Friday, October 8, 2010



Belize has a niche market in exporting corn to countries that do not want GMO grown corn. The question arises do we stay with this government policy? We do have hybrid GMO tomato seeds I know locally. POLINA is one such, first made in Israel and the last batch I bought was made in Chile.

The thing with GMO corn is production figures. The national average for corn production in the USA is 9,234 lbs per acre. Compare GMO corn production of the top producer of 19,376 lbs per acre. In comparison our native corns grown in Belize produce about 5,500 lbs per acre. The thing is on the local internal market, we already have corn gluts. We can so easily produce 200% over that of our internal needs. If you don´t export the corn, then you have to switch to another crop.

GMO food products are still not being grown long enough to know the effects of different gene modifications on the plant and down the food chain, into livestock and humans. In the USA Monsanto I heard by the rumor mill has actually prosecuted and won court cases to destroy corn crops of native American corn by private farmers, in which the wind and birds had spread contamination from GMO corn fields into their neighbors. In court cases, the native corn by independent farmers were shown to have been contaminated by GMO corn in nearby farms and thus violated the patent rights of Monsanto. The independent farmers were reputed to have had their crops destroyed for violation of copyright, patent, etc. So the rumor mill goes? Weeds are now growing like trees it is reported in the USA press and impossible to weed and cut with current farm machinery.

A small country like Belize faces a quandry when dealing with GMO patented seeds. Especially since our niche EXPORT market is the use of natural native seeds. We cannot compete with big producers like the USA otherwise in world markets. Only finding a niche is our ability to export such things.

1 comment:

Q'eqchi' Scholars Network said...

What exactly is the law that prohibits GMOs in Belize? ANd what Ministry (or Ministries) enforce this?