Arsenic-resistant rice cultivated in West Bengal

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News:Researchers in West Bengal have developed and commercialised a rice variety named “Muktoshri” that is resistant to arsenic.

Facts:

About the rice variety:

  • It is also called IET 21845.
  • It has been developed jointly by the Rice Research Station, West Bengal Agriculture Department and the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.
  • The variety absorbs a very less amount of arsenic from soil and water than the other varieties of rice.

Additional information:

About Arsenic:

  • Arsenic is a natural component of the earth’s crust and is widely distributed throughout the environment in the air, water and land. However,it is highly toxic in its inorganic form.
  • People are exposed to elevated levels of inorganic arsenic through drinking contaminated water, using contaminated water in food preparation and irrigation of food crops among others.
  • The long term exposure to inorganic arsenic mainly can lead to chronic arsenic poisoning.Skin lesions and skin cancer are the most characteristic effects.