Going bananas

I stumbled across this blog entry from 2006 about the banana problem we were having in Australia at the time.

I only regret that I am six years too late to call that guy an idiot the day he wrote it.

Who knows, maybe he is not an idiot, but I’m going to judge him by that one post because I lack the time or motivation to do otherwise. I never said I was a good person, and I have certainly never denied being an idiot in my own special way.

His concern seems to be as follows:

1) The government has said bananas are critically important for the health of children

2) There is a shortage of bananas (due to a nasty cyclone that hit Queensland)

3) The government refused to import bananas from overseas due to the fear of introducing pests.

Maybe he is trying and failing to criticise the government on the grounds implied in the news article he links to, which suggests that the real motivation behind not importing bananas is something to do with trade tarriffs and not biosecurity at all. At least I hope that is what he is arguing, because otherwise he is a weapons-grade dingbat.

Let’s imagine that bananas were critical to health, and we would all get horribly sick if we didn’t eat them. Then cyclone Larry comes along. Do you:

a) Let people be really sick for 9-12 momths until the banana supply has recovered and we can all be healthy again, or

b) Import bananas from overseas that bring a slew of pests with them and risk wiping out the entire banana market, leading to people getting horribly sick for ever?

I know which option I would choose.

We have to treat our bananas well; every bunch of our favourite cultivar, the Cavendish, is genetically identical. All it will take is a single disease to wipe them out entirely. Damn Interesting, one of my favourite websites, gives you the skinny on the whole scary situation.

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