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Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Vol. 44, 2017, Pages: 181–188

GM biofortified crops: potential effects on targeting the micronutrient intake gap in human populations

Hans De Steur, Saurabh Mehta, Xavier Gellynck, Julia L Finkelstein

Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Biosciences Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Abstract

Genetic engineering has been successfully applied to increase micronutrient content in staple crops. Nutrition evidence is key to ensure scale-up and successful implementation. Unlike conventional plant breeding efforts, research on the efficacy or effectiveness of GM biofortified crops on nutritional status in human populations is lacking. This review reports on the potential role of GM biofortified crops in closing the micronutrient gap – increasing the dietary intake of micronutrients in human populations. To date, one clinical trial in the United States reported a high bio-conversion rate of β-carotene in Golden Rice, and potential effects of GM biofortified crop consumption on dietary intake and nutritional outcomes are promising. However, further research needs to confirm the ex ante assessments in target regions.

Graphical abstract

 

 
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