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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Genetically Modified Food

The earliest use of the term ‘Frankenstein food’ to refer to genetically modified food was in 1989.
Flavr Savr, a genetically modified tomato, was the first commercially grown genetically engineered food to be granted a license for human consumption. The tomatoes were genetically modified to prevent ripening thus preventing wastage. It was produced by the Californian company Calgene, and was first sold in 1994.

Flavr Savr  was only available for a few years before production ceased in 1997. The failure of the pioneering food has been attributed to Calgene's inexperience in the business of growing and shipping tomatoes.

A tomato puree became Britain’s first genetically modified food to be sold in supermarkets in 1996. Over the next three years, 1.8 million cans, clearly labelled as genetically engineered, were sold in supermarkets At one point the paste outsold normal tomato paste but sales fell in the autumn of 1998. Many were anxious about the hazards of GM and protesters were trampling on and destroying many crops.

AquAdvantage salmon is the trade name for a genetically modified Atlantic salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies. A growth hormone-regulating gene from a Pacific Chinook salmon and a promoter from an ocean pout were added to the Atlantic salmon's 40,000 genes. These genes increased the speed at which the fish grew by enabling it to grow year-round instead of only during spring and summer. In November 2015 AquAdvantage salmon became the first genetically modified animal approved by the US FDA for human consumption.

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