GMO products comes in many form, although here in the Philippines, we commonly hear the term GMO when it comes to Soy products, wherein soy derivative such as Soy sauce, Soy Milk, Tofu all claims to be Non-GMO for fear of people shying away from their product.
Yes and No.
Yes, if these product went through tedious testing and accreditation ensuring safety whether its for human consumptions or not.
No, if it’s a fly by night product.
Visit to Monsanto
Together with fellow bloggers and donning safety standards, we were accompanied by their staff around the plant.
They have stressed that safety comes first, this gave me the feeling that they care a lot about the people who visits them and so much more for their own employees.
We also got to converse with some of them and they confirmed how the company have taken care of every employee welfare and family development. Monsanto is also included in the 10 great places to work in.
Monsanto has improved the lives of many farmers in the Philippines allowing them to buy their land back, build their own home and provide well for their families.
For most farmers, hard times in their lives served as their catalyst for change and Monsanto has helped them in this matter.
According to Charina Garrido-Ocampo, Corporate Affairs Lead of Monsanto Philippines, “A lot of activist are against GMO but if we are to look at the credentials of these people, there are not into agriculture and stuff. Makes us wonder if they really look into what they’re against with, in the first place”.
In terms of sustainability, GMO issues will not stand if not proven by facts.
To help the general public look into the issues on hand, Monsanto Philippines decided to come up with a Children’s story book.
Monsanto Philippines holds storytelling sessions on the only Filipino children’s book on biotech corn seeds titled Lina’s Town Rises Again.
Lina’s Town Rises Again was written for elementary school children to develop a basic understanding of the impact of agriculture products, specifically Dekalb corn seeds in social, economic and environmental terms. It touches on the themes of sustainability, collaboration and safety by narrating the true and inspiring story of how agricultural biotechnology seeds positively transformed a woman farmer’s life, and enabled her farming community to recover economically in the aftermath of a devastating typhoon.
The story is authored by Chat Ocampo, Corporate Engagement Lead – Philippines, who has previously authored two children’s books. The illustration-rich book is written in an informative writing style, keeps the interest of young readers while conveying some highly technical information on seeds, to deliver the messages of sustainability and safety.
By writing this book, Ocampo feels she is able to do her share in “keeping the younger generations interested in matters related to agriculture while reaching out to equally important societal audiences such as young parents and teachers.”
Meantime, two learning hubs for elementary school children maintained by the Department of Education in Davao City continue to hold storytelling sessions with the book. The ages of students attending these sessions range from 5 to 10 years old.
So far, Monsanto Philippines has conducted storytelling sessions in 3 cities including Davao City which is the most influential city in Mindanao, Philippines. These sessions have reached more than 7,000 students from 36 schools (30 schools in Davao City, five in Tuguegarao City and one science elementary school in Quezon City). The Biotech Coalition of the Philippines has also distributed copies of the book to key government offices and public libraries.