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Open Access Sharing Malaysian experience with the development of biotechnology-derived food crops

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Abstract:

Biotechnology-derived food crops are currently being developed in Malaysia mainly for disease resistance and improved postharvest quality. The modern biotechnology approach is adopted because of its potential to overcome constraints faced by conventional breeding techniques. Research on the development of biotechnology-derived papaya, pineapple, chili, passion fruit, and citrus is currently under way. Biotechnology-derived papaya developed for resistance to papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) and improved postharvest qualities is at the field evaluation stage. Pineapple developed for resistance to fruit black heart disorder is also being evaluated for proof-of-concept. Other biotechnology-derived food crops are at early stages of gene cloning and transformation. Activities and products involving biotechnology-derived crops will be fully regulated in the near future under the Malaysian Biosafety Law. At present they are governed only by guidelines formulated by the Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC), Malaysia. Commercialization of biotechnology-derived crops involves steps that require GMAC approval for all field evaluations and food-safety assessments before the products are placed on the market. Public acceptance of the biotechnology product is another important factor for successful commercialization. Understanding of biotechnology is generally low among Malaysians, which may lead to low acceptance of biotechnology-derived products. Initiatives are being taken by local organizations to improve public awareness and acceptance of biotechnology. Future research on plant biotechnology will focus on the development of nutritionally enhanced biotechnology-derived food crops that can provide more benefits to consumers.

Keywords: BIOTECHNOLOGY; FOOD CROPS; MALAYSIA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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