Banana

As part of ongoing efforts to battle hunger and malnutrition throughout the developing world, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation are teaming up to fund research into the development of genetically modified bananas.

Scientists at Queensland University of Technology in Australia have been working on the project to make bananas contain more vitamins and to also be iron-rich in order to combat a large anemia problem in India. The University will be working with Indian institutions to develop the bananas.

The Indian project follows efforts to develop a more nutrient dense banana for use in Uganda, where especially high levels of vitamin A will be added to the already heavily hybridized fruit to help prevent blindness and other illnesses.

The research team estimates it will be another decade before farmers begin planting the GMO bananas.

Bill Gates has been outspoken in his support of genetic modification as a tool to help combat world hunger issues despite evidence that shows decreased crop yields, pesticide resistant bugs and weeds, environmental damage and major human health concerns all connected with the growing number of GMO crops. In the U.S. alone, more than 70 percent of processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients, and more than 80 percent of corn, soy, canola and cotton crops are genetically modified. Outrage over the issue has led to several petitions to our state and federal government to enforce restrictions on GMO foods, such as labeling laws that would require manufacturers to list the addition of any GMO ingredients on food packaging.

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Image: IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION