Pamela Ronald has always felt at home around plants–nurturing them, modifying them, propagating them–so it seems natural that she is developing new crop varieties. One of her breakthroughs: a strain of flood-resistant rice created through precision breeding, not genetic engineering. The new rice has increased yields three- to fivefold under flood conditions in countries including Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia. The question to ask about a new crop, she says, “is not ‘Is it GM?’ but ‘Can it help food security in less developed nations?'”
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