You Say To-may-to, I say Lemon Basil

Tired of tomatoes that have been engineered for durability (and not flavor) within an inch of their lives? The Discovery Channel reports that Israeli researchers are proudly touting new tomatoes that have been genetically engineered to take on some of the properties of a variety of lemon basil.

The result is a tomato with notes of what tasters described as “perfume,” “rose,” “geranium,” and “lemongrass.”

Unfortunately, the new tomato also has less of the antioxidant lycopene. On the bright side, the GM tomato has higher levels of compounds called volatile terpenoids, so it “may have longer shelf life and need less pesticide to grow.”

That is, if wider distribution of a GM tomato with less lycopene is generally viewed as “the bright side.”

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