There’s only one species of banana sold commercially: The big Michel (or rather it’s follow-up, Cavendish). This is because it’s the only banana resistant to a certain plague that killed off all the other commercial species a while ago, and tasted similar enough to the other species that consumers would accept it. And since then, banana researchers have been saying that one day, the next plague will come and it will be the end of bananas as we know them.
Now that day has come. That one species of domesticated bananas are being threatened by a fungus. It looks like researchers have come up with an genetically modified banana that’s resistant to the fungus, which will save the banana crop – but it will also mean that the future of commercial bananas is 100% genetically modified.
There are a few take-aways from this.
1. Never, EVER, monocrop an important commercial agricultural product worldwide. You speed off their extinction that way. Genetic diversity is important!
2. If you aren’t a friend of genetically modified foods, you should stay away from bananas.
Panamakrankheit: In Zukunft nur noch Genbananen?
Wollen wir weiter Bananen essen, kommen wir wohl um Gentechnik nicht herum