Disease-resistant GMO banana field trial approved in Australia


A trial of genetically modified bananas will begin south of Darwin [Australia] in a few months after a five-year trial received approval from the gene technology regulator.

Two hundred modified lines of Cavendish bananas will be grown over 6 hectares in the Litchfield region in the hope of developing a variety resistant to Panama Tropical Race 4.

The destructive fungal disease is now commonplace in the Northern Territory after being found in Darwin’s rural area in 1997.

“The outcome of [a similar previous] trial was that we found four lines of Cavendish Grand Nain which had either complete or very high levels of resistance,” [said professor James Dale, from the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), who is leading the banana research program.]

While there are no genetically modified bananas being grown commercially in Australia, Professor Dale said that may change if Panama disease became widespread.

“If the disease becomes really serious in Queensland then there would be a real possibility to take our bananas through to deregulation in Australia,” he said.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Genetically modified banana trial to return to Northern Territory in hope of finding variety resistant to Panama TR4

  • Eric Bjerregaard

    The sooner the better. Then either GE resistance into a banana that tastes good or improve those bland Cavendish.

    • Good4U

      Viva ‘Gros Michel’ et ‘Lacatan’!!!

      • Eric Bjerregaard

        I don’t think I have ever tasted one of those. How do they compare? My homegrown ones are really good. But wouldn’t ship well. I’m eating a Dwarf Orinoco now.

        • Good4U

          They do taste much better than the dwarf Cavendish, and ship better because they have thicker skins. They are not resistant to Fusarium wilt pathogen though, so were abandoned in most parts of commercial banana agriculture 60 years ago.

  • Yvonne Fergusson

    Oh great. Canola oil gives me arrythmias and now I have to cut out bananas.

    • Kathleen Strelnikow

      Canola is bad for the eyes and circulatory system. Don’t buy margarine or butter softened with canola. Use butter . Don’t believe the hype given out by big business who want us to only buy their toxic gunk. That includes artificial sweeteners. Look up the Net about these products.

  • morphd

    Nice interview with Prof. James Dale