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Scoop Satire: GM Tomato Gives Birth

EDITORS NOTE: Scoop has commenced publication of satirical articles from the Babylon Express newspaper. Those easily offended and not often amused should avoid this content. See authors note at the end of this article for more information about the Babylon Express.

Genitically Modified Tomato Gives Birth

Chicago: Some are calling it the most significant breakthrough yet in genetic technology, while others say it is the beginning of an ecological nightmare. Either way, all agree the announcement by the Chicago Institute of Micro-genetic Research that a domesticated genetically modified tomato has given birth to a set of baby tomato triplets is the defining moment of 21st Century genetic development.

The tomato, named Heidi, was said to be in a comfortable condition after a smooth delivery.

"From the first contractions to the final birth took 47 minutes" said Dr Richard Stymes.

Tragedy occurred soon after the delivery, however, when one of the baby tomatoes was accidentally taken & used in a salad. Dr Symes said the mishap was due to a procedural error.

"A new-born tomato requires a cool surrounding, and is placed in a specially converted fridge soon after birth. In this case the wrong fridge. It was probably also an error to place them in a glass bowl with elegant swirling patterns next to a jar of mayonnaise."

But Scientists at the Institute are playing down the incident, preferring to concentrate on what they see as the "revolutionary" possibilities in the new technology.

"Until now it has always been the preserve of the farmer to grow & raise tomatoes, a relationship based on an essentially master-slave foundation. But now we will see a process whereby tomatoes themselves can nurture their own in a constructive, pro-tomato environment. And research has shown that the happier the tomato, the tastier the tomato."

But the Institute's announcement has brought it into the sights of a number of ethical groups dismayed at what Vegetable Rights Now! activist Rebecca Lozenge calls the new "Salad Fascism".

"It's abhorrent" she said, "Creating organisms capable of nurturing instincts only to take their progeny for slaughter. It's barbaric. What next? Cows?"

Others have pointed to seminal films such as Attack of the Killer Tomatoes as prophetic of the potentially disastrous effects of giving consciousness to tomatoes.

"You've just got to imagine it", said sweaty, overweight internet user Martin Sludge. "What happens when they start organising, filling up on protein, growing to huge sizes, up to 10 foot high? And they all look the same. How will you catch the leaders? How will you trace the dissent back to its source?"

Dr Symes is unfazed by the criticisms.

"All this talk of secret tomato sources is just paranoia," he said. "Tomatoes are not capable of conscious choice...although...there was one unusual tomato..."

Here Dr Stymes was interrupted by Dr Igor Munch, considered by some to be the mastermind behind the process.

"No Richard. Not yet. They will know soon enough. The whole world will know soon enough!"

"But Doctor - you said the tomatoes would be a force for good...a tool for great changes..."

"Pah! Imagine it Richard," Said Dr Munch grabbing Br Stymes roughly by the lapels, "What we could achieve with an army of tomatoes! With ten million trained tomatoes loyal to me alone! What a source to call upon! Why - they'd be unbeatable! Dr Munches Unbeatable Tomato Source! Think of it...!

"But - you're...you're quite mad doctor!"

"Mad? Pah! They said that about Reagan too. Mad? If megalomaniac apocalyptic paranoia must be mistaken for madness - then so be it!" said Dr Munch before limping from the room.

The institute also announced that it would be pressing ahead with it's controversial plans to mate a tomato with a carrot.

- The Babylon Express is a satirical newspaper published randomly in Wellington. Copies are so far only available in local shops whose proprietors haven't got sticks up their arses. Those interested in acquiring previous or upcoming copies should contact the editor at bexpress69@hotmail.com. Contributions and suggestions are always very welcome. Cheers.

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