US based company has been granted permission to grow a genetically modified (GM) variety of rice from which human proteins could be extracted.
The company behind the proposal, Ventria Bioscience, says the plants could be developed into medicines for diarrhea and dehydration in infants.
These plants, incorporating human genes involved in producing breast milk, would be grown over some 3,000 acres (1,215 hectares) of farmland in the mid-western state of Kansas.
Though a preliminary approval has been granted, many hurdles will have to be crossed before the Ventria Bioscience's genetically modified food products reach supermarket shelves.
Already critics have expressed alarm that parts of the modified plants could enter the food chain. That is a risky proposition, they say, as it is not fully tested for possible adverse impact on the health of those who consume it.
The company asserts that every effort would be taken to ensure the new GM seeds do not get mixed with other sees. But bad weather such as high winds or human error could lead to such a mix up and consequent complications, some activists warn.
The US public could submit their objections to the whole project before the end of March. Any decision to grant final approval would be taken only subsequently.