Soybean Seeds Test Positive as Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)

Friday, June 7th, 2013

soybeansPress Release – Government Press Office – June 7th, 2013 – On May 24th, 2013, the Plant Health Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) discovered suspected genetically modified soybean seeds in Northern Belize. As a result, samples of the suspected soybeans were submitted to BAHA’s Plant Health Diagnostics Laboratory in Central Farm for GMO screening. The screening tests were conducted on May 28th and all the samples tested positive indicating that the seeds were genetically modified.

A further set of samples were then sent to Eurofins Genescan laboratory in the United States on May 30th for a confirmatory test using Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR technology. On June 5th, BAHA received results of the confirmatory test, which verified the results of previous tests conducted by BAHA on the soybean seeds.

Since the sowing of GMO seeds is prohibited in Belize, BAHA has placed the seeds under quarantine, and will render the seeds non-viable by milling. The milled soybean seeds will be used for the production of animal feed which contains genetically modified soybeans. Belize currently imports animal feeds which contains genetically modified soybeans.

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