Genetically modified tomatoes harmless to he alth
The company Zeneca has applied in Spain for authorization to place genetically modified tomatoes on the EU-wide market. A prerequisite for approval is that the genetically modified tomato plants pose no risk to human he alth or the environment. The Robert Koch Institute has issued a safety assessment for Germany, which has turned out to be positive. In the EU approval process, following the positive safety assessment by the Spanish approval authority, the competent authorities of the other EU member states have to carry out their safety assessment for the placing on the market of these tomato plants. The application for authorization to place the transgenic tomatoes on the market can only be approved if none of the EU member states raise concerns. If there is no unanimous agreement from all member countries, the European Commission must submit a proposal for a decision to the member countries.
The safety assessment by the Robert Koch Institute, which is responsible for Germany, has shown that the genetically modified tomato plants from the Zeneca company are harmless in terms of any risks to he alth and the environment. The genetically modified tomato plants therefore do not pose any risk to human he alth or the environment. As requested, this safety assessment applies to the cultivation of the tomato plants and the processing of their fruits. Tomato paste made from these genetically modified tomatoes has been on the market in the UK for some time.
The tomatoes were modified using genetic engineering methods in such a way that the formation of an enzyme that breaks down the cell wall is inhibited. This delays fruit ripening and pectin degradation.
During the production of the genetically modified tomatoes, a gene was used to mark the transformed plant cells, which gives microorganisms resistance to the antibiotic kanamycin. This antibiotic resistance gene is widely distributed in the environment by microorganisms. The antibiotic is of little importance in human medicine.