Human blood protein
Human serum albumin (HSA) is a blood protein in human plasma. It is used in treatment such as severe burns, liver cirrhosis, and hemorrhagic shock. More importantly, it is used in blood donations and thus is in short supply around the world. In China, the scientists modified brown rice as a cost effective way to produce HSA protein. The Chinese scientists put recombinant HSA protein promoters into 25 rice plants using Agrobacterium. Out of the 25 plants, nine of them breed (brown rice plants), and contained the HSA protein. They confirmed that the genetically modified brown rice had the same amino acid sequence as human serum albumin. They called this protein Oryza sativa recombinant HSA. The modified rice were transparent compared to regular rice. Additionally, they tested this protein on the rats with liver disease. The rats showed improved liver function.
Some people have concerns that GMOs may be created with genes that affect human biology in such a way that the effectiveness of antibiotics is reduced, or that additional allergens may be created in GMO foods. There is evidence that GMO foods have great impact on human life
Genetically modified plants may potentially cross-pollinate with non modified plants, which could possibly lead to the spread of herbicide-resistance or additional levels of pest resistance to weeds or wild plants. Thus, genetically modified plants might compete with non modified plants and overtake in agriculture, forests, and the wild. In effect, people will need to have stronger herbicide sprays to get rid of them.
Making genetically modified rice takes time, research, and money. If an approved GM rice is introduced to the market, only the big agricultural industries will be able to afford this. According to some consumer advocates, the new plant varieties will raise the price of seeds. The small farmers and third world countries will suffer from such change financially. Developing countries will have to depend on richer countries like U.S. to fund these crops.
After the mistaken release, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled that the genetically modified rice is safe to eat, but that didn’t bring back the European market.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to be made whole, but you get what you can,” said farmer Jonathan Hillman of Stuttgart, Ark.
Hillman said the effect was immediate when word came out in 2006 about the genetically modified rice.
“We didn’t do anything wrong. Bayer lets this happen and it affects us more than it does Bayer,” Hillman said.
Bayer was accused of knowing there was contamination, but the company has not admitted fault and stated when announcing the settlement that “Bayer CropScience believes it acted responsibly in the handling of its biotech rice.”
The settlement is open to affected growers even if they haven’t filed lawsuits.
Arkansas is first in rice production, followed by California and then Louisiana.
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