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"Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the a-banana-a-day dept.

Biotech 396

schwit1 (797399) writes "A super-enriched genetically engineered banana will soon go through its first human trial, which will test its effect on vitamin A levels, Australian researchers said Monday. The project plans to have the special banana varieties — enriched with alpha and beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A — growing in Uganda by 2020. The bananas are now being sent to the United States, and it is expected that the six-week trial measuring how well they lift vitamin A levels in humans will begin soon."

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ruling us down & out by default (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245593)

cannot be because of the 'weather'? http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wmd+weather

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, anonymous comment posting has temporarily been disabled. You can still login to post. However, if bad posting continues from your IP or Subnet that privilege could be revoked as well. If it's you,

And hippies will protest it (3, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47245633)

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED???? That's the boogeyman under the bed!! We must grow organic and all be vegans. If the poor Africans are starving, they just need to go to their local Whole Foods and buy some food.

Re:And hippies will protest it (-1, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | about 4 months ago | (#47245671)

Been watching a little too much Penn and Teller? Starving Africans? In which country are Africans starving?

Re:And hippies will protest it (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47245689)

Not in the United States [cdc.gov] , that's for damn sure. ;)

Re:And hippies will protest it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245723)

seriously, why are all poor negro women fat as fuck

Re:And hippies will protest it (5, Informative)

ruir (2709173) | about 4 months ago | (#47245795)

Poor people are fat because they dont eat properly.

Re:And hippies will protest it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245859)

Most females are super bananas, too.

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

ilparatzo (3627897) | about 4 months ago | (#47245901)

Someone should show them the "Food Plate", formerly known as the "Food Pyramid" then, shouldn't they?

Or are we prepping an argument about how it's nearly impossible to eat "properly" when you're poor?

Re:And hippies will protest it (5, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47245977)

No, becasue the only food they can afford is salt laden fatty food.
Remember most pore people work full time jobs and still are at the poverty line. So no time, and not money, and limited education.

Re:And hippies will protest it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246259)

Remember most pore ... limited education.

Pore ?

Limited education ?

You are obviously referring to your own ignorant worthless lowlife retard self, you pathetic illiterate
cocksucker.

Re:And hippies will protest it (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 months ago | (#47245983)

Poor people are fact because they CANT eat properly. I suggest you look at the price of real unprocessed meat and veggies as well as hole grain breads.

Poor people buy the $1.25 garbage white bread instead of the $3.00 a loaf whole grain.
They buy Ramen, that is utter crap for nutrition.
They buy prepackaged garbage because it's cheaper, a LOT cheaper.
They buy the lowest grade of meat, typically hamburger in a tube that is 50% fat, hooves and tripe.

Veggies are expensive, $1.00 iceberg lettuce that is complete crap instead of the $4.00 Romaine lettuce.

DOUBLE the poor persons food budget and they can start to eat better. Also put a big ass tax on Fast food places that sell utter crap like McDonalds and Taco Bell. They prey on the poor with their $1.00 menu.

Re:And hippies will protest it (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47246013)

Also put a big ass tax on Fast food places that sell utter crap like McDonalds and Taco Bell. They prey on the poor with their $1.00 menu.

*eye roll*

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246121)

Typical of elitist morons to do that. Go back to your gated tea party neighborhood.

Re:And hippies will protest it (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47246271)

I'm not a big fan of the Tea Party, though it's interesting that you would attribute elitism to them rather than the person that suggests imposing nanny state taxes on fast food.

switched cause and effect bad choices = broke and (4, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47246133)

Hamburger meat: $3.72 / pound
Bananas: 59Â / pound
Apples: $1.30 / pound
Romaine lettuce: $2.72 / pound
Ice cream: $5

People who go for instant gratification cut school, walk out on the job when they get mad, and eat Oreos. People who think though the long-term effects of their decisions work their way through college, bite their tongue and discuss problems when calm, eat fruits and vegetables, and exercise - even though they don't WANT to do those things I.the moment, they think long term.

Short-term thinking results in a person being poor and unhealthy. Long term thinking tends to lead to financial success and a healthy lifestyle. I have done, and still do, some of both. I worked late last night, and I'm headed in to my high-paying job, where I'll work hard at serving the needs of the organization. First, I'm going to finish smoking this cigarette. I know each of those choices will probably effect me five years from now.

Re:And hippies will protest it (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47246313)

Poor people are fact because they CANT eat properly.

Hogwash. Sure, you can cherry pick healthy items that are expensive, but there are also plenty of healthy foods that are cheap: carrots, oatmeal, peanut butter, eggs, etc. You don't need endive and romaine lettuce to be healthy. "Society" is not forcing people to consume soda and french fries. Soda is cheaper than fruit juice, but tap water is even cheaper. There are plenty of food options that are both healthy and affordable.

Re:And hippies will protest it (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 4 months ago | (#47246323)

Poor people are fat because they dont eat properly.

Actually, it's because they don't have much choice in what to eat...

Consider that you only have $10 to feed your family, and just came off-shift at your minimum-wage job.

You can either buy:
- a McMeal on the way home from work (they have some sort of deal going now where you can get 4 burgers, some fries, and 4 soft drinks for $9.99)
- a couple of Pepperoni Little Caesars' pizzas, again on the way home from work
- burn $5 or so in gas to get proper food at the nearest decent grocery store 10 miles away, and spend an extra $8 doing that
- spend $15 at inflated prices for nutritious food (though it's slightly old) at the nearest bodega/grocer/phone-card/payday-loan store,
- buy two heads of organic free-range vegan-gods-approved broccoli for $8 at the nearest Whole Payche... err, "Foods" roughly 15 miles away (burning $5-6 in gas)
- Wait until Thursday, where you can drive 20 miles to the Farmers' Market in the ritzy part of town and spend $25 for that same family meal.

Thing is, most poor neighborhoods usually don't have decent grocery stores. Why? Because most grocers don't like losing shedloads of money due to food-stamp/EBT fraud, shoplifting, robberies, etc. This means what groceries do make it there are either non-fresh, at highly inflated prices (to offset the aforementioned losses), preserved-all-to-hell in cans or boxes, or at a very limited selection. Or, you can save on cooking and grab some fast food, like most folks do, and as a bonus the kids don't bitch and moan as much about eating it.

It's a set-up for obesity.

Re:And hippies will protest it (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 4 months ago | (#47246301)

Not in the United States [cdc.gov] , that's for damn sure. ;)

That study used data from 2006-2008...i.e., before the recession. I'm sure obesity rates among blacks/hispanics are much lower now. (rolleyes)

Re:And hippies will protest it (4, Informative)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47245745)

In which country are Africans starving?

Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Zimbabwe...should I go on or were you just being a smartass?

Re:And hippies will protest it (1, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | about 4 months ago | (#47245799)

Don't forget people are starving in the USA, UK etc too! According to the way it's currently measured, I mean. Best get some GM bananas out there too. Don't worry about the consequences.

While you're at it, let's toy with Spanish Flu:

http://www.theguardian.com/com... [theguardian.com]

I mean, why not? Let the market decide, eh?

http://www.newyorker.com/onlin... [newyorker.com]

Re:And hippies will protest it (3, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47245941)

Starvation rates are so low in the US you wont actually find an independently tracked stat for it. Im not sure anyone who starves in the US could be helped with any degree of government intervention.

Re:And hippies will protest it (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47246199)

The majority of Starvation and poverty happen in areas where adults can't report the problem. Immigrant families and those with warrants. They'd rather starve than get sent to jail, so they starve. It happens far more often than you think it does because it goes almost totally unreported.

Re:And hippies will protest it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246243)

Starvation rates are so low in the US you wont actually find an independently tracked stat for it. Im not sure anyone who starves in the US could be helped with any degree of government intervention.

It's mostly children starving in the U.S.
And mostly private organizations trying to feed them.

Re:And hippies will protest it (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47246053)

More alarmist BS about GMOs well done. Please, continue to harm society with your ignorance~

Re:And hippies will protest it (3, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47246139)

Been watching a little too much Penn and Teller? Starving Africans? In which country are Africans starving?

I've been there... all of them. Your life totally changes when there are hundreds of people standing in front of you starving to death and there's nothing you can do about it despite knowing you have boxes of crackers back home going stale that could literally save a life. I watched people eat garbage.

Re:And hippies will protest it (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 months ago | (#47245683)

GMO Food is to Liberals as Global Warming is to Conservatives.

Re:And hippies will protest it (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47245787)

GMO Food is to Liberals as Global Warming is to Conservatives.

Really? What's the positive argument for global warming?

Re:And hippies will protest it (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 4 months ago | (#47245813)

More beach time, fresh oceanfront property to sell and develop, Government grants to try and fix global warming! Every disaster is a business opportunity! What's not to love?

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245821)

Polar bears wearing Hawaiian shirts. Wouldn't that be adorable?

Re:And hippies will protest it (2)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | about 4 months ago | (#47245927)

probably a net increase in arable land for canada and siberia as northern growing seasons lengthen, might lose some fox pelt resources when the tiles flip to green though.

Re:And hippies will protest it (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47245975)

Millions of hectares of newly viable farmland in Russia and Canada, while Florida could disappear entirely.

Re:And hippies will protest it (2)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47246033)

What's the positive argument for global warming?

It's going to happen regardless of what we do, so perhaps it makes more sense to plan for it than it does to impose huge artificial increases on energy costs that ultimately accomplish nothing other than to force down standards of living?

Re:And hippies will protest it (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47246207)

"Global warming" is not a binary condition, it will only be as bad as we allow it to be.

Also cleaner energy sources and carbon sequestration are much cheaper than floating/domed cities and a massive outbreak of war that will cut off access to much of the fossil fuel pretty damn quick.

Re:And hippies will protest it (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 months ago | (#47245893)

To explain further. We like to think our favorite political group is more knowledgeable in science then your proponents are, however that isn't the case, both will accept and reject science based on how it goes for or against their political stance.

In General Terms Liberals Look for Problems and try to propose solutions. So if there is anything stated as good they will dig into it to find faults and try to fix them. Now this could be a good thing, as fixing problems tends to make things better... However often the case is the problems have already been minimized, and the benefit of the whole is a worthwhile trade-off to the found problem, and trying to fix the problem will create new costlier problems.

In General Terms Conservatives tend to look for successes, and try to prevent changes to what already works. This process allows for concepts and ideas to mature and allow them to grow to their potential. But this could mean that there could be large problems that really need to be fixed, but are against trying to fix it. Allowing for the problems to exceed the values.

Now science when done properly isn't politically motivated it looks at the data, proposes a model for it, this model tests it. And the easiest model that matches the data tends to be the widely accepted one. This means for Liberals that there are going to be things while there is a problem is so minor compared to the overall value that it isn't worth fixing. To Conservatives means there are problems so large that something needs to be done to be fixed.

Re:And hippies will protest it (4, Interesting)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 4 months ago | (#47245949)

GMO Food is to Liberals as Global Warming is to Conservatives.

I'm a Liberal, and I accept GMO food. But I'm also a Slashdotter, so what I can't accept is patented GMO food.

Re:And hippies will protest it (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47245965)

How many liberals faking scientific literacy making that argument do you see on slashdot? Global warming denialism is more endemic to American conservatives than any of the commonly cited stereotypes about liberals.

That's not to say we deny the existence or alignment of the idiots, but we do know they're idiots.

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246029)

While they are both a paranoid disbelief in modern science that could cause millions to starve, at least the Frankenfood libtards are going after Monsanto which is an over powerful corporation that is literally patenting all of our food and will soon control the market completely.

The Republitards just hate science and love big business (except for the tea partiers that just hate science) and they want to support the oil companies putting us into a perpetual war in the middle east and now Russia.

Re:And hippies will protest it (1)

phillk6751 (654352) | about 4 months ago | (#47246031)

Yeah, and many in the hard right will oppose it too because it's "playing god". What's your point? The reason liberals tend to oppose GM tends to be more along the lines of Monsanto screwing things up by:

1) Patenting a seed, and then patent trolling people who's fields were pollinated by their patented seed.
2) Adding in a resistance gene to a plant that didn't have it, using harsh chemicals to kill pests, where the plant soaks up the chemical and is then eaten by people.
3) Causing drug resistance (Roundup) to spread to plants that weren't meant to have it (by lack of proper testing), thereby causing destruction to farms where there are hardly any alternatives to nuking the field to destroy the weeds that are now resistant.
4) Where the use of the "Scientific Method" and independant testing is ignored in the name of profit.


Need I say more?

Re:And hippies will protest it (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47246087)

Let me clue you in:
GMOs are to science what AGW is to Science.
because, it's science.
Different specialties, but still science.

If you are an ignorant sheep, then you think AGW is not real even though it's a fact.
If you are an ignorant sheep, then you are afraid of GMOs, even though you are clueless about Chemistry..

Political alignment is irrelevant.

Re:And hippies will protest it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245783)

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED???? That's the boogeyman under the bed!! We must grow organic and all be vegans. If the poor Africans are starving, they just need to go to their local Whole Foods and buy some food.

Its always "amusing" to see a comment by a fucktard like you, which contains zero
useful information and attempts to denigrate people who make what are in all probability
sensible lifestyle choices.

I expect that given the idiocy of your comment, you still eat red meat, but when you get colon
cancer don't expect any sympathy from any "hippies", because we know the world will
be better off once you die.

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245791)

Butthurt hippie will go cry into hemp shirt now.

Re:And hippies will protest it (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 4 months ago | (#47246225)

That's how the eco-cool themselves. Become their own swamp cooler.

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246287)

Butthurt hippie will go cry into hemp shirt now.

You're obsession with everyone's butt is disturbing. I suggest you look in the mirror when you call someone homosexual.

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246299)

Butthurt hippie will go cry into hemp shirt now.

Or maybe I will kick your fucking rib cage in with my Doc Martens.

Re:And hippies will protest it (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 months ago | (#47245887)

The funny thing is that we already have a suitable super food in this area. Creating it did not require Frankenstein style genetic meddling. It has just as long of a shelf life as bananas if not greater. It's especially easy to preserve for long periods.

Of course it has the sin of being something you can't patent or get a monopoly on.

Re:And hippies will protest it (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47245999)

Uh, usually if you're making an argument by example, you're supposed to cite that example.

Re:And hippies will protest it (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47246005)

So why did the flat-earth lobby destroy test fields of golden rice (same modification as this new banana), which is open-source and has nothing to do with Monsanto?

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245937)

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED???? That's the boogeyman under the bed!! We must grow organic and all be vegans. If the poor Africans are starving, they just need to go to their local Whole Foods and buy some food.

I protest "GENETICALLY ENGINEERED" (in the, recent, highly UNNATURAL way) foods because i am still not convinced they are safe for humans and the rest of nature - i am Greek and our mythology is full of stories about scary UNNATURAL creatures that were the result of UNATURAL mixtures (and modern science use their Greek names for the terms describing such scary UNATURAL results!). I am not suggesting that people should necessary eat only organic foods (or be vegans) but just avoid scary UNNATURAL "GENETICALLY ENGINEERED" (at least humanity is sure that are not dangerous). So It's not -only- "hippies" against "GENETICALLY ENGINEERED" foods since i am not a hippie (nor vegan!) - ok?
About the "poor Africans" that are starving: "GENETICALLY ENGINEERED" foods may help feed them AND hurt them (for the reason i previously described) - i think it would be better for them to try more (and we westerners should help them) on other, more older, civilization "things" before messing themselves with the recent experimental "stuff" (by the way: i think Africans starve because westerners left Africa...).
(sorry for my English)

Re:And hippies will protest it (1, Informative)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47246021)

STFup, get a job and pay some taxes before your countrymen sink the euro.

You think your mythology has anything to do with anything?

Re:And hippies will protest it (1, Funny)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47245945)

When GM pot is introduced in Washington or Colorado, hippie heads will explode.

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246091)

Isn't ALL smokable weed already genetically engineered? It's not like high-THC/large bud weed grows naturally. Some of the most popular strains took decades to engineer.

Re:And hippies will protest it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245961)

...or other nations could stop fencing off African lands, farming on them and shipping the food back home. ...or other nations could stop attempting to nation build inside of the continent so that there might be a chance of stability in the regions. ...or other nations could cut pollutions in an attempt to stabilize the weather world wide so global warming stops wreaking havoc on entire ecosystems at a time, lands way from where the pollution takes place ...or these GM foods could go through rigorous testing in order to ensure this isn't a band-aid on an ax wound.

But hey, caps locks and exaggeration is fun right?

smart hippies ...what could possibly go wrong (4, Interesting)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 4 months ago | (#47246039)

Beta carotene is only one of hundreds of carotenoids. We know that there are other carotenoids with important properties for human health e,g, lutein, lycopene, astaxanthin.

Better to think of beta carotene as a marker in foods rather than a be-all, end-all carotenoid. Also balance with other oil soluble and anti-oxidant nutrients can be important.

Re:And hippies will protest it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246131)

Ah, the poor.. We love the poor, and would do ANYTHING for the poor. Except get off their back.

Stop stealing their land, let them grow their own diverse food. But that options lacks "political will" I suppose.

Re:And hippies will protest it (1)

blue trane (110704) | about 4 months ago | (#47246141)

Just use drones to drop some of the huge food surplus we produce on them.

A new Monoculture? (5, Insightful)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about 4 months ago | (#47245637)

Isn't the banana population under serious threat because of monoculture? I remember the current banana cultivar - the Cavendish - is under threat because of lack of disease resistance because of monoculture. The previous well used cultivar, the Gros Michel, was replaced because it lost to a disease threat - also due to monoculture. The article didn't mention anything about plant disease resistance.

Re:A new Monoculture? (4, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 months ago | (#47245851)

Isn't the banana population under serious threat because of monoculture?

That maybe so in western culture, but somehow I don't think that the banana being used here "The Highland or East African cooking banana" is affected.

Re:A new Monoculture? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245883)

TELL ME ABOUT IT. There are about 400 varieties of bananas in India and those Pasty Limeys picked only one, the Cavendish, to grow everywhere else around the world. No wonder we're talking about the whole crop being very prone to one disease wiping all global stock of bananas.

Re:A new Monoculture? (1)

JWW (79176) | about 4 months ago | (#47245933)

Then genetically engineering new strains of bananas is a good thing, no?

Re:A new Monoculture? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245979)

It's because bananas without seeds are clonally propagated. It's not just monoculture, it's a single clonal organism. However, people tend to like them without seeds. Otherwise you go from peeling bananas to smashing them and frying them up (because uncooked is just too difficult to eat).

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1680&bih=963&q=banana+seeds&oq=banana+seeds&gs_l=img.3..0l8j0i5l2.292.1766.0.1981.12.9.0.3.3.0.217.929.6j2j1.9.0....0...1ac.1.46.img..0.12.938.MTFcS183_GY&gws_rd=ssl#q=wild%20banana%20seeds&revid=1982709183&tbm=isch&imgdii=_

It's ok, there's plenty of banana varieties out there and breeders are working on new varieties. You act as if this is something new, but almost all crops are genetically rotated on 10-20 year cycles (trees, like banana and apples, being the exception, as they have very long times to fruit and to breed).

Racists (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245645)

In all progressive countries, giving ethnic Africans banana is considered to be act of hostile racism.

P.S. No, I don't think so, but I guess that will be the reason of why activists will be murdered and, perhaps, eaten.

Re:Racists (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47245981)

It can be racist depending on how it is offered. It is because of the association with ancesters racist trot forward in their attemps to dehumanize the black population. Of course they put it differently and i'm trying to not be offensive in my wording. The same is said and used with fried chicken and water melon in the US because of historically utilitarian reasons (chicken was cheap to a poor population and like its name suggests, water melon contains a lot of water which is a neccesity in fields on hot days. Its basically nature's canteen.)

However, all these foods are consumed still and somewhat still popular with poorer communities. Its how it is offered or obtained that can carry the racist notations. I doubt it will br seen as racist. I'm just curious if enough carotene will be present to start turning things orange like excessive carot eating can do. Durring the cold war, we claimed our pilots couls see better thsn eagles and suggested it was from eating carrots. Operatives would then watch russians turn orange trying to match it and we gathered information about where bases were located and who the jet pilots were. Even Disney was in on it.

The science is great (5, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47245647)

But who owns the patents? Or is this one a freebie?

Re:The science is great (3, Informative)

jythie (914043) | about 4 months ago | (#47245779)

Good question, though it looks like in this case it might actually be a freebie since the organization bankrolling it is a charity.

Though yeah, in the past 'for their own good' patented crops have been introduced to poor regions and then farmers end up locked into an expensive seed supply.

Re:The science is great (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 4 months ago | (#47245831)

Or a really rich charity. Never underestimate the greed of "non-profits."

No GM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245653)

What's wrong with the current banana? We don't want any of these Monsanto suicide genes or things like BT soyabeans, which causes all manner of illnesses in humans and animals.

Re:No GM (1)

Scottingham (2036128) | about 4 months ago | (#47245667)

RTFA (I know, I know) -These have much higher levels of vitamin A

Don't mess with God's design!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

TechkNighT_1337 (739420) | about 4 months ago | (#47245655)

Bananas are made for humans by god! https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] The most hilarious video ever!

Problems (0)

alta (1263) | about 4 months ago | (#47245659)

Here are my concerns...
and obviously I didn't read TFA.

1. patents? Monsanto? GMO issues? discuss...

2. Invasive species. I'm looking at you kudzu and jap-grass. Now this one may not be a problem. If the things absolutely took over the entire country I'm not sure people would be complaining about the massive amounts of food they have growing everywhere. Now if they took over but because of weather conditions didn't actually produce food, that would be bad. Unless people in uganda actually needs tons of shade.

Re:Problems (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47245721)

1) So what? Monsanto has never sued and farmers from accidental cross field issues, and many, many studies have shown the GMO is fine.

2) NO that won't happen, but iof it did it would mean healthier banasas across the board.
Kudzo can grow almost anywhere, banas need specific set og circumstances to thrive.

You're whole post look like you are trying to be rational* with data that only comes from headlines.

*YEAH!

Re:Problems (1)

omems (1869410) | about 4 months ago | (#47245757)

They don't have seeds and are bred by splicing new chutes onto existing roots.

Re:Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246011)

1. Monsanto (and other companies who have patents) usually gives patents to lesser crops and non-profits. See: GMO Papaya (delicious, by the way) and Golden Rice.

2. Neither are GMO. Also, bananas are clonally propagated. When is the last time you broke a tooth eating a banana? (Yes, many varieties have seeds that will break your teeth). Yeah, same thing here. =)

Re:Problems (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47246279)

What does Monsanto have to do with this article?

Get it from the horses mouth (5, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 months ago | (#47245663)

Why the fuck the TFS quotes a source from Phys.org, when you can straight to QUT and get THEIR press release Super bananas – world first human trial [qut.edu.au] (which has a lot more detail)

Re:Get it from the horses mouth (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 months ago | (#47245811)

1 - Stealing is bad.

2 - Animal rights.

3 - Horses like carrots, not bananas.

Re:Get it from the horses mouth (3, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 4 months ago | (#47245847)

Wait...you read the article? WTF are you doing hanging around here?

banananana monoculture (2)

OglinTatas (710589) | about 4 months ago | (#47245679)

One of the problems with banananas is that food crop bananas are clones, and so as a monoculture the crops are prone to complete loss by disease.

Unrelated, but mentioned in the article, everything that is not dark green or orange that you add vitamin A to will take on an orange hue. That is not a surprise. Also not a problem.

Meanwhile (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47245693)

"Natural" Bananas continu to change their genetics and bacteria continues to swap genes from species to species with the bananas and it goes un--tested!!!

Isn't it non-PC (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245729)

Isn't it non-PC to assume that niggers eat bananas

Good News Everybody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245737)

The 7 million saved will spawn into ~21 million within their lifetime, are there enough bananas?

Give them condoms first so thay have less mouths to feed in contries where there's not much food to go around!

Bananaman! (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 4 months ago | (#47245739)

Looks like it's time for a gritty Bananaman reboot!

you forgot Cpt. Bananas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245871)

Super Banana and Bananaman are two totally different characters!
One is Harvey comics, the other is EC.
Now get out of my comic book store!

corps can't wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245759)

I have heard GMO was going to solve world hunger since the 80s. Not a chance this will happen either because as always some corp (hi Monsanto and Dole) will get their greedy paws all over it to make huge profits.

Vitamin A is toxic (2)

dave562 (969951) | about 4 months ago | (#47245815)

File this under donotwant. Unlike most vitamins, A is not water soluble and can build up to toxic levels in the body. Of special importance to Africans is that it also makes the body more susceptible to sun burns.

Re:Vitamin A is toxic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245943)

You are assuming that the principal market of corporate controlled food production in developing countries is in-country.

Think again.

More like kill millions. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245825)

Centralized control of industrially prepared seeds means that planting and harvest will be under economical control of big corporations. Much of the crop is sold out of country in return for dollars used to buy weapons in order to control the unrests of increasing amounts of land being placed under the control of corporate interests.

Farmers will be driven off their lands (not least because they will be sued if genetically modified food spreads to their fields, and because the poison-intensive "genetically modified" industrial agriculture ruins the soil and drains ground water) and move to the cities where they starve or become criminal, with the latter not increasing the amount of available food but reducing the number of surviving eaters.

It's not like any of this is news but people still swallow the "industrialized food will feed starving people" when the truth is that it will fill our supermarkets and the food troughs of our livestock and take the last chance of local farmers to survive independently, and will mean that the local people will not be able to afford the food produced in their country while wresting control over the lands from the people and passing them to corporations through crime lords and/or local potentates.

Yeah, "save millions".

Re:More like kill millions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245997)

Sorry starving Africans, we're going to have to protect you from exploitation from the corporations who want to bring you food. Don't look at it as being abandoned and allowed to starve. Turn those frowns upside-down and look at it as a chance to become more self-sufficient and actualized!

Natural diversity (1)

ruir (2709173) | about 4 months ago | (#47245909)

Aside from considerations against or pro GMO, the bigger problem of all is that in Africa, besides bananas being (cheap) staple to millions, there are hundreds of natural variations, and their natural diversity is astounding. Besides this, lets not forget the Gros Michel was wiped out by a global disease, and the Cavendish seems headed the same way. There is also issues about cross-pollination with the local species. Seems a very misguided idea to mess with that.

Why not just take vitamin pills? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 4 months ago | (#47245915)

One tiny tablet, and you get all the vitamins you need, and then some.

Re:Why not just take vitamin pills? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47246095)

Yeah, growing vitamin pills is so much easier than growing bananas.

Re:Why not just take vitamin pills? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47246251)

Getting starving people to pay for vitamins is hard. Getting them to pay for food is not.

to save millions of lives in Africa... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245923)

end speculation on basic commodities like food and water. there really are enough resources to feed everyone, but the meme of a world of scarcity has long been used as a justification for the most indefensible of human actions.

Heard this one before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47245969)

Maybe by that time the rice genetically engineered for increased Vit A will be farmed?

Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246067)

"Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa. The bananas are now being sent to the United States, and it is expected that the six-week trial measuring how well they lift vitamin A levels in humans will begin soon.

That's right. Test the bananas on USAsians before sending them to Africans.

How is the USA not a fourth-world country again?

But we already have Viagra!! Keep off my banana! (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 4 months ago | (#47246135)

Then again, a Viagra enriched banana has real marketing potential...

I call patent firsties!!!

Solves nothing (5, Interesting)

jurgen (14843) | about 4 months ago | (#47246161)

So the "super" in these bananas is extra Vitamin A (alpha and beta carotene). But in general this solves nothing because those people who are Vitamin A deficient probably can't afford the bananas and/or don't have the resources to grow them... if they did they could just as easily grow (for example) Papayas which grow in the same conditions as Bananas and have more than enough beta carotene without any GM tricks. The problem is that both Bananas and Papayas need very fertile soil (or lots of fertilizer) and plenty of water to grow.

The problem of Vitamin A dificiency may be real enough, but to really solve it you have to first look at the root of the problem. Why are people Vitamin A deficient? Were they always or is there something new happening? In Uganda for example I suspect that it's because people used to get their beta carotene from unprocessed red palm oil which they used to extract themselves and used for all their cooking, and now they are using processed cooking oils which are cheap enough that they just don't bother extracting their own oil anymore but which have all the beta carotene removed! So the problem was created by modern consumer society in the first place! The best solution here is just a bit of education, because the unprocessed red palm oil is probably still available and inexpensive and people have just gotten out the habit of using it. Just tell them to go back to frying their non-GM bananas in red palm oil instead of processed oil and they'll stop being Vitamin A deficient in no time.

In general, people who eat traditional diets are rarely deficient in such important nutrients as Vitamin A unless they simply don't have enough to eat overall. But people are losing their traditional diets due to the relentless onslought of consumerism... for those populations the cheapest and most effective solution to Vitamin A deficiency is education and making sure traditional sources of beta carotine continue to be available. For those who are deficient because of extreme poverty the super bananas (or the golden rice, another frankenfood ultra-solution) solve nothing unless you give them away, in which case you can give away non-GM sources of beta carotene just as easily.

OMG, GMO!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246195)

This is the end of life as we know it. We'll all die horribly in searing pain (even though our vitamin A levels will be good).

Why are they being sent to America for trials? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246229)

Why not do the trials where they are going to be used?

Doing the trials in the affected area allows them to reap the benefits earlier than waiting for trials to complete in an area that doesn't require it. Just roll it out, if it is, indeed, that urgent a situation. If the saving of lives isn't that big a deal, then drag your heels with testing in affluent areas.

What's the "intellectual property" situation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47246311)

Because if that's like that AIDS medication poor people can't afford, perhaps they'd better off eating carrots (and perhaps beta carotin concentration is higher in carrots anyway?)

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