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Filipino growers oppose testing GMO bananas in Mindanao

The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) is not in favour of the field testing of genetically modified (GMO) bananas, as proposed by scientists from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. The Association welcomes GMO breakthroughs but does not subscribe to the production of genetically modified bananas because it is unsure if there is a market for it.

In 2010, BT talong (eggplants) planted by the University of the Philippines Mindanao were uprooted by disapproving organic farmers and other people against GMO’s. According to sunstar.com, the plants were uprooted because the university reportedly had failed to comply with requirements from the city and local government.

Now the PBGEA is concerned consumers will hold the same views on genetically modified bananas. Instead of genetically modified bananas, the PBGEA said they favour natural selection. It was through natural selection that some of the best known and developed banana varieties were created. These Giant Cavendish Tissue Culture Variants (GCTCV) 218 and GCTCV 219 were developed by the Southern Mindanao Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (Smaarrdec) in order to help manage the banana industry’s problem on Fusarium Wilt or Panama disease.

Publication date: 12/21/2017


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