Viewpoint: Developing countries begin rejecting anti-GMO ‘fearmongering’ to reap benefits of biofortified crops

biofortification way forward nourishing future

Gene and genome editing for crops has been presented as a reasonable solution to create healthier, more plentiful food but it has faced tremendous opposition in developed and developing countries alike.

This is due to fear-driven anti GMO/genetically engineered food marketing campaigns that position these crops as ‘dangerous’ or ‘unhealthy’ to both consumers and policymakers, despite multiple studies proving otherwise.

Global acceptance, however, is now shifting, particularly in some countries where lack of nutrition and food availability have created a true public health crisis that can only be solved with high-quality and more readily available food staples.

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Some of these countries are now making policy changes to incorporate foods that have been engineered to boost certain vitamins, fats or other nutritional factors, or increase the amount of food produced.

Related article:  Biofortified CRISPR-edited rice could help battle global vitamin A deficiency

For example, Bangladesh’s agriculture minister is expected to approve GMO superfood “Golden Rice”, a fortified form of rice that has been genetically modified to biosynthesise beta-carotene in the edible parts of rice

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Hesitation from policy makers that was once fueled by the actions of environmental and human rights organizations has now been minimized as more research validates the benefits of GMO and gene edited food.

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