Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

To The Editor

in Issue 29 by

Dear Editor,

Featured in the full page ad supporting the use of genetically modified organism (GMO) seed that appeared in the Belize Ag Report, issue 27, paid for by the Belize Grain Growers Association (BGGA) was a statement that GMO technology is used to produce animal feed. We must not forget that people eat the animals that ingest the seeds that have been injected with poison. In addition, there are increasing numbers of farmers reporting better animal health with non-GMO feed. Cattle deaths due to digestive problems or pneumonia have been cut in half for farmers who have switched back to non-GMO feed.

State-of-the-art technology is already here to provide plentiful healthy and nourishing food and soil, safe renewable energy, clean water, and safe medicine– without the use of petroleum-based chemicals, seed manipulation and patenting. The technology and science of permaculture, bio-mimicry, bio-char, composting, biodiversity, non-toxic weed/pest management practices, along with other technologies described under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the Farm Management Manual published by the Belize Ministry of Economic Development, are all designed to eliminate pollution, cost, and waste.

The pro-GMO people would have us think that adding a few synthetic vitamins to GMO products makes them healthy, but the best way to get vitamins is through naturally grown food, free of poison. A good example is the moringa tree, which grows throughout Belize, and provides the best source of all vitamins, minerals and most of the enzymes we need.

Regarding the reference in the ad to the production of insulin through biotechnology, insulin was first developed by Eli Lilly and made from the pancreas of animals. Genentech (not Monsanto) is primarily a medical/pharmaceutical biotechnology research company and brought us the first biotechnology-produced insulin. Like all technology, it can be used for both good and for bad. Monsanto has a history of producing and selling products such as agent orange, a deadly herbicide used in the Vietnam war negatively affecting the health and shortening the lives of thousands of soldiers and Vietnamese civilians and damaging their offspring. Despite the fact that Monsanto claims there was no link between agent orange and these severe health effects, they have paid out $81 million to soldiers (if they agreed to drop their claims), and in 2012, they also paid $103 million to clean up a site contaminated by agent orange in West Virginia. It is important to note that Monsanto’s glyphosate is now being combined with ingredients of agent orange (2,4-D) to make a special and stronger herbicide for GMO crops.
Another very serious matter is the negative impact of GM crops on bee colonies. Bees are essential to pollinate 30-40% of our food crops; yet since the introduction of GMO, bees have been declining at alarming rates worldwide. When the leading bee research laboratory implicated GMO seed crops as a culprit, Monsanto simply bought the firm and now has control of the research that previously pointed at its own pesticides for contributing to – if not outright causing – a sharp decline in bee populations.
Voices for Safe Food and Energy

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