The fascinating story of Rainbow papayas

Hawaii’s Rainbow papaya is one of the most unique crops out there, and one of the best biotech success stories as well. Plus, as the first commercially successful biotech fruit, it’s certainly of special interest to us at OSF.

And, it’s not just us who find Rainbow papayas to be a fascinating story! Dr. Ania Wieczorek’s “Biotech in Focus” series, which we profiled last month, covered this very topic earlier this week in its latest bulletin, “Biotech Goes Local: GM Papaya in Hawaii”.Papaya

Not only did Dr. Wieczorek do a great job summarizing both Rainbow papaya’s history and the science behind them, she also explains why they’re safe, examines cross-pollination concerns, and covers some of the controversy that accompanies them due to the GE aspect.

We strongly encourage anyone interested in ag-biotech to give it a read, and for those looking for more on biotech papayas beyond this bulletin, we’re happy to oblige:

  • As many readers are likely aware, the independent scientists who run Biofortified.org have a new friend for site mascot Frank N. Foode – Lanakila A. Papaya. They’ve even developed plushies of Frank & Lana, and production is currently underway if you want one for yourself!
  • On November 6th, Dennis Gonsalves, the leader of the research team that developed Rainbow papayas, delivered a presentation to assist in a study the National Academy of Sciences is conducting on biotech crops. A recording of his presentation, as well as those of three other excellent speakers, is available here.
  • And, back in 2012, we covered the approval of Rainbow papayas by Japan, a landmark decision which made them the first direct-to-consumer product developed through biotechnology to be approved in the country.
About Joel Brooks

Growing up in the Okanagan, Joel had the opportunity to experience apple growing first hand, a background that lead him to his role as Product & Special Projects Manager. Joel feels privileged to work with such great people towards a goal that’s so easy to get behind – helping people to eat more apples.

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