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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

GM bananas to make Indians 'super healthy'

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 25, 2013
First Published: 01:51 IST(25/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:43 IST(25/3/2013)

In a few years, India may have a genetically-modified fruit on its table. Scientists from Australia have already transferred the technology to Indian researchers for producing a genetically-modified(GM) banana with enhanced amount of provitamin A and iron that would be specifically beneficial for pregnant women.

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Australian researchers have reached an agreement with the Department of Biotechnology to transfer the technology for nutrient-enhanced bananas.  Australia will  now hand over the genes to the experts from five Indian institutes for injecting them into the local bananas.

"Yes, I am  meeting experts from five institutes to discuss this. India is still in the research phase and it would take 6-7 years to move further to development and production phase. The next step for Indian scientists is to put the genes with high provitamin A and iron into local bananas," James Dale, director of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities at Queensland University, who is leading the project in Australia told HT.

Dale and his team had earlier experimented with genetically-modified bananas in Uganada. The banana fortification project in Uganda. he said,  was in development stage and would take around  six years  to come to market. They have also developed the genetically modified bananas in Australia.


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