GMO Destroyed, But Convincingly So?

Posted By: Marty

GMO Destroyed, But Convincingly So? - 10/08/11 02:14 PM

The controversy over genetically modified corn has been raging for weeks after one producer imported some for a few test plots - apparently without the requisite permission from the Bio-safety council.

The CEO in the Ministry of Agricultural and Fisheries, Gabino Canto, seems to have gone out on a limb to get the seeds into Belize - and the Prime Minister has since said - the GMO seeds were strictly disallowed and must be destroyed.

Well, they were today - albeit without oversight from the independent media. Only the Government Press Office was there - and Canto gave a modest overview:..

Gabino Canto, CEO, Ministry of Agricultural and Fisheries
"Today October 7th 2011, we are destroying the GMO corn seed that came in to the country about 2 weeks ago because the Cabinet did not approve the establishment of the trial plants in the country. So this is the process that we had to go through, the representative from BAHA is here the representative from Midwest Steel that brought in the seed along with CARDI, they are here to witness and we have the people witnessing as well from central farm."

Of course, we live in a perhaps justifiably suspicious society and destroying the seeds in such a manner likely only increases those suspicions.

Fears about cross contamination of other fields or whether all the gmo seeds have truly been destroyed, persist.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: GMO Destroyed, But Convincingly So? - 10/08/11 02:15 PM


Public outcry against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) seeds in Belize has forced the Ministry of Agriculture to backtrack. Today in Central Farm, the seeds that were approved for importation were destroyed. Gabino Canto is the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and he told Love FM’s Patrick Jones via telephone that the decision to destroy the seeds came after Cabinet disagreed with the planned introduction of the GMO specimens.

Gabino Canto – CEO, Ministry of Agriculture
“The GMO seed is in Belize, the permission was issued by BAHA for it to come in to establish a plant but Cabinet did not agree with it so we are destroying the seeds today. This is a process that has to go through with consultation with the people, with everybody in Belize to see if they agree with it so that everybody will have a general consensus that these seeds can come into Belize but right now we will destroy this amount that is in this country and the process will continue, it will take some time.” Mr. Canto you said that this needed consultation before it was done, why was a decision taken by BAHA knowing that no consultation had been done before. Gabino Canto – CEO, Ministry of Agriculture :There were some consultations that were made but the consultations were not extensive. Consultations were made with regards to this GMO corn but there was some component of the society that was not involved in it; it was mostly the agronomist, the scientist that dealt with it. As a result of that they came to an agreement that it was okay and they issued the permit but cabinet did not agree with it because there is more consultation, more information is needed before anything happens.” Canto says that in all about fifty eight kilograms of white and yellow GMO corn seeds are being destroyed in Central Farm. The seeds, according to Canto would have facilitated two experimental plots, which we understand was already being prepared. Canto says that with the destruction of the seeds today, as far as he is concerned, this should be the end of the GMO discussion.

Patrick Jones – Reporter
“Mr. Canto I think you can appreciate that the people of Belize will be skeptical how do they know that all of those GMO seeds are being destroyed today?

Gabino Canto – CEO, Ministry of Agriculture
Because we have a lot of people looking on, we have a lot people looking at what is being done. The persons who brought in the corn is here, BAHA is here and the pictures will be shown in the news.”

Patrick Jones – Reporter
Now the process starts all over again, I take it that your Ministry is bent to bringing GMO seeds to Belize so you will go do consultations now?

Gabino Canto – CEO, Ministry of Agriculture
“No we are not bent to bring in GMO seeds in Belize. We are not promoting GNO seeds in Belize. We have to look at the pros and cons of GMO but we are not promoting it as a Ministry.

Patrick Jones - Reporter
So this is the end of GMO from here on going forward?

Gabino Canto – CEO, Ministry of Agriculture
“At this point in time yes.”

The GMO seeds were incinerated at the compound of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute in Central Farm. The destruction of the GMO seeds by the Ministry of Agriculture came just as the Maya Leaders Alliance issued a statement, reiterating their strong opposition to the introduction of GMO corn seeds to Belize. Ligorio Coy who is the Chairman of the Maya Leaders Alliance of southern Belize says such a move would spell doom for the Maya people and the nation on a whole.

Ligorio Coy – Chairman, Maya leaders Alliance
“We are very concerned of this GMO Monsanto seeds and we depend on our food so if these type of seeds will be put to the ground in Belize where it will have an impact for us, it will not only affect the Mayans it will affect all other Belizean people. We will, if there is no answer from the Ministry of Agriculture and again the Mennonite communities that are bringing in these seeds. It is about business for them but for us it is about our survival in Toledo.”.

Posted By: Judyann H.

Re: GMO Destroyed, But Convincingly So? - 10/08/11 04:17 PM

This organization makes some interesting points when it comes to GMO planting.....I'm not sure where I stand on the subject. However, it is worth some discussion or at least other opinions.
© 2022 Ambergris Caye Belize Message Board