Like a Biblical pestilence, it spread unchecked across India and China, turning golden oceans of wheat into blackened wastelands. Then, blown by the winds, the great red cloud swept across the Indian Ocean to continue its easterly creep across Australia.
Yet the fields stayed golden. The only evidence of the passing rust plague was the occasional shrivelled roadside specimen of old varieties escaped from the paddock. It’s 2050, and Australia’s bounteous wheat harvest has been saved. The hundred dollar notes printed that year bore the images of Jeff Ellis, Evans Lagudah, Wolfgang Spielmeyer, Peter Dodds, and Mick Ayliffe, the CSIRO scientists whose teams had genetically modified wheat to resist the rust plague.
The only farfetched aspect of this scenario is that it probably won’t be India and China that miss out on these protective crops. It will be Australia – that’s if the enemies of genetically modified crops have their way.
Read the full, original story here: “Brave new wheat”
- “ GM wheat found in Oregon field creates media maelstrom,” Genetic Literacy Project
- “ Japan’s harsh reaction to GM wheat rooted in culture and history,” Oregonian
- “ GM wheat found in Oregon field creates media maelstrom,” New Scientist