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#415984 - 09/12/11 08:03 AM Genetically Modified corn approved by Belize Govt
Marty Online   happy
Stop the importation of any GMOs until proper process and public consultation are carried out!

Dear Editor,

I have recently been informed that our government has approved the first test trial of Genetically Modified Organisms by some Mennonites in Spanish Lookout with some oversight by CARDI.

I would assume that the GMO seed in question is most likely BT Corn. I have seen no official reports on this matter, but it is so incredibly important that I feel I must write to you at the Amandala so that the people of Belize can be protected from this threat.

Government approved the National Biosafety Policy in 2009, and under that policy, the alleged current approval to import GMO seed does not meet the basic qualifications.

Under the National Biosafety Policy, a scientifically rigorous and sound risk assessment must be carried out before allowing the importation of GMO’s. Given the many dangers that have already been proven to exist with BT Corn, including environmental dangers, lower crop production, loss of our local corn as BT corn cross-pollinates it, production of BT resistant pests, and increase levels of toxins in mothers’ breast milk, I find it near impossible to believe that scientific studies have been carried out in Belize that might refute these many well-known problems.

Also, under the National Biosafety Policy, public consultations must be held as part of the decision making process. If the decision was already made, then it is clear this requirement has not been carried out.

The policy sets up a National Biosafety Council, which is to make decisions with respect to the production, importation and use of GMO and GMO-derived products in Belize. The Council shall be comprised of technical representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Natural Resources and Environment, regulatory agencies/bodies involved in agricultural health, food safety and standards, international and regional organizations, the NGO community, civil society and the private sector.

The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) is the national competent authority for biosafety in Belize. I call on the Council and BAHA to respond to the public, to inform us of these and any activities relating to GMOs, and to stop the importation of any GMOs until proper process and public consultation are carried out.

Mark Miller
Plenty Belize
Punta Gorda Town


#415985 - 09/12/11 08:05 AM Re: Genetically Modified corn approved by Belize Govt [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
GMO Corn planted in Belize for our market
(from Facebook by M.S. DeShield)

It is confirmed that permission was given by the Ministry of Agriculture to bring in GMO corn to plant as a trial. This is the first time Belize will be planting gmos as far as I know. Thee are many questions to be asked of the current government regarding this move which is in contradiction to government policy enacted in 2009 which placed a 5 year moratorium on planting gmos. That policy followed almost three years of discussion and public consultation throughout the country - Belmopan, Belize City, Stann Creek and Orange Walk. All agriculture imports are required to receive an import permit from BAHA. This trial was permitted by the Ministry of Agriculture without a BAHA permit. A BAHA permit would have required a risk analysis prior to importation. Why was this not done? Risk analysis would most likely take into consideration the following: Who is liable if there are adverse effects because of this importation? What is the risk to small farmers with this importation? What is the risk to organic farmers with this importation? What is the risk to niche markets with this importation? Does Belize have the capacity to monitor this production keeping in mind the constraints placed upon farmers by the seed producers (biodiversity corridors, no replanting of seed) Was this importation reported to the wider international community. Belize is signed on to the Cartagena Protocol and is required by law to communicate its policies and actions regarding GMOs. What markets will Belize lose as a result of this importation? Who stands to benefit from this importation? There are many studies to show that weed resistance to glyphosate occurs within a few years of the use of Round-up Ready Corn - in fact there is a considerable anxiety about the super-weeds being produced. Additionally, Belize does not have in place labeling laws regarding GMOs. How will government protect consumers who do not want to eat genetically modified food? Recent scientific studies are finding Bt toxin from gm corn in mothers' breastmilk in the US. Bt is a toxin that with gm technology is made part of the corn plant. When we eat that gm corn we ingest the toxin. Studies show that toxin is remaining in our blood stream and is even passed to infants in breastmilk. Research conducted by Prof. Don Huber of Purdue University and provided to the Sec. of Agriculture in the US, Tom Vilsack, alerted the USDA to the increase of morbidity and abortions in cattle fed gm corn. That research pointed to a loss of nutrition in gm corn. In spite of warnings to the USDA the US continues to push gm products, even as the public there becomes more wary of their food supply. Of note is the close relationship between agro-business and government: most of the persons in authority in the USDA worked for the major agro-chemical company, Monsanto. The regulation of agriculture is in bed with the business it regulates there. Monsanto, Dow Chemical and Syngentics sink millions of dollars marketing their various products and lobbying the US government. At a recent lecture I attended, Dr Roger Beachy, Director of the US National Institute of Food and Agriculture stated clearly the policy of the US is to push the export of gm products. Developing countries are the target. I may be wrong, but my strong feeling is Belize is opening Pandora's Box. A recent international conference in South Africa which included agrobusiness in the discussion ended their sessions with the statement that agriculture sustainablity worldwide lies with non-gmo small farmers. So why does Belize decide to grab hold of a sinking ship? That is an interesting question. We need answers from CEO Gabino Canto and CAO Eugene Waight.

#415986 - 09/12/11 08:06 AM Re: Genetically Modified corn approved by Belize Govt [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
Do you or anyone have a list of e mail adresses for protest messages?

Plus TV: plustelevision@yahoo.com
Wamali Radio: wamalali@btl.net
Amandala: editor_amandala@yahoo.com
Reporter: editoreporter@gmail.com and reporternewspaper@gmail.com
Love FM: lovefm@lovefm.com and lovefmbelize@yahoo.com, jose@channel5belize.com, newsdirector@channel5belize.com, delahnie@channel5belize.com, andrea@channel5belize.com, isani@channel5belize.com
Channel 7: tvseven@btl.net
Channel 5: gbtv@btl.net
Guardian: guardian@btl.net and guardbze@yahoo.com
Krem: kremnews@yahoo.com
San Pedro Sun: spsun@sanpedrosun.net
Wave: waveradio105_9@yahoo.com
Belize Times: belizetimes@btl.net and elizabethpridgeon@hotmail.com
Hamalali Radio: hamalali@griganet.com
Star News: starnewspaper@gmail.com
Roots and Reef (Placencia): info@pcsdbelize.org


Prime Minister Dean Barrow: primeministerbelize@btl.net and primeminister@belize.gov.bz

Ministry of Natural Resource and the Environment

Minister: Honorable Gaspar Vega
Minister of State/Ministry of Natural Resources: Honorable Marco Pech

Chief Executive Officer – Mrs. Beverly Castillo
Tel: 501-822-2630
Email: ceo@mnrei.gov.bz
Minister's Office: 501-822-3286
Email: minister@mnrei.gov.bz

General Office: Belmopan
Tel: 501-822-2249/822-2711/822-2232/822-2226/822-2307/822-2626
Fax: 501-822-2333/822-2083
Policy Unit:
Tel: 501-822-3412/822-2082
Email: policy@mnrei.gov.bz or info@mnrei.gov.bz

Ministry of Health

Minister: Honorable Pablo Marin
Minister of State/Ministry of Health: Honorable Arthur Roches

Chief Executive Officer – Dr. Peter Allen
Minister's Office: Tel: 501-822-0589
Director of Health Services - Dr. Michael Pitts
ext. 81303 Minister ext.
Email:. dhs@health.gov.bz

General Office:
3rd Floor East Block Building
Belmopan: Tel: (501) 822-2497 / 822-2325 / 822-2363
Fax: (501) 822-2942 / 822-2055
Email: seniorsecretary@health.gov.bz

Ministry of Agriculture

Minister: Honorable Rene Montero
Chief Executive Officer – Mr. Gabino Canto

Tel: (501) 822-2330
Fax: (501) 822-2409
Email: minaf@btl.net

Chief Agriculture Officer - Mr. Eugene Waight
West Block Building, Belmopan City
Telephone: (501) 822-2241/ 822-2332
Fax: (501) 822-2409
E-mail: eugenewaight_bz@yahoo.com

Belize Agriculture Health Authority: (BAHA)
Managing Director (BELMOPAN)
Mr. Michael Thomas
Tel: (501) 822-1378

General Office
Tel: (501) 822-0197 / 0818
Fax: (501) 822-0271
E-mail: baha@btl.net

Plant Health Department
Francisco Gutierrez M.Sc.
E-mail: baha@btl.net; planthealth@baha.bz

Food Safety Department (BELIZE CITY)
Michael W. De Shield
Tel: (501) 224-4794
Fax: (501) 224-5230
E-mail: foodsafety@btl.net; vdrcu@baha.bz

Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection

Minister: Honorable Erwin Contreras

Chief Executive Officer - Ms. Yvonne Hyde
General Office:
Ground Floor, Right Wing, Sir Edney Cain Building, Belmopan City
Belmopan: Tel: (501) 822-2526/822-2527/822-1495
Fax: (501) 822-3673
Email: econdev@btl.net

Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation

Minister: Honorable Peter Eden Martinez
Minister of State and Human Development: Honorable Juan Coy

Chief Executive Officer – Ms. Judith Alpuche
Tel: 501-822-2246
Minister’s Office: Belmopan- Tel: 501-822-2248

Email: secretary@humandev.gov.bz seniorsecretary@humandev.gov.bz

General Office: Belmopan:
Ground Floor West Block Building
Tel: 501-822- 2161/822-2684
Fax: 501-822-3175

#415992 - 09/12/11 09:48 AM Re: Genetically Modified corn approved by Belize Govt [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Its insulting again that Belize is chosen for activities that other countrys have denied.
The assumption, and probably correct, is that having been stopped in other more mature and organized countrys Belize can be abused.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#416104 - 09/13/11 11:14 AM Re: Genetically Modified corn approved by Belize Govt [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Listen to Dr Mike deShield, he knows the way forward. Cabinet does not.
Belize based travel specialist

#416119 - 09/13/11 02:29 PM Re: Genetically Modified corn approved by Belize Govt [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Invitation from Belizeans Against GMO

Saturday, September 17 · 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Belize City
Belize City Western Highway Roundabout

Belizeans Against GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)

I am sure you are familiar with the “Hand” at the roundabout of Western Highway entering Belize City. I designed the “Hand” for Taiwanese Embassy to gift to Belize for our nation’s 20th birthday. A hand holding a leaf means as a nation we cherish our natural resources…

Now, as her 30th birthday is approaching, we have learned a terrible news that GMO is coming to Belize. To protest this, I will do a live painting event on The Visible Hand to spark our anti-GMO movement!

If you are still unfamiliar with what GMO is, a simple way to explain it is this will take away our God given right to our own food.

Please visit our Anti-GMO page for more information.


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