Carl E. Pray
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Despite making enormous strides in reducing poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, China still has large numbers of people who do not consume sufficient micronutrients such as iron, zinc and Vitamin A. To meet this need, government agencies in China are supporting programs in industrial fortification and vitamin supplements. In recent years the government has also supported research on biofortification of major grain crops using both conventional plant breeding and transgenic techniques. The article assesses the potential political barriers to the acceptance of biofortified crops and concludes that biofortification using nontransgenic techniques would probably not face much opposition, while biofortification with transgenic techniques might have a more difficult time. The article then assesses which groups in China are likely to support or oppose biofortification and then proposes some strategies that the government and international agencies might use if they decide to support biofortification.
Key words: Food fortification, biofortification, China, biotechnology.