Little backlash over GM bananas

The banana industry has managed to avoid the public backlash against genetically modified (GM) food.

In the Northern Territory, a maximum area of 1.5 hectares can have GM bananas planted, following an application by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) which was approved by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) in January 2011.

It allowed a controlled release of 151 lines of GM banana at Litchfield Municipality, near Darwin.

Prof James Dale ran a workshop for all local banana growers to let them know what was happening when the vitamin biofortificiation project in Innisfail began, and believes it is the transparency that has allowed the crops to be planted, the North Queensland Register reports.

“We’ve had no push back at all, which has been wonderful,” he said.

He said though the trials are targeted toward a product that would eventually be grown in Africa, it is important to keep people informed.

“It’s really important to keep everyone informed about what is going on.

“It’s nothing secretive,” he said.

Earlier this year experts were calling for more transparency in modern farming practises, as doubts about the way our food is grown, prepared and delivered increase.

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