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Japan approves gene-edited 'super tomato.' But will anyone eat it?

Heart-healthy fruit from university startup faces market wary of GMOs

The new tomato contains five times the normal amount of a compound linked to lower blood pressure. (Photo courtesy of Hiroshi Ezura at Tsukuba University)

TOKYO -- Food made with genome editing technology is set to head to Japan's dinner tables for the first time with the government's approval of a new heart-healthy tomato.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Friday approved the production and sale of a tomato developed by the University of Tsukuba and Sanatech Seed, a startup from the school. The fruit features five times the normal amount of GABA, an amino acid linked to lower blood pressure, thanks to tweaks to genes that normally limit GABA production.

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