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Oct 17, 2011

GMO destroyed; all gone?

On Friday, the Scientific Steering Committee of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority issued a press release on the importation of genetically modified corn seeds into the country in mid-August.  The release came a week after the destruction of twenty pounds of GMO kernels following instructions given by the government.  In the memo, BAHA officials express concerns that there might be farmers who have illegally planted the corn seeds and as a result, an investigation has been launched.  Despite not having disclosed their sources, BAHA officials say they received credible information, (quote) “that Cabinet had decided that a permit should be issued for two GMO trials” (unquote).  Today News Five spoke with Mark Miller of Plenty Belize who told us that there were indeed two different types of hybrid corn that were imported by a farmer in Spanish Lookout.

Mark Miller, Exec. Dir., Plenty Belize

“From what I’ve seen in the press release it shows that they brought in two different types of GMO corn and these were two different hybrid varieties of corn with the same GMO imbedded in them.  So in their release they showed 30K73 and 30S72.  Those would be hybrid corn seeds, and then the TC1507 is the GMO trait that was put into those types of corn so that it’s not just corn but corn with an insecticide in it.”

Isani Cayetano

“There have been certain concerns that have been raised with regards to the destruction of the corn seeds a week before.  There are some who are of the impression or the belief that not all of it has been destroyed and as a matter of fact some has already been planted.  Can you share with us your knowledge of anything to the contrary or confirming what has been raised?”

Mark Miller

“I’m not able to confirm one way or the other.  I know that there are concerns because the manner in which the seeds were obtained and the manner in which the seeds were destroyed didn’t have enough independent verification to know what was being destroyed was the right thing, and even that what was brought in never moved out before the destruction time.  So we can’t really say for certain.  I think it’s great in reading this press release that BAHA would collect samples from suspect corn seeds and have it tested at a lab outside of the country as they don’t have a lab to do it here at this time.”

Isani Cayetano

“Do you have an idea more or less who the individual or individuals who were given the green light to go ahead and import GMO corn seeds into the country?  Has that been disclosed?”

Mark Miller

“I haven’t seen an official document but as I understood it it’s a Mr. Henry Wolfe of Midwest Steel in Spanish Lookout who I also understand sits on the bio-safety panel who was doing the imports. So it was someone who is on the panel, I mean I’m not sure what his affiliation is that brings him on to the panel that was to be the importer who received the approval.”

We have also been unable to confirm whether or not the person identified has indeed planted the GMOs.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “GMO destroyed; all gone?”

  1. Ocaso says:

    It will be a sad day in this country when GMOs of any type are allowed to be grown or raised. What is really needed is a comprehensive plan by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bureau of Standards to ensure that not only are GMO seeds and animals not imported but that processed foodstuffs have the minimum of a label stating that the product contains GMO components. The bottom line is that THE PUBLIC HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS CONSUMING. If the apologists for GMOs in Belize feel so confident about the supposed safety of GMO crops then by all means it they eat all they want….. Just don’t coming crying when you and your kids have cancer!

  2. Antonio el Brujo says:

    Lets keep eating the hard, worm infested, sickly, tasteless pig corn instead. Yes, Belize is moving into the 18th century. We proud, we murder, we poor, we backwards. Viva Belice.

  3. Belize says:

    The mayas ate it, for hundreds of years and cultivated it for million of inhabitants in this part of the world and there was no need for genetically modified organisms. what we need to do is plan our farming better. We are such a small population that we should have no need to be planting GMO. this is the easy way out… NO to GMO

  4. Antonio Miranda says:

    The Mayans in the south are doing fine without GMO corn. If there is a shortage of corn in the country, I am shure the Mayans in the south can increase their corn production to meet the need of the country. They have already done it with rice. They are hard-working people. They don’t need any GMO.
    The Mennonites are doing excellent without GMO. So, what the hell more do the Mennonites and Gabino Canto want? Is it greed to destroy the natural and take control of everybody in the world? Is that what the Mennonites learn from their Bible?
    I believe that the only way to make sure that the GMO corn does not destroy the livelyhood of the Belizean people is to quarantine the Mennonites and dump Gabino Canto into the fence along with them because they seem to be Monsanto agents in Belize. Otherwise, we will have to find another way to eliminate…..

  5. Earl Grey says:


    AND…I bet this GM-corn yields no seeds…SO THAT YOU HAVE TO BUY NEW SEEDS every time you want to plant corn.


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