GMO Bananas and How to Avoid Them

GMO bananas coming soon!

Several GMO banana varieties are currently being developed around the world and have already been approved for experimental growing in field trials in the US (Hawaii), Israel, Australia, and Uganda. Commercial use of genetically modified bananas for food and vaccination purposes is expected in the near future. The Gates Foundation has invested a large interest in developing GMO bananas in Uganda known as the Banana21 program.

One GMO banana variety being developed and tested is the common Cavendish banana. The other GMO banana is the East African Highland banana locally known as Matooke – a staple food of Uganda. The highly controversial Vaccine Banana is also in development.

Most people in developed nations are used to seeing the familiar Cavendish bananas in grocery stores. They often come from Ecuador and other South American countries. These bananas are usually grown by Dole and Chiquita brands. Non-organic Cavendish bananas are known to lack taste. What’s worse is they may have been grown with highly toxic pesticides such as DBCP and irradiated.

Check out the Bananas* movie, which is banned in the U.S. and the Big Boys Gone Bananas* for more info. These documentaries expose how the non-organic bananas are grown with super toxic chemicals that cause infertility (DBCP) and the lawsuits that followed against Dole, Dow, and the filmmaker, as a result. Organically grown Cavendish bananas are sweet and much healthier for you and the planet.

Cavendish Bananas on the cover of Bananas* movie

Cavendish Bananas on the cover of Bananas* movie

GMO bananas to the rescue.. or?

A new strain of the Panama fungal disease (F. oxysporum) called Tropical Race 4 (TR4) is quickly spreading across the world and putting the South American banana monoculture industry at risk, where 80% of Cavendish bananas are grown. Hence, the GMO Cavendish banana is promoted as the solution by the biotech industry, as it’s supposed to be resistant to the fungal disease.

A GMO version of the Matooke banana, also known as the East African Highland banana is being promoted in Uganda by the Gates Foundation. The Matooke banana is a cooking banana, which is also a staple food in Uganda.  The GMO Matooke banana was developed in Australia and field tested in the U.S. and Uganda.

The supposed benefit of the GMO Matooke banana is a better nutritional profile of the essential pro-vitamin A and iron when compared to non-gmo bananas, but in Uganda not everyone is happy about it. The introduction of the GMO Matooke banana has sparked an anti-GMO row in Uganda. GMO banana opponents insist that health risks and environmental impacts are unknown. They warn that multinational corporations behind GMO foods take advantage of local governments and farmers.

How to avoid GMO bananas!

The World of Bananas in Hawaii: Then and Now (book)

The World of Bananas in Hawaii: Then and Now (book)

Solution #1

Since GMOs are not labeled in the U.S. the safest thing to do is to avoid them by buying certified organic Cavendish bananas. Certified organic bananas are certified to be non-gmo, have better taste, and are ecologically better for the environment and for those who grow them, since synthetic chemicals like the highly toxic DBCP may not be used.

Solution #2

Try other types of bananas, such as the excellent Apple Bananas, Saba, Ice cream, or the Cuban Red variety. Farmers markets in Hawaii are usually a good place to find them. You can also grow your own organic bananas if you live in a tropical climate. Check out “The World of Bananas in Hawaii: Then and Now,” probably the best book on bananas out there.

Solution #3

Vitamin A is very important for health and there are healthy non-gmo organic alternatives out there that are readily available. The Hawaiian Lele banana is known to contain more vitamin A than any other variety of bananas known. If you live in a tropical climate plant some Lele bananas.

Also, you can get a non-gmo natural source of vitamin A from cooked organic sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, cooked kale, cooked butternut squash, and dried apricots. These foods are known to contain the highest amounts of vitamin A out there.

Non-gmo organic bananas are in the public domain, so that anyone can freely grow them and consume them while avoiding the risks of controversial GMO bananas.

Thai bananas grown in Hawaii

Thai bananas grown in Hawaii

bananas

Bananas at a farmers market

Bananas at a farmers market on Oahu, Hawaii

bananas at farmers market 2

Saba bananas grown in Hawaii

Saba bananas grown in Hawaii

Saba bananas

Saba bananas – sweet and rich 🙂

  • Vima

    Nice sharing!

  • Yvette Williams

    So can I order these non GM O banasas.

    • Any banana certified organic are automatically non-GMO. Many grocery stores carry them, although they usually come from Ecuador or other South American countries.

  • Sheri

    No one should be able to go into any country and genetically mess with the DNA of a staple food that the people depend on for survival. Read F. William Engdall’s book titled: Seeds of Destruction The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation.

  • Nancy

    Thank you for making this important information known. I do not live in a tropical area so will be sure to only buy organic bananas from now on. I did want to point out something about Vitamin A. While it is true that the vegetables you listed are high in beta carotene, which can be converted to Vitamin A in the body, these foods are not the highest sources of Vitamin A. Animal foods such as liver, fish roe, and fats from animals that have been outside in the sun on pasture (especially butter) are the highest sources of actual Vitamin A, which is easily absorbed by the body without the need to make the conversion. This nutrient is especially important for pregnant women and growing children. The vegetable sources are definitely good for us, but we need adequate quantities of the animal sources as well.

    • Thanks for sharing your input Nancy. Seems that vegans will be missing out on this direct source of vitamin A. Weston A. Price Foundation is a great resource that comes to mind for getting maximum nutrition through diet. Aloha!

  • Diana

    GMOs are great as they are now. We need higher yields of produce to feed over 7 billion people at prices that the poor can afford. Organic food hasn’t been proven to be healthier or non-toxic. The only problem I would have with a GMO banana is that scientist are trying to develop one that won’t go black/over ripen, so how am I to make banana bread with yellow bananas?

    • David Cole

      Diana, wake up. If the wrong doer’s would leave things and people alone, there is a world of plenty.

      • liquidsouljah

        David, you’re right. The global chemicals/biotech/pharma corporations always try to force their illusion on fear/scarcity/disease on to people to make them a slave to their evil products!

        • Diana

          David Cole, I fully awake, went to the grocery store recently 1 organic cantaloupe was nine dollars vs. a non-organic which was 2.49; moreover, just about everything labeled “organic,” was ridiculously overpriced. And, though I can afford the nine dollar cantaloupe, I refuse to pay that much because in doing so, I would be doing a disservice to the majority that can’t afford it. There is no conspiracy here other than the GMO fear mongers spreading flat out lies to hide their own financial greed. “Organic growers” only threats are their own ignorance and greed.

          liquidsouljah just because you say David is right it, doesn’t make it so. Just listen to yourselves, you sound like crazy cult leaders instead of educated individuals backed by science. Nothing you mentioned makes any sense. Over 2000 biotech studies/research have proven that GMOs are just as safe and/or even better. At the end of the day, they’re are 2 kinds of people who believe that organic is better, those who have faith in it and those who sell it, both without any valid scientific proof.

          • constitution protector

            Have at it. eat all the dow chemicals you want, but don’t scream for free health care when you get cancer, and you will get cancer. Is this you Bill Gates?

        • Yvette Williams

          Yes they do.

      • Yvette Williams

        I agree if the higher ups. Would leave things alone a let things be.

        • constitution protector

          True, and Bill Gates isn’t that smart. he was just able to con a lot of people into buying his crappy product. if microsoft windows is so good, how come it has to update every other day?

          • Luis Daniel Rodriguez

            “if microsoft windows is so good, how come it has to update every other day?” Are you serious? Out of all the points to use as support, that was your go to? All software, from all companies needs constant updates. Hackers, cyber criminals, vulnerable documents, and you can even pass on malware are some of the reasons for updates.

          • constitution protector

            Really, NOT ALL. microsoft is a lousy product. Why doesn’t the Military use it.

    • liquidsouljah

      Diana, GMO’s are “great” only to those who enjoy cancer from glyphosate/roundup and other wicked chemicals used. GMO crops have failed farmers countless times as a result farmers committing suicides b/c they are broke. Organic food is definitely healthier since it’s not sprayed with toxic chemicals, grown with weird foreign genes, or fertilized with sludge waste, not irradiated, etc. Since it’s grown in real soil, organic nutrient density is much higher than food grown on “steroids” think about it.. plus it tastes better

    • constitution protector

      And I see PLENTY of fertile farmland all around me. those 7 Billion live in the cities. I eat locally grown food, while they ship the gmo poison to you. enjoy.

    • ann

      Which planet are you from??

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  • Luis Daniel Rodriguez

    Our commercial bananas are already modified. They’ve been specially bred over time so that they are seedless triploids. Meaning they have three sets of genes, instead of just two, so they don’t form mature seeds. Every single Cavendish banana is pretty much genetically the same. All clones and descendants of one single banana.