The Hawaii State Department of Agriculture conducted an impromptu meeting to allow biotech to ‘field test’ genetically modified bananas. This is of great concern to the people of Hawaii, and no public notice was made of the meeting until very recently. UH received a $1.5 million research grant from the US federal government to develop a GMO banana variety, even though Hawaii residents have made it very clear they oppose GM crops.
Hector Valenzuela of the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, CTAHR, UH-Manoa has explained that even though bananas propagate asexually, widespread contamination is likely to occur in the state through people sharing propagating materials – called suckers or keikis – with friends, or neighbors.
The experience with the GMO Rainbow papaya shows that UH and GMO papaya farmers have been incapable of containing GMOs within the boundary of their farms resulting in the widespread contamination of non-GMO areas throughout the state.
Research needs to be conducted to determine potential health, environmental, economic, and social impacts from the release of a GMO banana variety in Hawaii, yet the biotech industry is set to unleash the GM banana variety without any of this.
Little or no research has been conducted by UH to find alternative ecologically-based, low input, practices to manage the bunchy top virus in Hawaii.
IslandBreath reports that they are trying to ‘sneak’ the GM banana.