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Posts Tagged: rice

Flood-tolerant rice hits the airwaves

UC Davis plant pathologist Pamela Ronald's flood-tolerant rice is getting publicity in the state's capital, with a detailed and lengthy radio interview on the Capital Public Radio program Insight and in a TV spot on the Sacramento CBS TV affiliate.

Ronald explained to Insight host Jeffrey Callison that flood-tolerant rice was developed over a period of 13 years by isolating a gene from a rice plant that has poor quality grain, but is naturally able to survive two weeks submerged in water.

Using a process called precision breeding, the gene was introduced into rice with palatable grain, and then tested on a farm in the Philippines with great success. Precision breeding, Ronald told Callison, is less controversial than "genetic engineering," which is differentiated by GE's use of a gene in a plant that had been taken from a different organism.

Ronald said the benefits of precision breeding far outweigh the potential risks.

"The risks are so low, so minute, and there are so many people that need to eat rice," Ronald said. "The introduction of a single genetic region can enhance the lives of 30 million people."

During the same public radio program, two UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors discussed their presentations at a UC Davis conference on the local food economy.

Chuck Ingels, the environmental horticulture advisor in Sacramento County, addressed the needs of Southeast Asian refugee farmers; and Morgan Doran, a livestock and range advisor for several Northern California counties, spoke about the obstacles faced by small-scale livestock operations that wish to have their specialty products - such as grass-fed beef or locally produced meat - processed.

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:05 AM
Tags: rice (16)

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