US Scientists to feed Africans Genetically modified (GMO) bananas by 2020?

In the US, over 96 GMO varieties are commercially harvested and sold to uninformed consumers

Food Awareness – Africa has become the testing or dumping ground for many health and food corporations from Europe and North America. New findings reports, US Scientists to start growing and feeding Africans Genetically modified organisms (GMO) bananas by 2020.

Depiction of GMO Banana, to express idea of the modification process
Depiction of GMO Banana, to express idea of the modification process

In a news report published on RT this month titled “Genetically modified ‘super banana’ to be tested on Americans“, it says the investors of the GMO banana, aim to start growing the fruit in Uganda by 2020, which may then be adopted by neighboring countries Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Below is excerpt from the report:

A vitamin-enhanced ‘super-banana’ developed by scientists is to be tested on humans. The trials are to take place in the US over a six-week period. Researchers aim to start growing the fruit in Uganda by 2020.

The bananas are ‘super’ because they have been genetically engineered to have increased levels of vitamin A – a deficiency of which can be fatal.

Hundreds of thousands die annually worldwide from vitamin A deficiencies, while many others go blind, the project’s leader told AFP.

“The consequences of vitamin A deficiency are dire with 650,000-700,000 children worldwide dying…each year and at least another 300,000 going blind,” Professor James Dale stated.

“Good science can make a massive difference here by enriching staple crops such as Ugandan bananas with pro-vitamin A and providing poor and subsistence-farming populations with nutritionally rewarding food,” Dale said.

The project was created by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“We know our science will work,” Dale said. “We made all the constructs, the genes that went into bananas, and put them into bananas here at QUT.”

Dale added that the genetically modified banana flesh is more orange than a usual banana, but otherwise looks the same.

The highland or East African cooking banana is a dietary staple in East Africa, according to the researchers. However, it has low levels of micronutrients, particularly vitamin A and iron.

If the project is given the go-ahead for Uganda after the US trials, micronutrient enriched/modified crops could also be given the green light for Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

“In West Africa farmers grow plantain bananas and the same technology could easily be transferred to that variety as well,” Dale stated.

The report also brought to light, comments made by Bill Gate (founder of Microsoft) in support of GMO farming on the African continent:

Gates has supported the use of GMO crops in the developing world, as well as “large-scale farm land investments by foreign states in the developing world,” AFP wrote in 2012. Months ago, Gates stressed his support for GMO farming in Africa.

“Middle-income countries are the biggest users of GMOs…Small farmers have gotten soy beans and cotton and things like that. But we’re trying to get African agriculture up to high productivity – it’s about a third of rich-world productivity right now – and we need the full range of scientific innovation, with really good safety checking, to work on behalf of the poor,” Gates told Quartz in January.

GMO food crops are now grown in 28 countries, or on 12 percent of the world’s arable land, with the acreage doubling every five years. However, in the European Union, only two GMO varieties is reported to have so far been licensed for commercial harvesting (compared to 96 GMO varieties in the US).

African countries where GMO food crops have been commercialized, etc.
African countries where GMO food crops have been commercialized, etc.

In another closely related news published on NPR titled “Will GMOs Help Protect Ugandan Families Against Hunger?“, the reporter mentioned the following:

Growing GM crops to sell is currently legal in only in the region: Egypt, Sudan, Burkina Faso and South Africa. But scientists, farmers and international organizations are pressuring other governments to relax restrictions on the technology. They argue that engineered crops have the potential to alleviate some of the grave threats to food production, from plant diseases to climate change.

Uganda is the latest country to consider a bill to allow GM crops, and the legislation is currently before parliament. But not everyone’s behind it. Some activists are concerned with some of the same issues raised by GM critics in the U.S.

Calestous Juma from the faculty of science and technology policy at Harvard University, claims “genetically modified crops might be more reliable than what Ugandans currently plant, especially in lean years.” That “each Ugandan eats about 1 pound of the fruit per day, on average. “Bananas are the main source of starch in Uganda … almost every home has banana trees,” he says.

What else can one expect from someone who is paid and compensated by GMO corporations and organizations? Calestous Juma is the director of Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — same foundation behind lethal vaccine trials that have claimed and crippled thousands to millions of lives in Africa.

The Foundation is also at the forefront for any movement in support of GMO food crops in Africa, under the guise of combating world hunger.

The question now is, how are global Africans and African leaders, addressing or tackling the introduction of unnatural food and farming to our people and continent by western influences?

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