Bananas as We Know Them May Be Disappearing

They’re being decimated by an incurable fungus. Some scientists think they have an answer—genetic engineering—but will it be tasteless “frankenfruit”? Action Alert!
When most people speak of bananas, they’re thinking of a single variety—the yellow Cavendish banana found in almost all grocery stores. But the popularity of this banana has made it susceptible to a fungal disease known as Tropical Race 4 (TR4), which is quickly spreading across the globe and is likely to hit South America, where 80% of Cavendish bananas are grown.
The effort to quarantine fungus-ridden plants has largely failed, so researchers are exploring other options. Fortunately, other banana varieties still exist and are often much more flavorful than the Cavendish. Keep in mind also that in nature, flavor is often closely associated with nutritional value. It is no coincidence that the Cavendish, selected for ease of transport and sale, not taste, is often both tasteless and low in nutrition.
But rather than re-introducing some of the older, more flavorful bananas that fortunately survived monoculture mania, fruit companies are planning to make the Cavendish even more artificial and tasteless by genetically engineering it to be resistant to TR4.
This “solution,” of course, entirely misses the point that GMO crops are themselves the problem. As we point out in our GMO Fact Check site, GMO crops further reduce genetic diversity, which can lead to even bigger catastrophes than the loss of the Cavendish, not to mention eventual massive food shortages and the destruction of small farmers.
What is happening to the Cavendish banana could happen to any number of staple crops. Take, for example, coffee: 65% of our coffee comes from a single coffee bean species, which suffers from extremely low genetic diversity and is increasingly difficult to find in the wild. This type of monocrop creates an environment where one good disease can wipe out our ability to grow that crop, as we’ve seen with the Cavendish. This is also becoming increasingly true of other crops like corn and soy.
The federal government is clearly not worried that an overreliance on GE technology could wipe out entire crops—regulators seem to approve each new GMO plant and animal they are presented with.
Action Alert! Many lawmakers are now trying to prevent mandatory GMO labeling, so that consumers won’t have a way to know what is or isn’t artificially engineered. If you haven’t yet sent a message to lawmakers opposing this terrible, industry-supported bill in Congress, please do so now!
Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:
Medicine’s Future: Will the FDA Let It Happen?
Why is a Cancer-Causing Additive Banned Elsewhere in the World Still in Our Bread?


  1. I’ll just stop eating bananas…if it doesn’t come from nature, it doesn’t go into my body. I’m enjoying what I can of them now. Damn Monsanto is probably behind this.

  2. It makes sense now! Thank you for researching it! I always wondered something is wrong.
    Try a banana grown at a local farm without it being picked unripe and having to travel 100’s of miles! And compare it to a store bought banana.

  3. No surprise. When a corrupt entity aspires to ruin as much of everything as possible, it will! Just another thing I won’t be able to eat or purchase, so much for that industry! Just like biotech is responsible for the collapse of the U.S. export market, so too shall it be responsible for the collapse of everything.

  4. Sorry ANH, your sensational headline is fear mongering and makes me question the veracity of your other articles and alerts. While I used to be a hard-core GMO opponent, I’ve come to realize that it’s not even remotely as worrisome as other agricultural methods of food production, which are much less controlled. To wit:
    GMO Truthers need to be kicked out of the Progressive movement
    A Hippie’s Defense of GMOs

    1. Sure that’s why my body reacts so violently to all the GMO items that contain glyphosate, because it is so safe and no threat to the health of any living thing.

      1. Ah, I agree that glyphosate (such as Roundup) is horrible! It should be banned everywhere. But there’s a difference between glyphosate and GMOs. Glyphosate is applied to all kinds of crops, not just GMO crops. But we’re talking about GMOs here, not insecticide.

        1. GMO’s are engineered to with stand the glyphosate, without the GMO’s that stuff wouldn’t exist. They dump tons of it (literally tons) on GMO crops. I have become so sensitive to the stuff I know within a few minutes if I have accidentally eaten something that isn’t organic. You can’t talk about GMO’s without talking about pestcides, so don’t try to pull that one. You can’t spray regular crops with glyphosate without killing them. It kills plant pests not insect pests. The GMO plants produce their own insecticides. Either you need to go do some more studying or your just a corporate troll for Monsanto.

          1. I’m sorry you’re sensitive to glyphosate, that’s gotta suck big time, especially because you’re right, it’s found in organic foods too. It’s old news that GMOs are engineered to withstand glyphosate. However if you look on Wikipeida (as I just did) you’ll learn that glyphosate was developed and in use about 10 years before the first GMO plant was developed, utilized to kill the unwanted vegetation that it affects. BTW, according to some poking around I just did on the web, glyphosate doesn’t kill all plants, just some. Glyphosate is still used on way more than just GMO crops … like local governments using it to kill weeds growing out of sidewalks. You can’t talk about *any* agriculture without talking about pesticides, but my understanding is that GMO crops were partly developed to require *less* pesticides, so I’m not sure what your point is there. I’m not a Monsanto shill (an ad hominem fallacy if I ever heard one, and like I didn’t expect a personal attack as an attempt to discredit my perspective!). A quick web search revealed that glyphosate is used on all kinds of non-GMO crops, like oats, wheat, barley and sugarcane. To wit: You say I need to do more studying, but at the same time say I’m a Monsanto shill. If I were a shill I could talk about the ins-and-outs of glyphosate much more intelligently! Anyway, thanks for playing, I’m done with this particular exchange because it’s not leading to real thought or investigation, just opinion-slinging.

      1. You’re referring to the second article I linked to. The original did not appear on Slate, it’s reprinted there. Here is the original that Slate links to: It’s up to you to decide if the post is credible on its own merits, but I don’t think I’d discount it simply because of where it appears.
        Honestly, none of this matters if we don’t get a handle on climate change. I think we’d all be better served to spend our time on dealing with that issue than GMOs. Agriculture won’t matter if the planet continues to die. (I not-so-secretly wonder if the whole GMO debate is promoted to divert our attention and activism away from more important issues.)

    2. Ember, do us all a favor, and go get a flu shot, and pick up a few gallons of Round Up for your yard while you’re at it.

  5. They are deliberately poisoning them so that we have only their genetically-engineered bananas to eat.

  6. I can’t eat them, and I would think that anyone with allergies would not be able to eat them. They are loaded with Histamine. That’s the stuff that causes the tingling or burning sensation in your mouth. The riper they are the more histamine they contain.

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