Biofortification of crops through genetic modification can effectively
lessen the burden of micronutrient deficiencies in an economically viable
way. This is according to review article authored by economics and policy
experts from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Ghent
University, and European Commission and published in Current Opinion in
Matty Demont, Senior Economist at IRRI, presented the highlights of their
review article during the The Economics of Biotech Crops: A Symposium to
Promote Economic and Financial Literacy symposium held on July 17, 2018 at
the SEARCA Umali Auditorium, Los Ba?os, Laguna, Philippines.
According to Demont, biofortification complements current interventions to
address micronutrient deficiency such as supplementation, industrial
fortification of food products, and dietary diversification.
Biofortification is generally a beneficial option because of its long-term
cost-effectiveness, and the potential to reach the underserved, rural
populations, especially in areas with high burden of hidden hunger. To date,
there are several research on using GM to biofortify food crops such as the
Golden Rice project, however, no GM biofortified crop is available in the
market. They analyzed the consumers' willingness to pay for such products in
case they become commercially available and concluded that consumers are
willing to pay more for biofortified products when direct consumer benefits
are presented to them.