Tuesday, March 07, 2000, 5:55:04 AM, you wrote:
DW> Talk to someone at IRRI. They know a lot about rice genetics. If
DW> IRRI breeders could do it with conventional breeding methods, they
DW> would have.
Did you read World Bank Article article you cited?
WBA> The Manila-based IRRI is currently working on transferring the
WBA> genes required for beta carotene biosynthesis into the popular
WBA> tropical indica rices preferred by most Asian consumers and
WBA> suited to tropical growing conditions, **using traditional
WBA> breeding techniques.** [emphasis added]
DW> If IRRI breeders could do it with conventional breeding methods, they
DW> would have.
World Bank Article:
WBA> IRRI has also developed a rice high in iron and zinc **using
WBA> traditional plant breeding techniques.**
By virtue of your own logic: If IRRI breeders are developing new
nutritionally enhanced rice varieties using **conventional breeding
methods**, they do so for good reason - GMOs are both unnecessary and
of highly questionable value in view of the risks involved and the
dearth of long term studies adequately evaluating those risks. It's
safe to say that the current GMO hoopla is no more than yet another
mercenary band wagon for the purpose of foisting yet another scam on
WBA> This rice is currently being tested by novitiates at a convent
WBA> in the Philippines, to see how well the nutrients are absorbed.
This is the way **responsible** genetic developments are handled!
WBA> Iron-deficiency anemia is the most widespread nutrient
WBA> deficiency in the world, affecting an estimated 2 billion
WBA> people worldwide. Between 40 and 50 percent of children under
WBA> the age of five in developing countries are iron deficient,
WBA> and iron deficiency accounts for up to 20 percent of all
WBA> maternal deaths. It also impairs immunity and reduces the
WBA> physical and mental capacities of people of all ages.
Yet the effort is being made in relation to the research needed to
assure the desired results, rather than the high pressure hard sell
and scare tactics mercenaries are currently using in a yet another
obvious and lame attempt to force compliance with their hidden, short
sighted and self serving agenda.
>> Also, while the underlying and pervasive, widespread poverty and
>> ignorance (lack of education) are the "real" factors needing to be
>> dealt with here, I strongly suspect that a number of options are
>> feasible, if and when the funds are there to assure that a sustained
>> (and sustainable) effort is made.
DW> I agree. I think nutritional enhancement of subsistence grain
DW> crops should be one among many strategies. But it appears to be a
DW> powerful strategy.
The question is: By means of which genetic strategy? Recombinant
(micro-surgical)? Or sexual? If you were a sexed organism, which would
It's a matter of priorities - why use a questionable technology where
it's not needed? (That is, before exhausting the limits of traditional,
biologically based crosses). The answer is simple: Power, greed,
shortsightedness, irresponsibility and stupidity.
We basically agree. You just choose to ignore to inherent differences
between GMO and traditionally derived "enhanced" (selected really -
none of them are "man-made", just "man-assisted" or
"man-screwed-over") varieties. The degree and nature of man's
intervention is the issue.
>> Still, if greater priority were given to identifying and targeting the
>> many urgent needs now resolvable using technologies consistent with
>> the biological processes that got us this far in the world of whole
>> organisms that we're part of, I suspect there would be no need for
>> taking unnecessary (and still unknown) risks.
DW> If you were a 3-year-old wasting away from vitamin A deficiency,
DW> wouldn't you rather accept the nebulously theoretical risks from
DW> genetic engineering than die or go blind?
Rhetorical question. Surely you know better.
>> GMOs in the food supply may well be no more than a bad idea,
>> as well as a passing fad.
DW> I guess time will tell.
Correct. Do yourself a favor and get on the right train. Your knowledge
and energy can help, just make an effort to assimilate a somewhat more
>> I just noticed that E. Ann Clark's post mentions that "some varieties
>> of rice - I think they were red (?) - already had high levels of Vit
>> A." It figures - we're looking at a tempest in a tea kettle - a non
DW> First, red rice is a noxious weed, unfit for cultivation. The
DW> grain shatters and the seed is dormant. Second, the red color is
DW> just in the pericarp. Are you sure that it contains that much
DW> vitamin A or carotenoids?
Check out Wytze's excellent post (as well as the url you yourself
DW> And people want polished rice, they like it better and it requires
DW> less fuel for cooking.
No comment. Try beriberi sometime.
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