Are bananas going extinct

There is a very real possibility that bananas—as we know them, at least—could be wiped out by Panama disease, a fungicide-resistant bug that will almost definitely infect the banana crops in South America.

According to a study appearing in the online science journal PLOS Pathogens by researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands,, the vast majority of bananas are all clones of the same banana breed, the Cavendish, meaning that once the disease gets into a banana crop, the whole lot of bananas is amost definitely doomed.

Are bananas going extinct

Are bananas going extinct

And if that sounds outlandish, you should know it’s already happened before:

Panama disease wiped out the previous banana variant, the “Big Mike,” across almost the entire world during the 1960s.

The solution? Breed some new disease-resistant bananas, before the cycle begins again.

Say the study authors, “Developing new banana cultivars, however, requires major investments in research and development and the recognition of the banana as a global staple and cash crop (rather than an orphan crop) that supports the livelihoods of millions of small-holder farmers.”

In the meantime, it’s probably okay to put that banana in your favorite shake – for now.