Opponents of genetically modified food have had a relatively easy job because the benefits to consumers have been very defused and indirect. Farmers will get better yields which will lead to lower prices, etc. This is no big deal to most US consumers who already enjoy cheap food.
But the next generation of GMO products is being engineered to provide specific health benefits for individuals. Now Flavonoid-rich tomatoes are being developed for the boost that could provide better heart health:
“This is the first time that specific fruit has been demonstrated to reduce human C-reactive protein (CRP) and that transgenic over-expression of specific flavonoids results in a further reduction of this important cardiovascular risk marker,” wrote lead author Dietrich Rein from BASF Plant Science Holding GmbH.
As the company went on to explain:
CRP is produced in the liver and is a known marker for inflammation. Increased levels of CRP are a good predictor for the onset of both type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
You can see the whole article here.
Consumers, who have so far been resistant to GMO food — partially out of fear but mostly because there is no obvious upside — will change their tune if they learn that the neighbor’s kids are going to be smarter, taller, stronger or healthier because of their consumption of genetically enhanced foods.
In the medium run, it will really help the produce industry as these products roll out. In the long run, the enhanced levels of scientific knowledge that go along with this work will also help the bakery industry as we learn to genetically alter flour and grains to provide the nutritional values people need.
Then consumers could do what they want and eat a seven-layer chocolate mousse cake and get their flavonoids and other things in fully digestible form.