See: FDA/CFSAN Biotechnology - Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties Derived through Recombinant DNA Technology)
Back to Safety of Products of Plant Biotechnology
Prepared Summer 1997 by Bernadene Magnuson, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, Dept. of Food Science and Toxicology - EXTOXNET FAQ Team.