Rice, engineered to contain human genes, will be grown outdoors in the hope of reaching commercial production standards. It’s made by the biotechnology company, Ventria Bioscience, in Junction City, Kansas.
Ventria has been cultivating rice with genes from the human liver for the purpose of extracting artificial proteins for use in pharmaceuticals.
Ventria has developed three varieties of rice, each endowed with a different human gene that makes the plants produce one of three human proteins. Two of them, lactoferrin and lysozyme, are compounds found in breast milk and saliva. It was created to help children with diarrhea recover from the illness faster.
- Lysozyme, an enzyme that kills some bacteria by breaking down their cell walls.
- Lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein that helps absorb metal while starving bacteria and attacks viruses.
- Human serum albumin, the most abundant protein in our blood. The protein is needed to grow microbes.
Since large-scale commercial planting of genetically modified crops began in 1996, a concern has been that non-GM crops outside of cultivated areas could become contaminated. The GM Contamination Register has a database that contains recorded incidents of contamination since 1997. By the end of 2013, 396 incidents across 63 countries had been recorded.
Do you think it’s possible that one day you could be eating rice infused with human genes?
Does anyone know what the long-term effect will be on the health of the human race?
Is this a form of cannibalism or is it just a supplement?