Saturday, February 24, 2018

Monsanto PH Underscores Safety of Plant Operations

Monsanto Philippines underscored the safety of its plant operations during the recently conducted media briefing at their RIB (Refuge-In-a-Bag) Plant in Pulilan, Bulacan. For almost four years since its opening in 2014, the blending and packing facility has zero recordable injury or health issue incidence. 

Monsanto Pulilan Plant is the first RIB Plant in Asia and second in the world, spanning a total land area of 6,000 square meters. The first time Monsanto opened its doors to the members of the media was during its opening in 2004 with the purpose of sharing information on the safety of its plant operations as well as highlighting the benefits of agricultural biotechnology.

“We started agricultural biotechnology in the country when we introduced Bt corn in the market in 2003. We really make sure that our products are safe to human health and the environment. That is of utmost importance to us,” said Ms. Charina Garrido Ocampo, Corporate Affairs Lead of Monsanto Philippines as she welcomed the guests from the media sector. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Gabriel Romero, Regulatory Policy and Scientific Affairs Lead of Monsanto Philippines elaborated on a brewing issue of increased incidence of counterfeit. “Adulterated seeds or fake seeds short-change our farmers. They may be cheaper but they underperform big time. Worse, they come out without proper stewardship measures, and thereby threaten GM technology and farmer’s livelihood,” he explained. “We want to put a stop to this practice, as it sets in danger the very livelihood of our corn farmers as well as the corn industry,” Dr. Romero added. 

Finally, Plant Manager Maricis Palarca and her team gave a short briefing on the key processes, safety procedures, and quality assurance tests that they are performing in the plant. “Aside from ensuring that all seeds going out to the market pass our standards, we are also committed in providing a healthy and safe environment to our employees, site visitors, contractors, and neighbors,” Palarca emphasized.

The media briefing concluded with an open forum, and a 15-minute tour around the RIB plant and seed testing laboratory.  

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