Untested GMO bananas will be used for the direct experiment on American college women. This fall the testing of the new genetically modified bananas with artificial levels of beta-carotene in humans will start.
(Beta-carotene is also called pro-vitamin A because it encourages the creation of this important vitamin in the human body.) Scientists plan on feeding university students in Iowa with the “monstrous fruit”.
These tests are carried out on people with no previous experiments on animals, so the consequences that will affect students’ health are not known. The Des Moines Register reported there will be 12 selected students from a total of 500 students who responded to the call to volunteer in the first test.
They will consume genetically modified bananas for four days, during three separate periods of the study. As a compensation for their participation in the study, which is absolutely uncertain, students will receive 900 dollars.
GM banana as a project funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and launched by Queensland University of Technology in Australia is intended for the cultivation and use of bananas in poor African countries where the lack of vitamin A is very common.
GMO bananas companies guarantee higher profits. Genetically modified food, like bananas, is resistant to bacterial diseases, worms and weevils. The company guarantees safe production of the classic banana, and thus higher profits. 2020 “super-bananas” should start to grow in Uganda. If this project gets a green light, the breeding will go to Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania as well.
Opponents of the research, including the world renowned scientists, warn that genetically modified bananas haven’t been tested on any other living being, let alone the people.
They are concerned since they don’t know how this research will be conducted or whether the students will be familiar with what they eat. They warn that excess synthetic vitamin A in the body can be dangerous and with toxic effects.
This is not the first attempt
GMO bananas is not the first global project that is offered as a solution to vitamin A deficiency worldwide. The forerunner of bananas was infamous project “golden rice” enriched with pro-vitamin A, which has so far failed all tests.
Dangerous genetically modified food is in fact unnecessary because nature already has a solution for the lack of vitamin A in the human body. Mango and sweet potato contain high levels of beta-carotene as well as carrots, pumpkins, persimmons apples, apricots and spinach.