Modified Superspud

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Modified Superspud

Postby Shallot Man » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:30 am

Scientists invent genetically-modified 'superspud' that could help fight hunger in the Third World
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:01 PM on 20th September 2010

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A protein-packed 'superspud' has been developed by genetic scientists who believe it could that could help solve hunger in developing countries.

Laboratory tests showed it contained up to 60 per cent more protein than ordinary non-modified potatoes.
Concentrations of several amino acids - protein building blocks - that are essential to health - were also increased significantly.
GM potatoes which are packed with protein could help combat starvation in many countries (file picture)
Researchers in India isolated the gene in the amaranth plant that produces protein - known as AmA1 - and introduced it into ordinary potatoes.

The gene is also responsible for substantial amounts of essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine, a lack of which can harm children. For example, too little lysine can affect brain development.
The research was reported today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists led by Dr Subhra Chakraborty, from the National Institute of Plant Genome Research in New Delhi, India, wrote: 'Our approach of using AmA1 to increase the nutritional quality in tuber crops, particularly in potato, has been successful.
'To our knowledge, the increase in protein content of genetically modified tubers in this study is one of the highest increases observed in any transgenic crop.'
As well as having extra protein, the GM potatoes also produced greater crop yields.
The potato is the world's leading non-cereal food crop and ranks fourth in global production for all plant foods.
Potatoes are grown in almost 125 countries and are consumed daily by more than a billion people worldwide.
However, nutrition is 'greatly compromised' in normal potatoes because of their lack of protein, said the researchers.
A typical potato has about 2g of usable protein per 100g - and 78g of water. Proteins are essential for developing the body.

They added: 'To guarantee a sufficient supply of quality protein in a diet consisting mainly of staple foods such as potato, specific interventions in genetic engineering are an absolute necessity.'
A key market for the GM potato was expected to be the developing world, where more than a billion people were chronically undernourished.
The 'superspud' also had the potential to increase the nutritional value of potato-based snacks and convenience foods, such as crisps and fries, in richer countries.
'Because potato constitutes and important part of the diet of many people in developed as well as developing countries, it is apparent that this can add value to potato-based products with enhanced benefits for better human health,' the researchers wrote.
Since AmA1 was a natural potato gene, they believed their GM strategy might prove more acceptable to the general public than others that relied on 'foreign' genetic material.
The total value of potatoes is estimated at 40 billion dollars (£25.6 billion) a year for the top 10 producing countries.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z109AcRMHL
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:19 am

While in principle this sounds good, I do hope for the indian farmers sake that they introduce this with more sensitivity than their last GM crops, many poor farmers ended up committing suicide because of the costs/ debts incurred, GM scientists will still want to make their regular profits from it.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby Johnboy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:40 am

Hi NB,
Oh I wish you would get your facts right before rushing into print.
India is the land of the confidence trick but the suicides were caused by counterfeit non-GM cotton seed being sold as GM seed. It was this that caused the suicides.
Now apart from that I find that there is a very obvious shift in the Daily Mail's attitude towards GM. Only last year it would have been headlines condemning such such a vegetable.
I have tried to read the comments but strangely they are not available at present.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby Tony Hague » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:02 am

This is the sort of thing that is needed to produce a shift in attitude regarding GM crops. A shift in emphasis towards actually delivering on that much touted claim of solving third world hunger, rather than providing profit for the agrochemical industry.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby Johnboy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:02 pm

Hi Tony,
I agree that the shift has to come but most of the reason for not living up to what they promised is due to the anti GM campaigns run universally by the Organic faction. These campaigns are standing in the way of scientific advance and it is because they think that if the public do ever accept GM it is their belief that this will be the death knoll of organics.
There have been many such breeding programmes that have had to be either scrapped or almost permanently put on the back burner.
Look a the hullabaloo the organic faction have made over the current GM blight trails! I am very pleased that in their first year seem to be a success. I have promised to grow Sarpo varieties of potato next year because I also seriously want the Savari Trust to succeed in their research. The more I read about their work I am in total awe.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:46 pm

This is not hullaballoo, independent research contradicts Monsanto's research.

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/farmersSuicides ... nIndia.php

I would like to see Monsanto have more of a social consccience regarding cotton production, child labour is being used too, the children should be at school, not working a 13 hour day and being exposed to pesticides Monsanto have been aware of this for years, there are articles on the same subject dating back to 2003

http://www.naturalmatters.net/news-view.asp?news=681
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby alan refail » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:18 am

Johnboy wrote:Hi NB,
Oh I wish you would get your facts right before rushing into print.
India is the land of the confidence trick but the suicides were caused by counterfeit non-GM cotton seed being sold as GM seed. It was this that caused the suicides.
Now apart from that I find that there is a very obvious shift in the Daily Mail's attitude towards GM. Only last year it would have been headlines condemning such such a vegetable.
I have tried to read the comments but strangely they are not available at present.
JB.


Some information on the scale of fake seed selling in India:-

http://biospectrumindia.ciol.com/cgi-bi ... p?id=82825

Perhaps the shift to discussing cotton and Monsanto is a deviation too far from potato research carried out by National Institute of Plant Genome Research in Delhi.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:24 am

I would just like to ask one question, and this is not taking into account whether G.M is right or wrong.

Does anyone really believe that, if higher yielding or more disease resistant crops are grown, that it will feed the starving people that are in most need of it.

I personally think not.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby Nature's Babe » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:27 am

I agree with you OH, it's more about big company profits and cheap labour.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby alan refail » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:56 am

Morning OH

Common sense logic says you must be right.

20% of the world is hungry now, according to UN figures

World population is predicted to rise by 50% over the next 40 years

Even if food production were to rise by the same figure (which seems unlikely/impossible) a significant proportion of the population would still be hungry
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby Johnboy » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:01 pm

Hi NB,
I suggest that you read my posting again. The hullabaloo has absolutely nothing to do with Monsanto. The hullabaloo relates to the fuss that people like yourself have kicked up with regards to the current Potato Blight Trials. Monsanto have nothing to do with these trials or the Super Spud trials.
Now all of a sudden we are talking about GM Cotton in India , suicides and Monsanto. WHY?
What I said was that there appears to be a shift in the attitude to GM by the Daily Mail. Again where does Monsanto enter my posting to the thread.
If it is your intention to throw the thread off course I wish you would desist from doing so.
JB.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby alan refail » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:50 pm

Johnboy wrote:Hi NB,
If it is your intention to throw the thread off course I wish you would desist from doing so.
JB.


Hi Johnboy

You will have seen my comment on this earlier.


Nature's Babe wrote:I agree with you OH, it's more about big company profits and cheap labour.


Hi NB

An easy jibe, but how would you back it up?
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:51 pm

Now i'm not that clever with putting words together but, i really feel i need to say something at this point in time.

How come the so called discussions, over Organics or G.M, always end up with the same few names contributing at the end of each topic.

I really don't think it's down to one person being right or wrong, but i do think that people get upset or annoyed at being spoken to rudely, so they don't bother adding further comments.

We have a lot of forum members that i'm sure would like to add valid points along the way, but just don't want to get involved when certain topics end up the way they do.

So please can we all try to be a little more civil towards each other, and respect other peoples thoughts.

And if anyone cares to send me any nasty P.M's, i am more than willing to share them with the forum. :)
As i won't be bullied. :wink:
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby Johnboy » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:16 pm

Hi OH,
I do not see anybody getting bullied and anybody who has anything to say is fully entitled to do so. But, and there is a very big BUT here, it surely must be within in the context of the thread.
The last time something was moved off thread it caused a very big row over Religion.
It seems that there are certain people who make a habit of trying to throw things into a muddle and I suspect it is because they simply cannot accept anything to be said about GM on this forum.
When a person posts something on a thread that is simply not true I feel that it is up for others to correct what has been written.
The old Air Force saying "If you lead with your chin then do not be surprised when it gets thumped" applies!
JB.
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Re: Modified Superspud

Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:57 pm

Evening Johnboy, i very much appreciate you replying.

I do agree with you about things going off thread, but surely that's just the way a forum works, and i feel we are all guilty of doing this, especially me.

I hope no one deliberately goes off thread, intending to throw things into a muddle.

The trouble today is, there's so much quoted on the internet, papers and so on, and it will always be slightly biased to what ever it's promoting or defending against, so there's bound to be controversy.

I still think some of the replies are rather aggressive, but here we will have to differ.

Well, i've led with my chin, but that's how i feel over this matter, but i do hope there is no bad feeling over my thoughts.

I would just like to apologize to Shallot Man, for doing this on his topic.
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