genetic engineering: tomato + peanut = tomato that causes reaction

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/1999 - 1:52pm
Jon Goldstein's picture
Joined: 04/29/1999 - 09:00

Hi. I heard something a year or so ago about some sort of Brazilian nut being used to genetically engineer tomatos so they will last longer. Supposedly, after finding that people have reactions to the new tomato, it was no longer produced. Have anyone you heard of this before, or is it a fabrication?



[This message has been edited by Jon Goldstein (edited April 29, 1999).]

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/1999 - 2:07pm
Jim's picture
Joined: 03/15/1999 - 09:00

Jon, we were told by our son's allergist that the genetically engineered tomato was with soy. It was not put on the market because of soy being a known and common allergen.

Posted on: Sat, 05/01/1999 - 6:34am
Holly Gunning's picture
Joined: 02/01/1999 - 09:00

I live in England where there has been a big debate recently about genetically modified foods (basically people here are very suspicious of them). One fact I learnt is that there were attempts to boost the protein content of soy by giving it some peanut DNA. This was blocked by the US regulatory body as it was realised that this was a pretty stupid thing to do.

Posted on: Tue, 06/13/2000 - 3:16pm
ColleenMarie's picture
Joined: 03/04/2000 - 09:00

I just performed a search and found your post! It is exactly what I brought up on page 3 of the recent peanut ban post!!! I wasn't sure anyone had heard about this - thank goodness for the search engine. My chemist friend just told me about the soy protein and tomato problem about a week ago. I will find some time to talk to her in depth about it.
I think this is a fascinating and scary topic and I want to learn as much as I can about it. Apparently, McD's has been selling GM foods for about a decade and the European Community refuses to allow McD's to sell it in their market - a nice international political issue, wouldn't you say!?
I was an International Studies major in college, so I understand the published articles in the professional journal Foreign Affairs which credit GM foods to helping developing countries, but I still worry. Does anyone know what the percentages of food allergic people are by country? I doubt the lesser developing countries have these statistics available, but it would be very interesting (and maybe applicable) to know. Are these food allergies just on the rise in the US (Canada? Europe?)? If just in the US, then why? Could it be related to GM foods???????
I realize it may have nothing to do with gm goods, but I need to learn MUCH more about them before I will praise this technology. Even if it DOES help lesser developing countries now, can you imagine the negative impact it will have on these very countries in years to come if indeed this technology is inducing the rising food allergy problem!? Scary...
On the other hand, I am not bashing gm technology - I just think we need to be very careful how it's used and study its effects very carefully before saying it's a wonderful or terrible thing. So, right now, I'm on neither side. But I am extremely skeptical and in a state of wonder - for now.
Scientists, please educate us on this!!

Posted on: Tue, 06/13/2000 - 3:45pm
ColleenMarie's picture
Joined: 03/04/2000 - 09:00

Another thought -
While I'm skeptical about gm foods, I also respect science and technology and its applications. I definitely do not want to create a frenzy of worry over this. Rather, I'm searching for information.
Just as gm foods could possibly cause problems, here's an exciting thought: Maybe scientists can genetically modify the protein in peanuts that causes the allergic reactions!? Genetically modify it OUT of the peanut? I haven't taken any time to learn much about the research end of pa - maybe this is exactly what they are already doing?
I fear that I might be totally clueless - maybe everything I've written would bug research scientists. Let me know, though. I want to learn more. I'll talk to my chemist friend again and report anything interesting.

Posted on: Tue, 06/20/2000 - 6:16am
schierman's picture
Joined: 06/30/1999 - 09:00

Yes, I have heard of this. I found a newspaper article in the Atlanta Journal over a year ago, which mentioned the the US Peanut Council was donating $1 million for research into producing a peanut that is absent of the protiens that cause allergic reactions. I have not heard any more on the topic. I hope something good comes out of this research.

Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2000 - 10:48am
ColleenMarie's picture
Joined: 03/04/2000 - 09:00

Update -
My friend who works as a chemist for the government brought my attention to this article. Just another indication that there MAY be a link between GM foods and the increase in food allergies. No proof yet, but certainly worth considering:
There are quite a few ardent supporters of GM foods, and I can understand their points. But I want to consider both sides of the issue before deciding if it's really good or bad.

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