Activists response to diseased African bananas: Don’t embrace GMO solution

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Zen Honeycutt is the founder and director of the Moms Across America, an anti-GMO activist group. She recently met an official from Uganda who indicated GMOs might be the only way to save his country’s banana crop. In her words:

“I got to speak to Erostus Nsubuga, chairman of the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium, from Uganda. His main defense of GMOs was not that GMOs and related chemicals are safe, but that they have been trying for 20 years to grow bananas naturally and they have not been successful, implying that they need GMOs. He never indicated that Uganda might be a better place to grow other types of crops besides bananas.”

So here is an American (who knows little about Ugandan agriculture) having the audacity to suggest to someone from Uganda that maybe they should just throw in the towel and grow something else. Clearly, she doesn’t realize that  Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas in the world.

Mr. Nsubga’s concern is that bananas in Uganda are being threatened by a disease called Banana Wilt which destroys the crop. The loss of this crop is having a devastating economic impact on Ugandan farmers who rely on it, not only for income, but in many cases as their primary source of food.

A promising biotech solution (developed by Ugandan scientists for Ugandan farmers) will give bananas resistance to the disease. It has had tremendous success in field trials but is running into opposition from anti-GMO activists who would rather see this solution fail than risk the success of a genetically engineered crop.

Read full, original post: Putting Science at the Heart of European Policy