Biotechnology and genetic-engineering application in agriculture brought many benefits. In fact, from the genetically modified plant traits to be more resistant to environmental threats, plant diseases, and weeds (resulted to high yield of crops), do you know that food safety and nutrient-rich yield crops are also remarkable to scientist and nutritionist?
Monsanto as a leading key player in biotechnology and GMO understand the challenges of these innovations, especially in the midst of misinformation and fear mongering. Despite these, they never stopped in research and development to face climate and environmental challenges and develop tools to help crop growers protect natural resources while providing nourishment to the world.
In a press briefing in Novotel Philippines, Dr. Milton Stokes, Monsanto’s Global Director for Food, Health, & Nutrition highlights the advantage of GMO and biotechnology in agricultural sector and how to sustain food safety for the generations to come.
He stressed how the agricultural sector is in a dreaded situation of feeding billions of people with limited acres of land. He said that agriculture has the capacity to feed the world through utilizing advanced technologies such as biotechnology, GMO and data science.
He believes that farmers need to plant crops that can survive varying weather condition, disease, and weed resistant while retaining or adding nutrients that can sustain a human being’s nutrition needs. However, many people have been against the idea of actually feeding their family of genetically-modified crops as they may be victims of inaccurate information.
This is what Dr. Stokes like to address, as a food and nutrition expert, he understands the benefit of GMO and biotechnology, “we [Monsanto] have safely proved that GMO is safe. There are no safety issues.” He also emphasized that society is built on science and innovation.
While Monsanto support voluntary labeling of GMO and non-GMO crops in the market to inform consumers, they are appealing to the private sector and the government regulatory bodies to do so in an accurate and a matter-of-factly fashion to avoid misinformation.
As Dr. Stokes believes that misinformation and disinformation feed fear and is spread by people not keen on solving the biggest challenge yet, food security and food safety. Noting that “these fear-based campaigns are actually pro-poverty, they are pro-malnutrition, and they are pro-suffering.”
He appeals to the media to speak on behalf of biotechnology and GMOs benefits. To serve as a powerful voice to disseminate proper, science-based, and accurate information regarding these beneficial innovations. (Cathy Cruz and Ehlorra Mangahas)