Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 5–19

Can the world afford to ignore biotechnology solutions that address food insecurity?

Authors

  • Judit Berman
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Changfu Zhu
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Eduard Pérez-Massot
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Gemma Arjó
    • Department of Medicine, Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLleida)University of Lleida
  • Uxue Zorrilla-López
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Gemma Masip
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Raviraj Banakar
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Georgina Sanahuja
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Gemma Farré
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Bruna Miralpeix
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Chao Bai
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Evangelia Vamvaka
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Maite Sabalza
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Richard M. Twyman
    • Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Warwick
  • Ludovic Bassié
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
  • Teresa Capell
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
    • Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science, ETSEAUniversity of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center
    • Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11103-013-0027-2

Cite this article as:
Berman, J., Zhu, C., Pérez-Massot, E. et al. Plant Mol Biol (2013) 83: 5. doi:10.1007/s11103-013-0027-2

Abstract

Genetically engineered (GE) crops can be used as part of a combined strategy to address food insecurity, which is defined as a lack of sustainable access to safe and nutritious food. In this article, we discuss the causes and consequences of food insecurity in the developing world, and the indirect economic impact on industrialized countries. We dissect the healthcare costs and lost productivity caused by food insecurity, and evaluate the relative merits of different intervention programs including supplementation, fortification and the deployment of GE crops with higher yields and enhanced nutritional properties. We provide clear evidence for the numerous potential benefits of GE crops, particularly for small-scale and subsistence farmers. GE crops with enhanced yields and nutritional properties constitute a vital component of any comprehensive strategy to tackle poverty, hunger and malnutrition in developing countries and thus reduce the global negative economic effects of food insecurity.

Keywords

Genetically engineered crops Food insecurity Nutritionally enriched crops Economic impact

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013