Rice is one of the most researched food around the globe. In Philippines alone, there are two functioning rice institutes – the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). Both institutes are producing improved rice varieties to suit to a given climatic and soil conditions. So don’t be surprised if the rice on your plate is a genetically modified rice. If you’re a fan of organic products, better avoid eating rice.
A team of Australian scientists has developed a genetically modified rice with salt-tolerant qualities, thus offering hope of increased global production. And work is already underway to transfer the trait or technology
to wheat, barley and other staple grains for the benefit of billions of people around the world.
The new salt-tolerant GMO rice was developed by scientists from the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) at the University of Adelaide, who worked in collaboration with colleagues based in Cairo, Copenhagen and Melbourne.
“Rice is often grown on land that is prone to high levels of salinity,” Dr Plett said. “Lands that accumulate salt
have lower crop yields, which can threaten food supply. “This has made salinity tolerance an increasingly important factor in the efforts to secure global food production.” Dr. Plett said the research team modified a gene to increase the number of salt-transporting proteins in specific cells in the roots of the rice plant.
Genetically modified organisms have secured human food supply by means of a greater harvest. On the contrary, we must keep in mind that they have unknown potential health risk.