Wednesday, 4 June 2008

:: Food crisis may open door to genetically modified rice
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Food crisis may open door to genetically modified rice
Source: Reuters

3 Jun, 2008, 1851 hrs IST, REUTERS

LOS BANOS (PHILIPPINES): Some rice-producing nations may drop their reluctance to use genetically modified (GM) seeds in the next few years to help offset a crisis that has forced millions to go hungry, a top expert said.

"If we consider the challenges that face us, I think we would be very foolish and actually irresponsible to not invest in the development of GM crops," said Robert Zeigler, director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

"I think that governments will take a hard look and say why again are we dragging our feet in adopting GM technology,?" he told media in an interview on Tuesday. World leaders may discuss GM organisms at this week's food crisis summit in Rome but they are unlikely to be presented as part of the solution to soaring food prices amid opposition by some environmental groups to what they see as "Frankenfoods".

GM crops, which use genes from other plants and other organisms to effect special traits, are widely grown in North America and parts of South America, including cotton, a source of vegetable cooking oil, as well as corn and soybeans.

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