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An interesting article in today’s

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 21, 2000

An interesting article in today’s NY Times about genetically-engineered “golden” rice that contains beta carotene.

The curious thing about rice is that it’s a “self-pollinating plant”; that is, the seeds from a previous harvest can be used to plant the next harvest. Any farmer that grows this new rice can sell his crop as seed to anyone else…the self-pollination aspect of the rice makes any sort of top-down distribution difficult to implement. Who wants to buy from the source at a premium when they can buy from anyone else at a lower price?

It seems to me that this is rather like software and digital music, both of which are self-pollinating; anyone can make and sell copies (P2P?). Perhaps the music and software industries can look to the agricultural industry to see how they handle these issues.