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The social and economic impact of biofortification through genetic modification
- De Steur, Hans, Demont, Matty, Gellynck, Xavier, Stein, Alexander J
- Current opinion in biotechnology 2017 v.44 pp. 161-168
- biofortification, complement, crops, decision support systems, economic impact, genetic engineering, issues and policy, people, socioeconomics
- Genetic modification (GM) has been advocated as an alternative or complement to micronutrient interventions such as supplementation, fortification or dietary diversification. While proof-of-concept of various GM biofortified crops looks promising, the decision tree of policy makers is much more complex, and requires insight on their socio-economic impacts: Will it actually work? Is it financially sound? Will people accept it? Can it be implemented in a globalized world?This review shows that GM biofortification could effectively reduce the burden of micronutrient deficiencies, in an economically viable way, and is generally well received by target beneficiaries, despite some resistance and uncertainty. Practically, however, protectionist and/or unscientific regulations in some developed countries raise the (perceived) bar for implementation in target countries.