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Medical News & Perspectives
October 27, 1999

Genetically Enhanced Rice to Help Fight Malnutrition

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JAMA. 1999;282(16):1508-1509. doi:10.1001/jama.282.16.1508-JMN1027-2-1

St Louis—Although rising rates of obesity—and the concomitant increases in health problems associated with this condition—are issues of global concern, malnutrition, which gives rise to its own set of negative health consequences, remains a worldwide scourge, particularly among the poor in developing countries.

Lack of specific nutrients in the diet—not just lack of food—is a major cause of malnutrition. For example, among populations in whom rice is the main food staple, iron and vitamin A deficiencies are common because rice contains low levels of iron and lacks β-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.