Many consider genetically engineered food controversial, but to Pamela Ronald a UC Davis professor, it could be the answer to feeding the world. Twenty five percent of the world's rice is grown in areas that are very prone to submergence, and after three days rice will die. Ronald's lab has genetically engineered rice to help the plant be tolerant to stress and disease. The varieties her team has developed can survive for two weeks underwater and are expected to improve the livelihood of millions of farmers in developing countries.
Radically rethinking agriculture with genetic engineering
Posting in Food
Many consider genetically engineered food controversial, but to Pamela Ronald a UC Davis professor, it could be the answer to feeding the world. Twen...
Jan 29, 2010
This seems like a risky weather modification possibility...Creating even a small change in the natural convection of the earths temperature via oceans currents drastically affects life over the whole planet.. I would think a filter half way between the earth and sun could be controlled in the summer period to tweakpower balancethe heat absorption.. a disk rotating at a rate of 1 cycle every two years, with a controlled variable diameter to increase or lessen the heating effect..
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The comments provide valid questions abound ethical issues, especially regard who's is going to reap the benefits, a poor farmer or large companies. The fear and threats about genetic modification is hugely overblown. The nature is doing genetic modifications all the time. Still, natural species have to be protected. That is already being done, for example by seed banks.
wonderful intent ~ hopeful that greed will not 'intervene' in the effort to harness genetics for the good of ALL mankind... the end of starvation ~ ?
Only because the business men and women in charge of the companies rush to deploy without sufficent testing and careful consideration of undesireable side effects. Case is point is Montasano and their wheat and corn products. They failed to account for spread of their product through normal fertilization and destroyed many farmers by their thuggish, Orwelllian and totally unfair prosecution of those farmers. Additionally, these genetic manipulations are crossing over into the wild, producing super weeds which even the enhanced plants can keep up with.
I would love to see independant scientists given access to these gentically modified seeds (any and all of them, not just the rice). Co-eddy's questions echo those of a good chunk of the world, and those questions deserve answers. While feeding the world is a laudable goal, foodstuffs that turn out to be toxic in the long-run must be avoided at all costs. It is my understanding that no controlled, independant, long-term human health study has ever been done on the impact of GMO foods. Seems foolish when all our lives may depend on it. I also agree with the posters who pointed out that these seeds are used to monopolize markets, and drive out competition (read up on Percy Schmeiser versus Monsanto). I think we have taken the wrong approach. We assume these modified organisms are safe, until proven otherwise ... then prevent the research to allow proof to be made. We should assume these GMO's are dangerous, and force proof of their safety. ... And label each and every one, so that people in the grocery store can vote with their wallets!
So far all GM products were designed with the idea to monopolize the market. These presentations are show-off to delude you with "good" intention to feed the world, but what they are indeed you will know when you get a bunch of side effects labs cannot see yet, or simply do not to see at all. Look at their focus. Monsanto sued and pressed farmers who refused buying thier GM seeds. Once seeds are GMed they are patented. No single farme is allowed to keep GM harvest for next year, they are forced buying all the time for next seasons. Look how wins here? That is all conditioning of what people have to eat. With the food they will control your health=future. Think what you eat and what you choose twice. Wake UP!
Can Africa afford this new rice? Is it garanteed that this new rice won't replace "regular" rice in Western markets? (GM sugar beet did replace regular sugar beet in N. America which is utterly outrageous and dangerous). Are we sure this GM rice won't affect our own DNA over time (over generations of feeding from same rice)? Until these questions don't get scientifically-backed independant answers, I'll remain very skeptical.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Now, even though this sounds great, we need to know what effect does it have on the actual rice? Is it any less nutritions? Can our bodies still digest it and use it like they do "normal" rice? What are the side effects? Just because it is "stronger" and is able to resist water for longer doesn't mean it's good for US. Those are the things we need to know, because if the rice is no longer what it used to be, growing tons and tons of it, won't help.
Longer drought seasons affect other staple foods like maize in Mexico. What could be done about this? I like the approach of the Land Institute because with perennial crops the soil is protected from erosion and the root system is able to develop further! I reckon a deeper and intricate root system will be able to manage more efficiently water and nutrients from the soil. Could we engineer our food to grow on trees, or engineer the plants into tree like organisms?? How did trees evolved to become trees?
This country was a strong international producer of wheat, sorghum and other cereals; Chinese entrepreneurs visited farms there and paid exceedingly well for present and future soy harvests with which they?d feed their cattle; immediately most of farmers dedicated to soy; result is that now the country has to import wheat for their bread. Could you kindly ask Pamela to invent some tolerance for the Argentine pathologically sunken intelligence?
While I applaud the zeal to feed the world, the reality of genetic modified crops is that they are produced by comapnies that wish to control seed, and hence control the market. It is appalling to think that before the big agrochemical companies moved in there were many thousands of locally adapted rice and wheat varieties grown. Now there are only dozens, and nearly all of those require chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides to produce a decent yield. The promise of higher yields are never delivered, as the farmer is effectively made dependent on the poisons pedalled by the corporations, while his net yield (yield minus costs) plummets. Everyone loses except the corporate shareholders (and bankers!). Well done Pamela, for developing underwater rice, however I doubt it is a technology that underwater farmers will ever be able to afford.