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GMO Soybean Found Illegally Growing In Northern Belize

GMO Soybean Found Illegally Growing In Northern Belize Just Months After GMO Awareness Campaign

A press release issued by the Government of Belize on June 7, 2013 announced that GMO soybeans had been found growing in Northern Belize, though it is currently illegal to import GMO seeds into Belize. This announcement ironically follows a recent month-long educational campaign designed to inform Belizeans about the many dangers of GMOs. 

GMO Awareness Month was conducted in response to a recent push by the newly-formed Belize Grain Growers Association to gain Government approval for the importation of GMO corn seed.  This GMO v.s. NON-GMO conflict pits the Mennonite and other commercial grain farmers against the cultural natives, the Maya, who first brought corn to the world. Throughout the entire month of March, members of the social network Facebook group Belizeans Against GMOs (BAGMO), now numbering over 1,700, orchestrated a GMO educational campaign which included weekly full-page educational advertorials and letters-to-the-editor in the national Amandala newspaper.  (These can be reviewed at: (http://www.belizeansagainstgmo.info/index.html).   BAGMO members not only appeared on Belizean TV/radio talk shows but they also promoted a GMO writing contest with cash prizes for students in secondary schools throughout Belize.

Members of BAGMO are discouraged to learn that during this entire timeframe, criminals broke laws and planted GMO soy, intentionally threatening Belizean food safety and environmental health.  It is unknown at this time what legal actions will be taken against this as-yet-unidentified farmer and seed supplier.

BAGMO was initially created in September of 2011 in response to an attempt to bypass established importation protocols in order to plant GMO corn in Belize. Through the social networking of Facebook, BAGMO coordinated a strong and efficient letter-writing campaign. The end result found the Prime Minister of Belize ordering the GMO corn seed to be publicly burned.  Now, faced with a newly-restructured wave of PRO-GMO energy by a group of mostly Mennonite grain growers in central Belize, BAGMO members responded with a nation-wide education campaign presenting FACTS about the dangers of GMOs.

Central America is the birth place of corn. Belize is known for its magnificent biodiversity, astounding natural resources, and tremendous cultural heritage. The introduction of genetically modified corn would negatively affect biodiversity, natural resources and the cultural heritage of the Maya.

BAGMO members ask the rest of the world to stand with them in solidarity in their efforts to keep Belize GMO-free and to help fight this recent criminal action to the fullest extent of the law.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bagmo/

ENDS

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