The science and the breeding tried and trying (controlled mutations, irradiations, anther manipulations, biotechnological genetic engineering etc.) to make such plants which are mostly fit enough for the physiological demands of the mammals, and could provide functional food-material for the humans.
But the present and recent past human methods – which ignore the ecosystem – are not in compliance with the principles of the living world, so they cannot result substantial success in long term.
For some years now in the field of wheat-breeding the so-called-innovation cisgenesis has been spreading – to weaken the negative overtones of GM – which is also requiring GM techniques, but within genus maybe within species. In a wider contest triticales (recently rye-wheats) should be considered as GM crops because a mutagenic chemical material, the colchicine is used for their creation, in other case the progenies would be sterile.
In the interest of chasing profit, maybe staying on foot, the main goal has been forgotten: to ensure the efficient and healthy food for the people.
The gene-stock of plants created with these activities has been narrowed badly, and the consequence that their production is still more expensive than those which were created with classic breeding methods. And their hyped positive effects have been doubted in the US, Argentina and Brazil too.
We forgot, or never wanted and still don’t want (for some reason) to see, that nature has created the perfect, suitable vegetal diversity for every larger geological regions and climate zones. Each plant has the proper specification for the superior species living each territory. E.g. for the monsoon territories rice and soy; for the American Mediterranean corn and lentil, or bean; for the continental territories only wheats and maybe barley for higher areas.
Man would have minimal task on the field of breeding: notice the possibilities given by nature (because there are plenty), refine it in accordance with the standards of the actual age, and don’t try to take over the place of the Creator for a long time.
We should use only two things in the same time which were also given by nature. Eye and brain. (Breeders from the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century were sharp-eyed observers too.) Only the direct and close observation of the living material can lead to results of capital importance. The analysis, the mathematical complex of details in living organs mostly have nothing to do with the essence of the whole. The tightly defined biotechnology, namely the GM, is working exactly by these principles.
It’s so childishly naive hoping to fix, or create better organisms, when we do not understand their structure and mostly their function yet. The depth of our biological ignorance regarding the essence of life is shocking. The essence of life is not inside the DNA structure (like some people think for some decades now), but inside its combinational levels, controlled by triplet codes, in electron relationships and in the adaptation to nature.
Our most important food and feed crop is the wheat. The genetic background of the known food varieties in our present is from the breeding activities executed approx. 140 years ago. The methods back then, unlike now, used much more empirical knowledge. Therefore yields were managed to raise 25-40%, and naturalization was possible on more continents because of the made adaptability.
Globally, in range of the eared grain-breeding, the newer and newer varieties are still coming from the combinations of some dozen varieties which have been developed at the end of the 19th century.
Since then the genetic background did not flare but reduced!
Genetically over-bred, the ecological adaptability has ceased. It follows that wheat growing in the EU is only profitable if the plant gets everything it needs (sometimes it’s still not). So the wheat is incapable of living by itself. Consequence: specification and quantity are changing incomprehensibly in different years; it can become profitable only if the agricultural subsidies and intervention get attached to it. But producing for intervention is basically suicide. The function of the intervention is to reduce market turmoils not to motivate the production for it. And the main goal of agricultural subsidies is to make the very high cost production profitable, at the expense of the society. The high cost is basically coming from the overused chemicals in the input. GM seeds and hybrid seeds (which cannot be propagated further, they are only advantageous for the patentee) also belong to this group. Does society need something that only gains extra expense for decades? Is the following statement really true? 'Healthy lifestyle is the privilege of the wealthy only?' Not at all.
There are existing wheat species with very wide genetic basics!
Their names are spelta, novum and king wheats.