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keithisco

Bananas Threatened with extinction!

19 posts in this topic

As if the threat to Chocolate becoming an endangered species wasn't bad enough, Bananas are going the same way!!

No more Banana Sundaes with Hot Chocolate Sauce? Will life even be worth living???

Will She-Ra have to undergo therapy? These are the big questions of the day!!

Yes - in 10 years we may have no bananas

James Meek, science correspondent

Thursday January 16, 2003

The Guardian

It is a freakish, doped-up, mutant clone which hasn't had sex for thousands of years - and the strain may be about to tell on the nation's fruitbowl favourite. Scientists based in France have warned that, without radical and swift action, in 10 years' time we really could have no bananas.

Two fungal diseases, Panama disease and black Sigatoka, are cutting a swath through banana plantations, just as blight once devastated potato crops. But unlike the potato, and other crops where disease-resistant strains can be bred by conventional means, making a fungus-free variety of the banana is extraordinarily difficult.

Emile Frison, head of the Montpellier-based International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, told New Scientist magazine that the banana business could be defunct within a decade. This doesn't just mean we will be eating aubergine splits and that future govern ments may be mocked for policy melon skins. The banana, in various forms, is the staple diet for some half billion people in Asia and Africa.

Almost all the varieties of banana grown today are cuttings - clones, in effect - of naturally mutant wild bananas discovered by early farmers as much as 10,000 years ago. The rare mutation caused wild bananas to grow sterile, without seeds. Those ancient farmers took cuttings of the mutants, then cuttings of the cuttings.

Plants use reproduction to continuously shuffle their gene pool, building up variety so that part of the species will survive an otherwise deadly disease. Because sterile mutant bananas cannot breed, they do not have that protection.

Commercial banana plantations were devastated in the 1950s when Panama disease slew the dominant variety, the Gros Michel. A resistant variety, the Cavendish, filled the gap. But only massive amounts of fungicide spray - 40 sprayings a year is common - now keep Sigatoka at bay, and a new version of Panama disease cannot be sprayed. The Amazon banana crop has been devastated by the fungi, and accord ing to Mr Frison, some parts of Africa now face the equivalent of the Irish potato famine.

One possibility is GM bananas, but growers fear consumer resistance. The big growers are pinning their hopes on better fungicides.

One ray of hope comes from Honduran scientists, who peeled and sieved 400 tonnes of bananas to find 15 seeds for breeding. They have come up with a fungus-resistant variety which could be grown organically. If bananas don't disappear from supermarket shelves by 2013, they will look, and taste, different.

Edited by keithisco

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This is........... depresing......... I eat chocolate everyday to keep me in a good mood..... yeah sometimes I just get depresed.........many problems and desires in life wich can't be solved...... and th fruit that I eat the most is the banana................I don't know if I should scream or cry.....

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No more frozen chocolate coated banana's.....Everything I read lately is scary

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kiethisco-

I was going to post the exact same subject, the day I read She-Ra's post.

Anyway, I did read that the plant specialists have been working in a timely fashion on the problem. IIRC, they started in Africa, where the banana is the most crucial, as far as food plus the effect on local economies. A new variety was developed, and tested for every aspect of acceptance.

However, locals thought it was just so-so. Evidently it failed on one aesthetic or palatability aspect. Myself, I would have said, "you need to adapt." But, instead, its back to the drawing board.

I read a very interesting paper on the subject of bananas, their growth, the markets and related subjects. All very interesting.

Yes, I would be concerned, except that I keep my fingers crossed that the researchers will triumph in this effort.

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It's not gonna happen. There are many different types of bananas and only a few are under threat of disappearing, most of which are wild bananas that you wouldn't want to eat anyway (they're nothing like the ones you'd buy in a supermarket). Although the Cavendish (common banana) is under threat.

Worst case scenario: Population of Cavendish decreases so greatly that it's no longer economically viable for worldwide exportation, and another will be brought in to replace it.

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It's not gonna happen. There are many different types of bananas and only a few are under threat of disappearing, most of which are wild bananas that you wouldn't want to eat anyway (they're nothing like the ones you'd buy in a supermarket). Although the Cavendish (common banana) is under threat.

Worst case scenario: Population of Cavendish decreases so greatly that it's no longer economically viable for worldwide exportation, and another will be brought in to replace it.

We must hope.... and pray to the Great Plantain. Life must endure!! :w00t:

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This is exactly what happens when people with LOTS of money TRY (that's right, TRY) and rebuild the world on their owns (owning acres of lands etc) and having to FEED other poor people that COULD be doing the same and growing even more fruits and "bananas" but no..

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Chocolate...becoming extinct?

This makes baby cougar cry bitter bitter tears...

*also hugs her dwarf Banana tree*

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Thanks for the interesting Snopes link, Inner Space! I never knew that the correct name for a bunch of bananas is a "hand" and a single banana is called a "finger". The Snopes lady says, "give someone you love a hand". I suppose, then, if they don't like bananas that much you just give them a finger?

(Okay, okay! :P But I figured someone was going to say it so it might as well be me.)

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Why the people dont see these happenings in a global way??

Bananas will not disappear,we still have them in Brasil and Madeira,Equador and others,if will disappear in Panamá we still have them from other countries.

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You really gotta love snopes. That's usually the first place I go when I get 'questionable topic' emails from people.

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I never heard of chocholate, but just like this banana thing, its probabally an urban legend.

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what ?? too many bananas tree in my backyard! they just keep growing and growing everywhere! that thing will never extinc!

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NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!! damm bananas cant learn to have sex

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First Chocolate... rumors of coffee... now bananas... and then articles of milk pus...GM ..drugged cows...which turns you off dairy...

linked-image

linked-image

These may one day only be fond memories.... then part of our myths and legends.... :(

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