Aus scientists share GM banana with India

For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand
Luisa Cheshire

BY LUISA CHESHIRE

Aus scientists share GM banana with India

Australian scientists have developed a GM banana rich in vitamins and iron to help address anaemia in India

Aus scientists share GM banana with India

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Australian scientists have developed a genetically modified banana that is rich in vitamins and iron, and are sharing the technology with India, reports www.abc.net.au.

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and India's department of biotechnology have embarked a four-year project to produce the iron-rich bananas to combat widespread aneamia in India caused by the population's largely vegetarian diet.

Iron-deficiency anaemia is a major cause of maternal death during childbirth in India.

The project is an extension of a far north Queensland programme backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the article said.

"India is the largest producer of bananas in the world but ... all of them are consumed locally," said QUT's professor James Dale. "So it's a very good target to be able to increase the amount of iron in bananas that can then be distributed to the poor and subsistence farmers."

Professor Dale said his team is also developing nutrient-dense bananas for farmers in Uganda. 

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