For the second year in a row, Monsanto Caribe participated in the Annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Puerto Rico Affiliate (PRAND) Congress. This event took place on March 9-10 at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino. Monsanto participated with a keynote from Jose Rafael Prado, Woodland/Brazil Production Genotyping Lead for Monsanto titled What Are GMOs, How They’re Made, and Other Related Stories. During the entire event, we had an exhibition and information booth to foster a conversation between attendants and Monsanto representatives.
José’s visit to Puerto Rico was very productive. He led a round table discussion on the state of – and ideas to further – the conversation on scientific topics such as biotech crops and crop protection efforts with key stakeholders from the Puerto Rico Agricultural Biotechnology Industry Association (PRABIA), the Industry University Research Center (INDUNIV), the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT), the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Turabo, dietitians, and others.
We had the opportunity to have him at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico to speak to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty of the Biotechnology and Agro-biotechnology Research and Education Center (CEIBA, for its acronym in Spanish). His presentation sparked much interest among the audience. José also gave another keynote event at the Biology Department of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus. A total of 130 students and professors participated in this event.
He explained the process through which genetically engineered (GE) crops are developed with an emphasis on the strict safety and regulatory processes required by regulatory agencies around the world. José also provided some good examples of GE crops that are of interest to nutritionists, such as crops containing healthy fats and vitamins; the application of GE crops to other fields such as manufacturing and medicine; and other GE crop opportunities currently not in the market.
These series of activities gave us yet another opportunity to educate the public about what we do in Puerto Rico and how committed we are to good nutrition, as well as foster more and better informed conversation with Puerto Ricans about where food comes from and why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a part of it.