LETTER: Under the skin of mutant tomatoes

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From Mr Charlie Harris

Sir: When food such as a tomato rots, a number of chemical reactions take place, in which many different nutrients deteriorate at different rates. Some deteriorate remarkably rapidly.

Genetically engineered food may preserve the appearance of freshness, but does it preserve the freshness of all the nutrients involved (News Analysis: "Engineering a plateful of trouble?", 14 December)? Some attributes - such as bright colour and firm skin - are indicators that the food inside is fresh.

But if growers can interfere with the indicators, we can no longer trust what the appearance is telling us.

To put it another way, does genetic engineering keep food fresh - or does it keep it stale?


Charlie Harris

London, NW3

15 December