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Feb 18, 2008

"Scuba Sub 1" Flood Tolerant Rice Is Precise Gene Engineered, Technically Under Regs Not GM Rice

"Ronald and her colleagues first isolated the Sub 1 gene, an achievement which is easy to state but was in fact a major accomplishment. Then, using the techniques of genetic engineering, the Ronald research team transferred the Sub 1 gene, and only the Sub 1 gene, into commercial rice.

This approach, called precision breeding, was first pioneered in New Zealand in 2004. ...

In 2006 Ronald used Conner’s precision breeding approach to introduce the Sub 1 gene into commercial rice varieties. These precision bred varieties were then planted in test fields in Bangladesh and India, with resounding success. Farmers found three-to-five fold increases in yields due to flood tolerance, and the rice they harvested tastes the same as it always has. The new flood-tolerant rice will be available to farmers throughout Asia within two years, an almost unheard of speedy commercial introduction. Because the plants are the product of precision breeding rather than controversial genetic modification, they are not subject to the same regulatory testing that can delay release of GM crops for years.

Two months ago, in December 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conferred its highest research award for this achievement, which will save many lives."

For more see: Johnson, George. "Fighting Hunger with Flood-Tolerant Rice. Dr. George Johnson On Science, February 2009.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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