A super-powered, orange banana swoops into Africa and saves the lives of 700,000 children.
Nope, the real-life hopes for a new, genetically modified fruit, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Australian researchers created a special variety of banana enriched with alpha and beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, a vitamin in which millions of Africans are deficient. “The consequences of vitamin A deficiency are dire with 650,000-700,000 children world-wide dying …each year and at least another 300,000 going blind,” project leader James Dale, a professor with at Queensland University of Technology, told msn.com.
The orange-fleshed bananas will land in the U.S. this week for a six-week human trial. Researchers hope to publish results by the end of the year.
“Good science can make a massive difference here by enriching staple crops such as Ugandan bananas with pro-vitamin A and providing poor and subsistence-farming populations with nutritionally rewarding food,” said Dale.
Meanwhile, the lawsuits have begun after Vermont became the first state to pass a GMO right-to-know labeling law. To help fund the pro-labeling movement, Ben & Jerry is renaming their brownie ice cream as Food Fight! Fudge Brownie and contributing a portion of sales to the cause. It is not likely Chunky Monkey will ever contain super bananas.