Introduced in 1994, it was the first genetically engineered crop to be sold commercially. It featured not only an annoyingly purposeful misspelling in its name but the ability to stay firm through shipping. Though well received at first, disappointment set in when the flavor part implied in the name was lacking -- the tomato tasted like all its tasteless cousins that had been conventionally hybridized to ripen to a uniform red. We now know that that hybridization also turns off the gene that gives tomatoes flavor. In any case, the Flavr Savr proved unprofitable because of "high production and distribution costs," according to an article in the University of California's journal California Agriculture, and it disappeared from grocery shelves.
Above, a tomato breeder displays varieties grown at the Monsanto Co. facility in Woodland, Calif.