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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Feb;1390(1):47-58. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13275. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

Global regulatory framework for production and marketing of crops biofortified with vitamins and minerals.

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
Nutrition Division, Bureau for Global Health, U.S. Agency for the International Development, Washington, D.C.
Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, Evidence and Programme Guidance, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


Biofortification of crops is being introduced in several countries as a strategy to reduce micronutrient deficiencies. Biofortified products, with increased contents of micronutrients, are currently produced by conventional plant breeding, genetic modification, or nutrient-enhanced fertilization. Corn, rice, wheat, beans, pearl millet, sweet potato, and cassava have been biofortified with increased contents of provitamin A carotenoids, iron, or zinc. However, regulatory considerations are rare or nonexistent. The objective of this paper is to review the regulatory framework for production and marketing of biofortified crops in countries that have adopted this strategy. The information was identified using Internet search engines and websites of health and nutrition organizations and nongovernmental organizations and by consulting scientists and government authorities. Thus far, biofortified products introduced in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have been produced only by conventional breeding. Cultivars using other techniques are still under testing. The production and marketing of these products have been conducted without regulatory framework and under limited government control or regulatory guidance. Nevertheless, some countries have integrated biofortified crops into their nutrition agendas. Although improvements by conventional breeding have not been subject to regulations, when biofortification becomes expanded by including other techniques, an appropriate regulatory framework will be necessary.


agriculture and nutrition; biofortified crops; micronutrient deficiencies; policies and regulations; regulatory framework

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