Hybrid rice output hits record high – CCTV – 20th September 2011 CHANGSHA, Sept. 19
(Xinhua) — The yield of China’s hybrid rice breed, which is known as super rice, has exceeded 900 kg per mu (0.067 hectare), setting a new world record in rice output. The rice breed, DH2525 (Y two superior No. 2), produced a harvest of 926.6 kg per mu during its trial plantation in Longhui County in central China’s Hunan Province, according to the provincial academy of agriculture at a press conference on Monday. To ensure the accuracy of the yield, a team of experts under the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) randomly selected three out of the 107.9 mu trial field’s 18 plots and supervised the harvest on Sunday. However, the breeding can not be deemed a success until the new breed produces the targeted yield of over 900 kg per mu on at least 100 mu of farmland for two consecutive years, said the team’s leader Cheng Shihua. “We have another year to go,” he said. DH2525 was developed by Yuan Longping, known as the “father of hybrid rice,” who started developing hybrid rice in the 1960s. His research team reached the target unit yield of 700 kg per mu and 800 kg per mu in 1999 and 2005, respectively, setting world records both times. With skills honed by his team over several decades, Chinese farmers are estimated to have harvested 300 billion kilograms more in aggregate output. Their hybrid rice, therefore, has become known as super rice. Wang Huayong, a farmer who contracted the trial field, said the field had a yielded 841.6 and 872 kg of rice per mu over the past two years, respectively, and the yield finally exceeded 900 kg per mu this year. “The seed was further upgraded, new manure was used, and we also received the guidance of Mr. Yuan himself,” Wang said. Eighty-one-year-old Yuan visited the field in early September and checked the growth situation. “He issued a clear instruction on water management in the field,” said Wang.
Dr. Yuan Longping Food Prize Laureate, known as the “father of hybrid rice”, speaks at the press conference of Hunan Academy of Agriculture, in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, Sept. 19, 2011. The yield of China’s hybrid rice breed, which is known as super rice, has exceeded 900 kg per mu (0.067 hectare), setting a new world record in rice output. The rice breed, DH2525 (Y two superior No. 2), produced a harvest of 926.6 kg per mu during its trial plantation in Longhui County of Hunan Province, according to the provincial academy of agriculture at a press conference on Monday. To ensure the accuracy of the yield, a team of experts under the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) randomly selected three out of the 107.9 mu trial field’s 18 plots and supervised the harvest on Sunday. (Xinhua/Zhao Zhongzhi) ] Yuan Longping(L), known as the “father of hybrid rice”, speaks at the press conference of Hunan Academy of Agriculture, in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, Sept. 19, 2011. The yield of China’s hybrid rice breed, which is known as super rice, has exceeded 900 kg per mu (0.067 hectare), setting a new world record in rice output. The rice breed, DH2525 (Y two superior No. 2), produced a harvest of 926.6 kg per mu during its trial plantation in Longhui County of Hunan Province, according to the provincial academy of agriculture at a press conference on Monday. To ensure the accuracy of the yield, a team of experts under the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) randomly selected three out of the 107.9 mu trial field’s 18 plots and supervised the harvest on Sunday. (Xinhua/Zhao Zhongzhi)
Monsanto Denies Superinsect Science — by Tom Philpott – 8th September 2011
Superinsect problem? Show me the evidence! As the summer growing season draws to a close, 2011 is emerging as the year of the superinsect—the year pests officially developed resistance to Monsanto’s genetically engineered (ostensibly) bug-killing corn. While the revelation has given rise to alarming headlines, neither Monsanto nor the EPA, which regulates pesticides and pesticide-infused crops, can credibly claim surprise. Scientists have been warning that the EPA’s rules for planting the crop were too lax to prevent resistance since before the agency approved the crop in 2003. And in 2008, research funded by Monsanto itself showed that resistance was an obvious danger. And now those unheeded warnings are proving prescient. In late July, as I reported recently, scientists in Iowa documented the existence of corn rootworms (a ravenous pest that attacks the roots of corn plants) that can happily devour corn plants that were genetically tweaked specifically to kill them. Monsanto’s corn, engineered to express a toxic gene from a bacterial insecticide called Bt, now accounts for 65 percent of the corn planted in the US. The superinsect scourge has also arisen in Illinois and Minnesota. “Monsanto Co. (MON)’s insect-killing corn is toppling over in northwestern Illinois fields, a sign that rootworms outside of Iowa may have developed resistance to the genetically modified crop,” reports Bloomberg.
In southern Minnesota, adds Minnesota Public Radio, an entomologist has found corn rootworms thriving, Bt corn plants drooping, in fields. Monsanto, for its part, is reacting to the news with a hearty “move along—nothing to see here!” “Our [Bt corn] is effective,” Monsanto scientist Dusty Post insisted in an interview with The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We don’t have any demonstrated field resistance,” he added, pretending away the Iowa study, to speak nothing those corn fields that are “toppling over” in Illinois and and Minnesota. But the company’s denials ring hollow for another reason, too. Bill Freese, science policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety, alerted me to this 2008 study, conducted by University of Missouri researchers and published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on this precise question of Bt corn and rootworms. The first thing to notice about the study is that Monsanto is listed in the acknowledgements as one of the “supporters.” So this is Monsanto-funded research, meaning that he company would be hard-pressed to deny knowledge of it. The researchers found that within three generations, rootworms munching Monsanto’s Bt corn survived at the same rate as rootworms munching pesticide-free corn—meaning that complete resistance had been achieved. Takeaway message: rootworms are capable of evolving resistance to Monsanto’s corn in “rapid” fashion. But such concerns were nothing new by 2008. From the early days of Bt-based GMOs in the ’90s, everyone—Monsanto, the EPA, independent scientists—agreed that farmers would have to plant a portion of their fields in non-Bt corn to control resistance. The idea was that, as bugs in the Bt portion of the field began to develop resistance, they would mate with non-resistant bugs from the so-called “refuge” patch, and the resistant trait would be kept recessive within the larger bug population and thus under control. The contentious point involved how large these refuge patches would have to be. Monsanto insisted that 20 percent was adequate—that farmers could plant 80 percent of their corn crop with Bt seeds, and 20 percent in non-Bt seeds, and in so doing, avoid resistance. But the majority of a panel of scientists convened by the EPA countered that the refuge requirement should be 50 percent—which would have, of course, eaten into Monsanto’s profits by limiting its market. The reason for the scientists’ concern, Freese explained, was that the corn plants express the Bt protein toxic to root worms at a low dose, meaning that a large portion of the rootworms survive contact with the plants, leaving them to pass on resistance to the next generation. With just 20 percent of fields planted in non-Bt crops, the scientists warned, resistant rootworms would eventually swamp non-resistant ones, and we’d have corn fields toppling over in the Midwest. The minutes (PDF) of the committee’s Nov. 6, 2002, meeting on the topic documents their concerns. The majority of the committee’s members, the minutes state, “concluded that there was no practical or scientific justification for establishing a precedent for a 20 percent refuge at this time.” I asked Freese why Monsanto didn’t simply engineer a high-dose version of its rootworm-targeted corn, since that would have lowered resistance pressure and thus addressed the panel’s concerns.
“Well, from the start, the EPA pushed for a higher dose for the toxin,” he said. “My sense is that Monsanto came up with the best they could in terms of dose.” Freese stressed that industry rhetoric to the side, the genetic modification of crops turns out to be a rather crude process: The companies can’t always make the genes behave exactly as they want them to. Nevertheless, the EPA registered the rootworm-targeted corn in 2003—and defied the scientific panel it had convened by putting the refuge requirement right where Monsanto wanted it: at 20 percent. Jilted panel members, along with other prominent entomologists who hadn’t been consulted by the EPA, greeted the decision with anger and disbelief, as this May 2003 Nature article (behind a pay wall but available here) shows.”The EPA is calling for science-based regulation, but here that does not appear to be the case,” one scientist who served on the panel told Nature. Another added: “This is like the FDA approving a drug with flimsy science and saying to then do the safety testing… I don’t think that’s how you do science.” Eight years later, Monsanto and the EPA have been proven wrong, and their scientific critics have been vindicated. Monsanto, meanwhile, booked robust profits selling its corn seeds without the burden of a 50 percent refuge requirement—and continues to do so today even as the tehnology fails. http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/09/monsanto-denies-superinsect-science
Scientists to Create a “Artificial Volcano” in an Attempt to Geoengineer Our Climate -by Paul Joseph Watson – 20th September 2011 (Infowars.com)
Despite the pseudo-science of global warming being discredited with each passing day, scientists are preparing to field test an “artificial volcano” which is eventually intended to lead to mammoth geoengineering programs which will inject sulfur particles in to the atmosphere at high altitudes, a process that other scientists have warned will cause widespread droughts and other drastic consequences. “Next month, researchers in the U.K. will start to pump water nearly a kilometer up into the atmosphere, by way of a suspended hose,” reports Scientific American. “The experiment is the first major test of a piping system that could one day spew sulfate particles into the stratosphere at an altitude of 20 kilometers, supported by a stadium-size hydrogen balloon. The goal is geoengineering, or the “deliberate, large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment” in the words of the Royal Society of London, which provides scientific advice to policymakers. In this case, researchers are attempting to re-create the effects of volcanic eruptions to artificially cool Earth.” Never mind the fact that the science behind global warming is only becoming more contentious, with Norwegian physicist and Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever this week quitting the American Physical Society because of its advocacy of the man-made climate change thesis, allowing scientists driven by the political agenda that global warming alarmism has become to conduct such dangerous experiments with the eco-system on such a massive scale is nothing short of insane. ARTICLE 4 Case Update: 270,000 Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto – 19th September 2011 This is an update to legal proceedings which has been released by the Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA). If you have not read our initial posting on this court case you can read all about it here The 83 family farmers, small and family owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seed filed papers in federal court (13th August 2011) defending their right to seek legal protection from the threat of being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed. The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) represents the plaintiffs in the suit, titled Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA), et al. v. Monsanto and pending in the Southern District of New York. The August 13 filings respond to a motion filed by Monsanto in mid-July to have the case dismissed. In support of the plantiffs’ right to bring the case, 12 agricultural organizations also filed a friend-of-the-court amici brief. “Rather than give a straight forward answer on whether they would sue our clients for patent infringement if they are ever contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed, Monsanto has instead chosen to try to deny our clients the right to receive legal protection from the courts,” said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director. “Filings include sworn statements by several of the plaintiffs themselves explaining to the court how the risk of contamination by transgenic seed is real and why they cannot trust Monsanto to not use an occurrence of contamination as a basis to accuse them of patent infringement.” It is now virtually impossible for a U.S. farmer to grow crops of their choosing (corn, soybeans, canola, etc.) and remain GMO-free because of the numerous biological and human means by which seeds can spread. “Given the difficulties in minimizing GM contamination farmers must make numerous decisions about which steps are worthwhile for them and which steps are not. They are not able to make these decisions based on their own and their customers‘ interests, but must instead make these decisions with the threat of litigation from a giant corporation looming over their head,” Spiegel writes in the amici brief. “The constant threat of a patent infringement suit by Monsanto creates significant, unquantifiable costs for Plaintiff farmers and similarly situated farmers.” The plaintiffs can do everything possible to maintain non-contaminated seeds, and will very likely still become contaminated, and be placed under the threat of a lawsuit. As Monsanto’s domination of the seed industry grows, and the winds continue to disperse pollen from their GMO laced crops, the likelihood of contamination and lawsuits only increases.
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I’d stick to traditional/unmodified/ancient non-hybrid and non-GMO low yield strains and keep all lines separate as certain genetically ‘healing’ values of original strains may be lost when their purity is diluted through heavy interbreeding. Unnatural selection may lead to unnatural evolution and inedible or undigestible or non-healing rice in time to come. While the rest of the world is changing entire breeds of food and thus affecting human brain structrures, I really hope that the PRC will retain at least several working fields of original strains that may be re-propagated in the even heavy reliance on a specific ‘popular’ strain opens the same strain to bio-terrorism threats or natural (who knows GMO pests?) pests. The frinal article could be applied in the greening of the arid Western Regions in China or the Middle Eastern, Sub-Saharan and African dry land areas, though the sulphur content could be replaced with entirely natural organic fertilisers instead.