An international team of scientists have recently created a new type of GMO, and the genetically modified rice is pro-environment. However, they will have a tough sell ahead of them in order to publicly market and distribute the genetically modified organism (GMO), likely to be opposed by other commercial groups in the same business.
Genetically modified rice is “green rice” though, proven to have astounding benefits to the environment and the dreaded greenhouse gasses that daily harm our planet’s atmosphere.
Over half of the world’s population has rice as a dietary stable, but rice fields across the globe are one of the most harmful and largest sources of methane, a gas that is 20 times more damaging to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Rice paddies yearly produce between 25 to 100 million metric tons of methane, which accounts for 17% of the total atmospheric pollution.
The team of scientists from the United States, China and Sweden, however, have found a solution that will severely reduce the content of methane by an astonishing 90%, due to a genetically modified rice created by transferring a barley gene into the normal rice plant.
It resulted into a breed that had bigger grains and smaller roots, the latter of which are the cause of carbon dioxide transferring into the earth that further transforms into methane lifted up into the atmosphere. By reducing the size of the roots and focusing more on the comestible grain, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions were reduced drastically.
The study has been deemed as “a tremendous opportunity for more sustainable rice cultivation” by a researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, cutting the greenhouse gas emissions while able to still feed the large amount of population partaking in rice. However, it has been mentioned that the trial requires to be proven on a larger scale before it’s sent to farmers around the world.
There might be a hitch in their path though. Genetically modified organisms are not generally well received and most products of the same kind had faced great opposition along the years. In 2002, Golden Rice, a breed of rice which contains beta-carotene in order to fight malnutrition in poorer countries, has not been allowed to appear on the market.
It is the hope of the researchers that the same will not happen with their particular breed of GM rice, as it has been created to combat the infamous issue of greenhouse gas emissions, which is one of the main concerns of our planet today.
Image source: businessinsider.com
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