Location: Gates Foundation Headquarters, 500 5th Ave N, Seattle
Join AGRA Watch at the Gates Foundation for a fun, family-friendly action! Simultaneously with ISU students, we will deliver over 57,000 signatures recently gathered by CREDO calling on Iowa State University and the Gates Foundation to halt human feeding trials of GMO bananas.
With the purported goal of reducing Vitamin A deficiency in Uganda and other parts of the world, genetically modified bananas are enriched with beta-carotene. The study, funded by the Gates Foundation, purports to examine the extent to which the bananas’ beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body and absorbed by consumers.
This is one of the first human feeding trials of a genetically modified product, and there has been no prior animal testing of this product. Thus, ISU students (who were offered $900 to participate) are being asked to be the first to consume a product of unknown safety. The study is not being conducted in a transparent manner, and concerned ISU community members have not been able to receive answers about the research design, risks, nature of the informed consent given by the subjects, and the general utility of the study.
In addition, the banana may have negative long-term impacts on Ugandan agriculture – many banana varieties serve as staples in Ugandan diets, and are, according to Bridget Mugambe, food sovereignty activist with Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, “at the very core of our social fabric”.
AGRA Watch stands in solidarity with Ugandans who reject GMO bananas because this GMO will have an adverse affect on Ugandan agriculture, food security and food sovereignty.