Forgetting the history of Musa is almost criminal and many who just grab a banana do not understand that the species is not native to the Americas or parts of the Pacific.
"Bananas were discovered by the Portuguese on the Atlantic coast of Africa. They cultivated the fruit on the Canary Islands. From there it was introduced to the Americas by Spanish missionaries. Documenting the arrival of bananas in the New World a Spanish historian wrote: “This special kind [of fruit] was brought from the Island of Gran Canaria in the year 1516 by the Reverend Father Friar Tomas de Berlandga.".to the city of Santa Domingo whence the spread to the other settlements on this island [of Hispaniola].".And have been carried to the mainlaetting the history of Musa is almost criminal and many who just grab a banana do not understand that the species is not native to the Americas or parts of the Pacific.
We can only hope that some of the primary sub types of plantain and bananas remains free from the list of plants that this disease is effecting. Plantain is a very diverse species and going bananas over one cultivar of Musa is stupid and a prime example of how abuse of the environmental resources of this planet by todays industrial farming technology is not a long term reliable method to feed the world.
The whole problem with moving species around the planet is the fact that historical uses of the species become forgotten and the diversity how they can be used is also forgotten. How many North Americans have actually cooked plantain and used it as a staple food? This is the real problem with our mono culture for the purposes of concentrating sugars and starches; we essentially throw the baby out with the bath water and go for sweetness in our diet by only using musa in the sweetest forms possible. Little do we understand that the leaves, the shoots and root stocks are viable food products. We harvest only the fruit and trash the rest. In trashing the rest we introduce problems with concentrating the diseases that latch on to the plants and like a zombie plague of ebola virus the plantations become overrun with diseases including virus.
The very same problems occur with mono culture fish farms, feed pens, over grazed land and all the other industrial methods we employ to create our food. Until we truly start to move away from industrialized mono culture techniques that does not care for the environment and instead relies upon the overuse of pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics we will continue to experience trouble with many diseases effecting our use plants, livestock and even ourselves in the case of antibiotics!
This is a plant virus that is causing the problems in this case but one can be certain that the virus is spread more by the farming methods used currently.
The study of plant viruses is a relatively new field and it is becoming obvious that mono culture is starting to cause more than just problems with larger pathogens like plant fungi and bacteria that are controlled with spray chemicals on industrial farms.
The article does not clarify whether or not the virus is a retro or what not and is not specific about the nature of the virus. The field of direct acting antivirals is new and exciting but is not the best answer to this problem. I know I was just cured of HCV with Harvoni which costs over a thousand dollars US per day to treat! So eliminating plant virus problems will be far too expensive an undertaking given current patent laws and the greed of corporations. All one has to do is look at the cost of drugs to understand why creating plant antivirals is not going to work. I am sure the BANANA REPUBLIC big shots will just try to find a cheaper way around the virus if it hits there companies. By there proven tactics of just moving around the way they always have when the land and labour costs and local politics start to effect their bottom lines. Woody Allen already did a film about Bananas, now he could do a sequel and call it The Return of The Banana Zombies. especially if the fruit companies and their supporters get back into power and the price of oil and bananas go bananas!