Crop Biotech Update

GM Bananas Premier in Australia

March 31, 2010

Genetically modified bananas with increased levels of pro-vitamin A have been selected and grown in north Queensland, Australia. The GM bananas were planted in the South Johnstone area of Queensland as a part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project to address mineral and vitamin deficiencies in human nutrition in East Africa. Eastern African bananas are recipients of the pro-vitamin A genes in breeding studies conducted by the Australian Queensland University of Technology and the Ugandan Agriculture Research Organization (NARO). Succeeding research efforts will be geared towards iron accumulation in the fruit. The researchers headed by Professsors James Dale and Wilberforce Tushemereirwe are optimistic that micronutrient-enriched bananas will be in East African tables within five years.

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