IRRI Working to Create an Entirely New Rice Plant,
50% Higher Yield: Genetic Manufacturing, Not Just Modifying!
Sept. 30, 2014 (EIRNS)—The International Institute for Rice Research (IRRI), in the Philippines, is now in year six of what they expect will be a 20-year success story to manufacture an entirely new rice plant, at a higher level of photosynthetic power, than any current variety. It will increase rice yields by 50 percent, a great prospect for mankind, half of whom rely on rice for their daily diet.
Rice is among plants known as C3, for the three-carbon compound they synthesize under sunlight. But corn, sugar cane, and some other crops, are C4 producers. The IRRI program is working to upgrade rice to the C4 level, by painstaking genetic engineering. See updates on the progress, on c4rice.irri.org
This project exposes the gullibility of those who oppose plant improvement through bio-technology, because they are induced to fear it, and wrongly equate it to the evil of cartel corporate control over life forms (seeds, plants, human genes and diseases, etc.), food, and medicine. The extreme corporate control—in particular, patent rights over life forms—is entirely wrong. It was foisted on the United States (the Plant Variety Protection Act of 1970, and since) by the British imperial commodity circles, and then worldwide through the WTO; it must be stopped. But GMO methods and improvements themselves are advancements to serve mankind.
The IRRI C4 rice project is reported on, including comparative color photos of C3 and C4 rice and corn leaf proteins, respectively, in the October, 2014 issue of the National Geographic. In it, IRRI Director Robert Zeigler states,
"We do feel a bit betrayed by the environmentalist movement. I can tell you that, if you want to have a conversation about what the role of large corporations should be in our food supply, we can have that conversation—it’s really important. But it’s not the same conversation about whether we should use these tools of genetics to improve our crops. They’re both important, but let’s not confound them."