Scientists Ready to Test 'Super Banana' on Humans
Fruit could save lives through vitamin A
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 16, 2014 8:15 AM CDT
Updated Jun 21, 2014 6:42 AM CDT
The inside of the "super banana" will be a bit more orange than that of a typical banana.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Vitamin A deficiency kills hundreds of thousands of children worldwide; hundreds of thousands more go blind, says a researcher. That's why his team has developed a "super banana" it aims to grow in Uganda by 2020. Cooking bananas are an East African staple, so Prof. James Dale and his team in Australia genetically engineered a version of the food that's packed with alpha and beta carotene. The body converts the two into vitamin A, AFP reports.

The super bananas are now being sent to the US for their first human trials, which will take six weeks and are backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Time notes; details of the bananas' impact on vitamin A levels are expected to be released by year-end. "We know our science will work," Dale says. If the bananas get the green light in Uganda, the micronutrient-enriched crops could next be grown in Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania. One big difference between regular bananas and the super variety: The edible part of the latter is more orange than what we're used to.

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Jul 28, 2014 4:04 AM CDT
Hey Matt, please get back on I would like some more info regarding the Super Banana. Regards.
Ezekiel 25:17
Jun 25, 2014 9:15 PM CDT
I stopped eating bananas when I found out that zoos stopped feeding them to the animals because it caused malnutrition. The bananas you buy at the super market are bred for the sweetness. In doing that, the nutrition goes down enough to classify them as candy. I checked with the local zoo and they confirmed they now feed their simians plantains.
Jun 25, 2014 5:28 PM CDT Plenty of options other than GM/patented bananas, which would also preserve their local food sovereignty. A GM patent is a false patent - akin to changing a few notes in a Mozart symphony and claiming ownership. if these megacorps were interested in helping poor countries, they would not enforce their patents, or at the very least, comply to a fair, agreed-upon. term limit of patent enforcement.