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Rhodora Aldemita, Ph.D. Speaks to Students About the Advantages of Biotech Crops

Rhodora Aldemita, Ph.D. gave a presentation about biotechnology, specifically biotech crops, to a group of Rowan University students on Monday, September 18th. The lecture was part of the College of Science & Mathematics (CSM) Dean’s Distinguished Speakers Series. Dr. Aldemita is the Senior Program Officer for the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and is currently the editor-in-chief for the Philippine Journal of Crop Science.

Aldemita explained that biotech crop planting is fairly new and was commercialized in 1996. Since its commercialization, the popularity has grown immensely and is being used in 26 countries. Biotech crop planting is considered the fastest growing crop technology. Genetic engineering shortens the breeding cycles and increases biodiversity.

Biotech crops increased three percent from 2015 to 2016. The United States is the leader with 72.9 million hectares dedicated to biotech crops. In North America, maize, soybean, cotton, canola, sugar beet, alfalfa, papaya, squash, and potato are biotech crops. The potential benefits of biotech crop planting include, environmental friendliness, food production with more nutrients, and an increased yield of crops. Crops are going to last longer, as well as become more resistant to bugs and viruses.

Aldemita also told the students that careers in biotechnology include, researchers, product development, regulatory approval, marketing, and growing the market as a salesman. Employers are in the public and private sector.