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GMO Bananas and Humans: Untested, Unneeded, and Unwise
This is the type of crazy thinking that is pushing these scientists to continue to create GM foods that people do not want and do not trust. Wouldn’t it have been cheaper, easier, and safer to simply teach the people in these countries to grow and consume natural foods that are high in vitamin A, such as mangos?
If you remember, more than a decade ago, researchers created GM rice they dubbed “golden rice” that contained high levels of beta carotene for the people of the Philippines. However, this was something that the Philippine people did not want. Activists destroyed a test plot of the rice in their country. Researchers then tried a trial involving feeding this rice to Chinese children. This quickly turned into a huge scandal as Chinese officials stated that they were not told that this was GM rice. In fact, no government on the planet would allow, or has allowed the cultivation of this “golden rice”.
However, even if these trials prove that this banana does indeed raise vitamin A levels in the blood of test subjects, that doesn’t mean that it’s a “green light” for these super bananas. Many practical, as well as regulatory, obstacles would still have to be overcome. First, governments would have to approve it, farmers would have to agree to grow it, and people would have to be convinced that eating this banana was safe.
Now there has actually already been success in Uganda and Mozambique with a deep orange colored sweet potato that is super packed with vitamin A, far more than what’s in these GM bananas. This crop was quickly planted and needed no prior approval because it was made not by altering the plants genes, but simply by cross breeding several existing varieties. Why isn’t this sweet potato being offered throughout Africa? And why didn’t the Bill Gates foundation consider this option, the cross breeding of different types of bananas, before creating another GM monster food?
It appears that when it comes to money, it outweighs both common sense as well as a concern for the health of the world.