Concerns over global public health crises, especially as they relate to less-developed countries are dominated by the issue of access-freeze to life-saving drugs. Without discounting the problem of access to essential drugs, this article shifts attention from that conventional discourse and focuses on the relationship between biotechnology, specifically agro-biotech, and nutritional health. It argues that despite the traditional reservations against agro-biotech, in some quarters, and various inchoate claims made on its behalf, it is a practical tool for public health intervention. The article examines the concept of bio-fortification or functional food as a viable public health strategy against the scourge of malnutrition said to be the greatest risk factor contributing to global burden of disease. Analogizing access to bio-fortified foods to access to essential medicines, the article argues for a public goods approach to bio-fortified foods as a public health incentive in the less-developed world.
Citation: Chidi Oguamanam, “Toward a Constructive Engagement: Agricultural Biotechnology as a Public Health Incentive for Less Developed Countries” (2011) 7:2 J Food L Policy 257.