The Purple Tomato, a Bioengineered Crop Created by Norfolk Plant Sciences, is Now Available to Home Gardeners – SynBioBeta

February 10, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Norfolk Healthy Produce made headlines this week with the unveiling of their latest offering: The Purple Tomato, now available for online seed sales. This innovative tomato variety boasts purple antioxidants known as anthocyanins, akin to those found in blueberries, blackberries, and eggplants. Leveraging a bioengineering approach merging tomatoes with genes from an edible flower, snapdragon, Norfolk pioneers the sole tomato varieties featuring purple antioxidants within both flesh and skin.

Professor Cathie Martin, the visionary behind the first and only purple-fleshed tomato, witnessed her decade-long dream materialize since her inaugural peer-reviewed scientific publication in 2008. “It has been my wish that gardeners could grow and enjoy purple tomatoes, and share in the health and beauty,” She said. “It is so exciting that gardeners in the USA can grow these in the 2024 season!”

Nathan Pumplin, CEO of Norfolk Healthy Produce, expressed elation at presenting these groundbreaking seeds to home gardeners. “Our tomato is just a tomato – you can grow it in your garden next to your Sun Golds and Purple Cherokees, and other favorite varieties. We share our gratitude to the thousands of fans, who have shared their interest and encouragement through our website. Please give a big thanks to the breeding and seed production team, as well as the regulatory team, whose care and diligence made this high quality product possible!”

Seeds, priced at $20 for packets of 10 high-quality seeds, are exclusively available in the USA, following completion of the biotechnology regulatory process with USDA, FDA, and EPA. The initial variety, an indeterminate cherry tomato, aligns with traditional gardening methods used for other indeterminate varieties.

Acknowledging shifting consumer preferences, Pumplin underscored the company’s commitment to providing alternative choices, particularly for those seeking biotechnology-enabled produce. With surveys revealing 80% of American consumers expressing interest in consuming, purchasing, and growing the purple tomato, Norfolk Healthy Produce emerges as a beacon for innovation in the realm of fresh produce.

“We live at a time with many organic and non-GMO options in produce,” said Pumplin. “Consumers looking for something better and different, enabled with biotechnology, have very few options to choose from. Norfolk Healthy Produce is proud to offer an additional choice to interested consumers and suppliers.”

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