Have you ever wonder “how to identify GMO tomatoes?”
I personally did wonder and I finally found an easy solution.
And from my perspective, this is something that we all need to get good at.
The funny bit is that a GMO tomato is a vegetable.
And if we follow what experts around the world are telling us, it is better to eat at least 5 vegetables a day than none.
So, if you look at the experts’ advice, we should all be eating plenty of tomatoes, whether they are GMO or not.
Yes, they’re right. But the GMO tomatoes are modified by a human being, and as such may not be suitable at times for our bodies.
Now, if you are like me, I like to eat fruits and vegetables that are natural, so I have to find easy methods so that I can identify GMO produce from natural ones. This is exactly what this article is all about.
What is a GMO tomato?
A Genetically Modified Tomato is simply a tomato. But this tomato differs from our naturally grown one because it has had its genes modified through genetic engineering.
A GMO Tomato is also known as being a transgenic tomato.
to be factual, it is in the early 1990s that transgenic food made its debut.
The company that launched GMO is Calgene, Inc.
They developed the world’s first Genetically Modified (
And guess what, it was a strain of tomato.
They decided to name it as Flavr Savr.
The company’s aim was to remove the polygalacturonase gene.
This gene helped to delay the vegetable’s softening process after ripening.
As such, the company was able to reduce the overall costs of processing tomato products.
And the results are that today’s tomato paste and tomato sauce are cheaper than ever.
Yes, the first-ever GMO tomato was invented to reduce the cost production so that Calgene was able to introduce lower-cost canned tomato.
So this was not for our health, it was to optimize the income of the company and increase their sales.
To summarise, most of the GMO products are not being invented for your health, but really to ensure that the company behind it makes more money.
Why do I need to know about GMOs?
Nowadays, our supermarkets are “overloaded” with GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). And this is true for both fruits and vegetables.
Many people will argue that GMOs are good for you and that they support faster growth and lower diseases in the vegetables and fruits chain.
However, the scientific community cannot agree on GMOs.
Many studies have described that these types of fruits and vegetables (GMO) are harmful to the human being.
Other studies say that they are not.
So who is right or wrong?
It is best to look at this question from a different angle.
If you are unsure of something, then it is probably best not to use that ‘thing’.
What I mean is if there is no scientific evidence for or against a product, that does not mean that the product is good for you. (1, 2)
Let me be a little bit more precise.
Think about asbestos. In the 70s, asbestos was installed everywhere as a cheap material used in the construction industry.
It is only a couple of years ago that we heard that asbestos was bad for us.
Similarly, we are told that nuclear is good, but look at what happened in Ukraine and Japan. Two major nuclear catastrophes though we were told that the technology is safe by our politicians and scientists.
So, my quick most humble position is this. If you are unsure and there is no clear evidence, then stay away from the hype. This is the same for GMOs.
How to identify GMO tomatoes?
Though there are reports mentioning that GMO tomatoes are not sold anymore, would you ever believe this?
Well, no matter what you say, history has proven that when it comes to money, suppliers of goods will not tell the whole truth.
On that basis, I think it is important to know how to tell the difference between a GMO tomato and a natural one. And it is not difficult to identify a GMO product.
Below is a picture that illustrates the main difference. I have a video as well at the end of the article.
Are GMOs Safe?
I mentioned my point of view about GMOs above.
You’ll be pleased to know that there are so many different viewpoints when looking at the health and safety of genetically engineered food.
There are three main camps. The first camp is the industry leaders and scientists who support GMOs.
The second camp is those who believe GMOs are harmful.
And the third camps are those who do not care.
Now, I think you ought to know that genetically modified foods are associated with toxic and allergic reactions.
So, if you think of it, you can get sick, sterile and dead livestock.
Some have documented that eating these can damage virtually every organ as per their studies in lab animals.
So the industry says it is safe for us to eat, but lab animals have been made to suffer and we still say it is safe.
The good news is that some of our politicians are starting to say that we should not consider GMOs to be safe.
But still, when you look at the USA, you’ll find that about 90% of our production of corn and soybeans are from GMOs. (3)
What you really need to look into is that in more than 60 countries around the world, and that includes Japan, France, Australia, there is legislation in place to restrict or bans the production and sale of GMOs.
As I said above, you better keep on the safe side of things.
Labeling GMO products
I think this will be of interest to you.
You may want to know that fruits and vegetables that are grown naturally are labeled with a code consisting of four digits.
And you also need to know that organic fruits and vegetables have a label with a code consisting of five digits. And this code starts with the number 9.
But on the other hand, you can identify Genetically modified (GMO) fruits and vegetables very simply. They have a price tag or a label with a code consisting of five digits. And this code starts with the number 8.
So you do not need to be an expert in identifying if you are being natural or GMO tomatoes.
You really need to be careful when you go shopping for food. The above tips are critical because more than 80 percent of processed foods in the United States is genetically modified.
Also note that in the vast majority of European countries, the production GMO products is prohibited, though the sale of it not.
The countries that are opposed to GMOs are mainly Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and Luxemburg. There is a strong lobby from the agricultural sector for GMOs not to be commercialized in these countries, though only time will tell if these will be respected in the future.
Safety of GMO products
Here is a nice video that explains what you need to know about GMOs.
As you can see, GMO tomatoes have been out there since the 90’s. Now, the GMO industry is major and you can hardly differentiate between GMO and naturally produced vegetables and fruits.
I showed the different risks associated with then GMOs and those lab animals are put to suffer with them.
And still some countries say it is very safe. I guess our politician like to eat this food 🙂
Anyway, the decision rest with you. If you look at the packaging, you’ll find that it is easy to separate GMO food from the natural one.
To recap, if the digit on the price label starts with a 9 then it is produced naturally. If it starts with an 8 then it is GMO.
Back to you
Now you know as much as you should and you are able to make your own decision about eating GMO tomatoes or not.
You have the knowledge so no excuse.
Speak soon in another Omigy article.