Nairda
Yea but at what cost? Natural selection has catered for a conservative/winding down of production mechanism in the absence of suitable soil nutrients or reduced available water. It allows the plant to continue to produce some reduced percentage of viable seems for its own future reproduction. If you turn off this mechanism, then the resultant seeds can not technically be 100%. Not unless somehow the plant can harness beyond its capacity. Which translates to it ignoring its own available soil reserves to supplement the seed, which might translate to more protein volume, but producing seeds that are not mature and cannot reproduce (or have a limited reproduction). Sounds like a Monsanto stunt..
ErinTarn
This is Monsanto GMO Wheat. Don't let the loose description fool you. Unless you enjoy putting completely unnatural things into your body,
Mel Tisdale
@ Nairda Well said! There is clearly the potential to force the farmer into having to buy proprietary seed if he cannot rely on what he retains for that purpose from his harvest. Climate change is only nibbling at our ankles at present. When it really shows its teeth, we are going to need products such as this. I just hope that any company that adopts it has ethics very much at the front of their thinking, not profit and damn the cost.
VirtualGathis
Given the history of GSM manufacturers behavior I'd say "...any company that adopts it has ethics very much at the front of their thinking..." Is highly unlikely. Especially if Monsanto gets it's fingers in it. There have been cases where these companies sue farmers adjacent to fields sown with their GSM seed because cross polination, due to wind and polinator migration, added their copyrighted/patented genes to the neighbors crop without his/her doing anything to encourage it. Of course the ruling was in their favor and hey got a huge sum for the farmers "theft" of intelectual property these days money buys judgements and justice has little to do with it. If justice were served they would have been required to remove all the modified seed at their own expense and replace the farmers seed with organic natural seed. Then cease selling their GSM product until they could guarantee it would not contaminate additional crops.
AllenH
The comment that this is Monsanto GMO Wheat is not supported by the article. The technique decribed has only been tested on something called "Thale Cress." The researchers hope is that it will be viable on a number of food crops, including barley, corn, rice and wheat.
Brian Sharpe
Often, such research stems from noble ideals. But if we look for the "man behind the curtain" we begin to see a less-altruistic motive. The Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology (DCCIT) website lists funding secured from Bayer CropScience. In addition to conventional agrochemical business, (i.e. pesticides) it is involved in genetic engineering of food. From Wiki: "In 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Bayer CropScience's LibertyLink genetically modified rice had contaminated the U.S. rice supply. Shortly after the public learned of the contamination, the E.U. banned imports of U.S. long-grain rice and the futures price plunged. In April 2010, a Lonoke County, Arkansas jury awarded a dozen farmers $48 million. The case is currently on appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court. On 1 July 2011 Bayer CropScience agreed to a global settlement for up to $750 million". With GMOs banned in Europe already, the initiative to use this technology will most-likely come to US soil.
ezeflyer
Now we can pollute all we want and eat the polluted crap that grows there, thanks to GMO's.
Jim A
2 of the largest seed companies in the world are Dekalb owned by Monsanto and Pioneer owed by Dupont. Both Pioneer and Dekalb have products ready to go to market that sound very similar to what is mentioned in this article. My understanding is that the trait is being used in corn (maize). The coverage never went into the mechanism of the plant modification so it could be something different but is a similar idea. Sometimes the practical applications run ahead of officially recorded science. Early testing indicated little yield advantage.
Stephen Wyman
GMOs from GE needs peer reviewed testing in isolated biospheres for multiple generations (read multiple years), but that puts responsibility before profit; news not well received by 'for-profit' businesses.
Bob
This reminds me of a simple example of what happened a few years ago. They started irrigating to increase production. What they didn't consider was the tiny amount of salt in the water. After about 10 years of irrigating, the salt built up in the soil until production started dropping and after a few more years, nothing much will grow. Short term profit soon gave way to long term disaster. How long before all these agricultural chemicals build up until the ground is sterile and the crops are so genetically modified that they won't reproduce?