Title: Evaluating GM biofortified rice in areas with a high prevalence of folate deficiency

Authors: Hans De Steur; Manoj Kumar Dora; Dieter Blancquaert; Ge Liqun; Willy Lambert; Dominique Van Der Straeten; Xavier Gellynck

Addresses: Division of Agri-Food Marketing and Chain Management, Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium ' Division of Agri-Food Marketing and Chain Management, Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium ' Laboratory of Functional Plant Biology, Department of Physiology, Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium ' Rural Economy Research Institute, Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Dongling Road, 84, Dongling District, 110161 Shenyang, Liaoning, China ' Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Bioanalysis, Ghent University, Harelbekestraat 72, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium ' Laboratory of Functional Plant Biology, Department of Physiology, Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium ' Division of Agri-Food Marketing and Chain Management, Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium

Abstract: Folate biofortified rice is considered a novel strategy to reduce the burden of folate deficiency. This study quantifies the possible health benefits of introducing this GM crop in two regions at high risk of folate deficiency and neural-tube defects, namely Balrampur (India) and Shanxi (China). By measuring the number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost, the results not only highlight the problematic situation in these regions, but also demonstrate the effectiveness of folate biofortification, which could save between 29-111 DALYs (Balrampur) and between 47-104 DALYs per 1,000 births (Shanxi). A sensitivity analysis underlines the impact of the parameters of the DALY framework.

Keywords: disability-adjusted life years; DALYs; folate biofortified rice; FBR; genetic modification; neural-tube defects; NTDs; folate deficiency; burden assessment; health benefits; China; India; GM rice; genetically modified rice; GM crops; folate biofortification.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBT.2014.068943

International Journal of Biotechnology, 2014 Vol.13 No.4, pp.257 - 279

Accepted: 17 Nov 2014
Published online: 21 Apr 2015 *

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