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Transgenic rice for human benefit: a religious perspective

A paper to be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by A. K. Garg and R. J. Wu, "Trehalose accumulation in rice plants confers high tolerance levels to different abiotic stresses," shows the promise of biotechnology in the service of humanity, according to a religion scholar.

Statement by Ronald Cole-Turner, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Ethics, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 412 441 3304 x2170. coleturn@pts.edu

"The work of Ajay Garg, Ray Wu, and their colleagues is highly promising and points forward to long-awaited benefits of the biotechnology revolution.

"Their decision to patent their work but then to release it to the public domain deserves high praise. This is a bold, life-affirming decision. The benefits of their breakthrough are likely to touch the world's neediest people, those whose very existence is threatened daily by drought or poor growing conditions.

"Critics of agricultural biotechnology have often said that the results are impractical, dangerous, or only beneficial to seed companies. From now on, the critics will have to think again.

"If this work is as promising as it appears, then we will need to worry even more about population growth. We need to have the good sense--as well as strong encouragement from the world's religious communities--to limit population while we have the chance."


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Contact: Brent Waters
srns@science-spirit.org
412-585-0842
Science and Religion Information Service
25-Nov-2002


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