Re: BIOTECH: micronutrient rice

Brian D Williams (
Mon, 23 Aug 1999 10:49:53 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <>

>This goes back to some degree to the "nutriceuticals"
>that I had to run through at the Extro4 conference.

I hated missing Extro-4

>People will find engineered crops *much* more acceptable
>if you tell them they are *better* for *them* instead
>of being *better* for the farmers (with insect resistance).

I couldn't agree more. I'm not interested in biotech crops whose purpose is to be able to successfully douse the fields with "Roundup", in fact I oppose such bioengineering. I have a hunch this will backfire anyway as plasmid transfer renders the weeds immune as well.

I'll take a Brandywine tomato over a "flavrsavr" anyday...

The heirloom gardening folks and new seed companies like "seeds of change" are the ones on the right track.

>I'll be interested to see what happens if they engineer
>say something like cabbage to take out the toxins
>that are "theoretically" carcinogenic. Then you
>market the engineered cabbage as *less* toxic than
>natural cabbage (with data from some scientific
>studies proving it to be the case). I'll lay odds
>that the "naturalists" will still be unimpressed.

I suspect such crops would do poorly in the field, you can make a good case that we have evolved (except in Kansas) the abilty to deal with these "natural" toxins.

>All of the crops I've seen so far have either been
>for the benefit of the farmer (Bt-enhanced crops),
>the consumer's pocketbook (i.e. the Calgene
>tomato & indirectly the Bt-enhanced crops) and
>perhaps the seed producer (by engineering
>in ways to make the crop sterile, so you have
>to by more seed from the seed producer).

Seeds of change won't sell a seed that won't naturally pollinate.

>It is interesting that if public labs get into
>the business of producing engineered enhancements
>in non-sterile seeds, then industry would be forced
>to follow suit. For many years industry didn't want
>to do genetically engineered crops because they
>couldn't figure out how to make them sterile.
>It interesting that this is a case where government
>"competition" could force technology development
>in industry.

I don't know how much lab work we really need. New companies like SOC not only save and reproduce heirloom seeds, but breed new varieties. Millions of backyard experimenters sound's like a better way to go.....

Actually the micronutrient rice is only a halfway step in my opinion. We need to get over the Judeo-Christian belief that everything we need has been put here for us by a supreme being, and get people on good vitamin/mineral/antioxident protocols. You'd have to eat oranges all day to get the 6 grams of vitamin C I get in 6 tablets.....

I just had a complete physical and all my readings were textbook perfect.... cholesterol at 172 and I'm 290lbs.


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