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The Washington Post recently reported on a growing threat to bananas as we know them. The Cavendish, which has been the most popular banana variety for export since the mid-1900s, is at risk of disappearing due to a new strain of Panama Disease. . .
The new strain of Panama Disease, known as Tropical Race 4, has already spread from Southeast Asia across the rest of the continent, as well as to Africa, the Middle East and Australia. Whenever it makes what researchers say is an inevitable jump to Latin America, it will devastate commercial banana production. And right now, banana growers have no way to prevent the oncoming disaster. . .
That means that if we want to keep eating bananas on our cereal – and supporting populations for whom it serves as a staple or cash crop – we may need a more creative solution. Potentially, that solution could be to develop GMO banana varieties resistant to the disease.
The Genetic Literacy Project has presented a thoughtful discussion of the issues surrounding this course of action. . .
Opponents of developing genetically modified banana varieties say that seeking bioengineered solutions will only promote a continuation of monoculture, though the Genetic Literacy Project’s coverage has pointed out the flaws in this argument. . .
Yet for now, Dole and Chiquita do not even want to attempt to plant GMO bananas because of the difficulty selling them, particularly in Europe, but also because of the mindless activism of opponents in the United States.
Read full, original post: Yes, We May Have No Bananas