GIS – The Government of Saint Lucia identifies bio-technology as a possible tool for addressing the island’s food security and production concerns—so says Jannelle Gabrielle, officer in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology while addressing the issue of genetically modified organisms.
GMOs, as they are commonly called, are living things which are made by taking parts of genes from other organisms and combining them with the genes of the host organism.
Gabrielle said that bio-technology, which is used to create GMOs, may provide a number of benefits for the country.
“We are looking to safe, modern bio-technology as a way of producing foods, useful vaccines and medications, and finding more efficient ways of delivering vaccines and medications to people all around the world,” she said, adding that the bio-safety project in the Ministry of Sustainable Development has been examining this option with caution as there are risks involved.
“There are socio-economic risks which involve the changes in costs, the practices of farmers; the loss of their traditional knowledge and their traditional practices. There are also agricultural environmental risks where one farmer is growing organic and another farmer growing a genetically modified crop, then there’s that risk of contamination.”
Saint Lucia signed onto the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-Safety in 2005. This protocol provides a mechanism by which genetically modified organisms could be regulated and monitored.