Are You Concerned about GMOs in Ecuador?

Posted in: Ecuador Food, Living in Ecuador
gmo-ecuador-fruits

Fresh fruits… Are they genetically modified?

Earlier today a topic came up in the comment stream on another post and then also on our Facebook page: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Ecuador.

Living in Ecuador for more than 3 years has blinded us to certain topics that are on everyone’s minds back home (both in Canada and the United States). While I remember the controversy and discussion when we lived in Canada (especially about labeling) I haven’t thought about that for more than 3 years.

Well, as it turns out, GMOs are on the minds of both current and future expats. And at least for now, Ecuador has much less exposure to GM foods than many other countries.

I did a little reading, and found that in the 2008 adjustment to the constitution GMOs were banned in Ecuador. In an August 2012 interview, the president is cited as noting regret for including the ban in the constitution. I haven’t seen or read the interview – but read a cited source.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Ecuador

I’m publishing this post as a way to learn more: both about the risks/benefits of GMOs and what Ecuador’s position really is.

Just an hour ago, I published a question on Facebook and it has since generated 16 comments, 18 likes and has been seen by 500 people. All in just one hour! So lots of people are interested in this topic.

So – I hope you can help me out:

What do you know about GMOs and the current situation in Ecuador? I hope you’ll share your concerns and research in the comments below.

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is editor of GringosAbroad - one of the largest English language sites about Ecuador. Work with GringosAbroad. He is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands).

50 comments… add one
  • Candida Chatfield Aug 4, 2016, 10:31 am

    I recently posted an article on facebook in Ecuador Expats concerning the Ecuadorean Farmers fight for seed and food sovereignty and how it relates to GMO. http://seedfreedom.info/ecuador-seeds-and-food-sovereignty-at-risk/

    This is when, to my surprise and horror, I discovered that Monsanto is already in Ecuador! http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/ecuador.aspx. I am saddened by this as I have been planning to retire in Ecuador and I thought that President Correa would never allow Monsanto in Ecuador. I was so wrong…

    • Curtis Campbell Sep 1, 2016, 12:32 pm

      Monsanto is a terrorist organization that has destroyed the American farmer and other farmer’s crops around the world. They are a bunch of thugs that think they are above the law. You can thank our polititions that have been payed off by Monsanto. I am moving to Equador soon and I am going to do every thing within my power to fight the evil powers of Monsanto Corporation.

  • Pastor Tom McKinney Mar 17, 2016, 4:42 pm

    I am a missionary living in Belize. We have the same problem here. The seed and fertilizer companies have deceived the farmers and they use RoundUp and other chemicals that are polluting the water in the rivers and the fish bay in the south is loaded mercury. Many of the Maya are getting sick because they spray poison on their bean crop and bath in the river and eat the fish. Government officials receive bribes and seed and fertilizer companies are making a lot of money. “The chickens always come home to roost.” Autism is now on the rise in the US and much more. It is shameful what greed will do to people.
    Below is a Dropbox link in which I have uploaded a lot of files and videos on the subject. I have more but have not had time to upload.
    https://www.dropbox.com/l/7ZxqEXUrdgeXIRvw7AJ0cu

    God bless,
    Tom McKinney

  • Humanist Sep 24, 2015, 12:56 am

    PROTEST PROTEST PROTEST……If you do not make sure that GMO’s are kept out of the food chain in Ecuador, rising rates of inflammatory bowel disease will start to spread. Countries have been growing GMO’s from around 1996 have rising and veru high rates of these types of diseases. Ontario Canada has the highest rate of Crohns, Ulcerative Colitis etc. (devastating diseases):
    http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/glyphosate/NancySwanson.pdf
    http://sustainablepulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Glyphosate_II_Samsel-Seneff.pdf
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrobacterium
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacillus_thuringiensis

  • Caroline Jul 22, 2015, 5:32 pm

    Apparently, Ecuador has really lost the battle to GMOs. I just found out today I bought a GMO tomato from Supermaxi. It was in a wrapped tray with the sticker’s not shown on the tomatoes on the inside of the package. The sticker was marked “8410”. Very upset. I have not been following this topic for about three years now, and I guess I was foolish not to… I really thought Ecuador would stay strong on this. Seems Correa is buckling on many things these days.

    • Pollyanna Nov 30, 2015, 9:41 pm

      Caroline, thanks for your alertness. Where did you buy it? I know Supermaxi, but what city? And how can we keep track of what is happening in Ecuador on this issue. Sad but true about the governments.

    • Candida Chatfield Aug 4, 2016, 11:57 am

      Caroline, unfortunately, Monsanto has a corporate office in Ecuador. 🙁

  • Mike Jul 9, 2015, 9:21 pm

    Ecuadorians really need to raise more awareness before Monsanto destroys the country. Give Monsanto an inch and they’ll take the country. The citizens and farmers alike need to be informed of these conniving, convincing snake-oil salesman who pitch their GMO seeds as the greatest thing since sliced bread. They need to be educated and shown what has happened in India and to the farmers there whose farmland was rendered useless.

    More education and public awareness is needed — and on a consistent basis. Don’t assume most people are informed and educated about these evil, destructive people. These psychopaths are also very crafty and clever.
    That’s how they got away with their crimes against humanity in the U.S. and other countries as well.

    By the time the majority of U.S. citizens started realizing what was going on by the late 1990’s, and the dangers of genetically modified seeds/foods, Monsanto had already gained control of well over 50% of the U.S. seeds/farms/food supply. They shot and killed American farmers who wouldn’t go along with their agenda and chem-sprayed their farmland.

    DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO ECUADOR. The time to start is now. Raise awareness. Make it a priority… or else it will happen. Be aware that they are psychopaths and ‘without conscience’ one has an entitlement mentality and doesn’t care about rules, regulations, contracts and and agreements. There is nothing one can do to change them or convince them of anything. Psychopaths do what they want, not what others want them to do. They don’t care about laws. They break them everyday. They are corrupted. They work for the devil.

    “HE WHO CONTROLS THE OIL CONTROLS A NATION, HE WHO CONTROLS THE FOOD SUPPLY CONTROLS THE PEOPLE.”

    Look what they’ve done in the U.S. just in the course of only two decades. Currently, the percentage of Monsanto controlled seeds/foods/crops has risen to 90%. This sneaky takeover orchestrated by the Monsanto crime family and their enablers, who only a few years ago controlled 80% of U.S. crops, is now up to 90%, and within the next few years that will rise to 98% … and then the only way to eat non-GMO will be to plant your own garden and grow your own organic non-GMO food, which quite honestly sounds like a good idea and plan, but realistically isn’t an option for most working people with families.

    Many need 2-3 incomes in every household just to make ends meet and many American children are growing up in single-parent households and/or raised by nannies or day-care workers. No one is home to tend to the garden. Many Americans either don’t have the space or the time and energy to nurture a garden. They’re already overworked.

    But it’s a matter of time when most of the foods they will be eating will be GMO foods because even store-bought organic foods will be “infected”… just like psychopaths infect people with their evil ways and agendas, they will contaminate the crops.

    The Monsanto’s and supporter-enablers are all psychopaths who cannot be dealt with in the same manner one deals with normal people who may need to be put in their place. Remember, psychopaths don’t have a conscience. They operate like the Mafia. Anything goes. So don’t assume if they agree to something that they will abide by it.

    • Pablo Nov 8, 2016, 7:25 am

      That s True

  • Lindsay May 9, 2014, 11:04 pm

    Mark, please tell me why Monsanto purchased a huge organic seed company?

    I know that Monsanto has genetically modified at least one of their patented seeds, to only be able to grow a crop once (I believe it was either soy or sweet corn) and then the seed is useless. Why would any corporation create such a seed and be buying up seed companies? Me thinks they want control over our food supply. Why else would they be buying up organic seeds, & creating seeds that only grow once? Why else have they genetically modified salmon, pigs and god knows what else they’re modifying? They want patents on as many types of food, fish & animals as they can get their greedy hands on.

  • Lindsay May 9, 2014, 10:32 pm

    Mark, you write like a Monsanto minion. You haven’t addressed even one of my talking points. Well maybe one, regarding the labeling of foods . Who cares how pervasive… At one time food companies were saying that if they were going to be required to reveal the fat content, number of calories etc., they would have to charge more for their products,, because labeling would be expensive. They used it as a scare tactic, but obviously consumers didn’t go for it.

    Monsanto is now saying the same about labeling GMOS, that it will raise the cost of food items. 😉

    • Candida Chatfield Aug 4, 2016, 12:05 pm

      Lindsay, let Monsanto keep purporting that labeling GMO will raise the cost of food items all they want. This is definitely a scare tactic. They are reluctant to do so because they know that a lot of people will stop buying the products that are labeled “GMO”.

  • Walter Karger Apr 13, 2014, 9:29 pm

    My wife and I just returned from a trip to Ecuador, visiting Guayaquil, Loja, Vilcabamba and Cuenca via bus to see the country side. We were impressed with the quality of the highway system. Also, contrary to the horror stories we found online, we decided that the bus transportation companies are very efficient and operate on a fairly high level of safety. We made extensive use of taxi cabs and were over charged only once by two dollars. No robberies! We fell in love with the poeple of Ecuador and their cousine. When we visited the Mercado, with their many kinds of fruits, vegetables and meat, we wondered about how much of it was sprayed with chemicals and which meat came from animals fed with imported GMO feed. Because one of our main reasons to retire in Ecuador would be to get away from unlabled GMO ingredients in our food, from forced drinking water fluoridation, and the high prices of organic food.

    • Candida Chatfield Aug 4, 2016, 12:08 pm

      Sadly, Monsanto is currently in Ecuador.

  • Charlene May 14, 2013, 6:47 am

    I juat saw recently that Peru is also now not going to allow GMO’s.

    Peru bans genetically modified foods as US lags:

    Peru says no to GMO
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2013/0425/Peru-says-no-to-GMO

  • Diego Terneus May 14, 2013, 1:47 am

    Any developments regarding this important subject? My wife and I are planning to retire in Ecuador. After working to pass Proposition 37 in California this past November, we became excited to learn that Ecuador had banned GMOs and were looking forward to move there. The news that the president is thinking of changing the constitution really frightens us. Any news would certainly be welcomed.

    Thanks

  • Charlene Apr 16, 2013, 8:24 pm

    Great comments, Scott! Thank you!

  • Scott Apr 16, 2013, 7:20 pm

    The more naturally grown the food is the better. Do some research on Fritz Popp and his work with biophotons and the coherency of foods. The strongest, healthiest plants are those that grow naturally out in nature – they have developed the adaptations necessary thrive. The closer we grow foods to natural the healthier they are for us and the planet period!

  • Charlene Mar 22, 2013, 9:01 am

    I just found a very helpful web site – GM Watch:

  • Charlene Mar 19, 2013, 7:53 am
  • Charlene Mar 19, 2013, 7:32 am

    Thanks so much to those who have done their homework on this critical issue!

    • Steve Jones Sep 13, 2013, 12:32 pm

      Thanks for getting this information out there Charlene. Another
      thorough source on this subject is: GMO Myths and Truths

  • Franklin Nunez Mar 19, 2013, 12:30 am

    If you want to known the really issue with gmo food just watch in youtube the world according monsanto. The GMO food is very toxic for the people this food can rise the risk that a person get cancer, and the adults that eat GMO food and have a child could born with genetic disease like down syndrome. Because the plants absorb the pesticide in a good way because the plant is created to do this.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6_DbVdVo-k

    According greenpeace. http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news/blog/five-myths-surrounding-genetically-modified-f/blog/39241/

    Five myths surrounding genetically modified foods – BUSTED!
    We believe genetically modified organisms (GMOs) should not be released into the environment since there is not an adequate scientific understanding of their impact on the environment and human health. GMOs can spread through nature and interbreed with natural organisms, thereby contaminating non ‘GE’ environments and future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way.

    It’s time to bust five myths surrounding GM:

    1. It is a solution to famines, and eases the lives of farmers.

    NO! Famine originates from the uneven distribution of world resources. And GM crops will only promote the commercialization of cultivation, leading to a rise in seed prices and farmers’ production costs. All the while unable to ensure increased output.

    2. GM food is harmless to our health.

    NO! GM food does not undergo any long-term safety assessments before being introduced to the market. And there’s concern that eating GM food over a long period of time may lead to antibiotic resistance.

    3. Even if released, I can personally avoid eating it.

    NO! Greenpeace has time and time again exposed the illegal cultivation of GM rice cultivation in China. This means GM food has been put on the dining tables of consumers without their knowledge.

    4. Genetic engineering can complement organic farming.

    NO! GE may accelerate pest insects’ ability to resist insecticides, while GM crops may also contaminate organic farms through the spread of pollen.

    5. We can reverse GE if it’s found to be dangerous.

    NO! Genetic modified organisms may, through self-reproduction and hybridizing with close breeds, lead to the proliferation of alien genes in the wild. This is extremely difficult to recover.

    If you want to banned gmo food join to greenpeace.

  • Abinas Jagernauth Mar 12, 2013, 2:33 pm

    When it comes to GMO foods, I don’t think that man can improve on nature. Foods are being genetically modified for business reasons, and not for what is of greatest benefit to people.

  • JanisP Feb 25, 2013, 11:23 am

    I guess we just need to “agree to disagree” on this one, and move on. I prefer to play it safe.

  • Mark Feb 23, 2013, 8:29 am

    I think the anti-GMO hysteria posted above should tell you all you need to know about the topic. Opposition to GMO is largely a cover for being anti-business and it is largely anti-intellectual. These are the people who’d see millions of children go blind and die rather than allow them access to golden rice.

    There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops pose no greater risk than conventional food. Of course, that won’t be persuasive to people making anti-GMO claims based on ideology and feelings, any more than you persuade people that immunizations don’t cause autism. You can’t reason someone out of a position he didn’t reason himself into.

    • Charlene Feb 23, 2013, 12:33 pm

      You need to educate yourself about the farmers in India who are committing suicide because their Monstanto Roundup has destroyed the crops and only means of a livelihood.

      GMOs according to jeffery Smith, turn our intestines into pesticide factories! That is nothing to be concerned about?

      About about doing countless hours of research on topic before you make us ignorant remarks!

      Mike Adams interviews Jeffrey Smith about dangers of GMOs (07:17)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBPY6rcgoTs

      • Mark Feb 23, 2013, 3:50 pm

        You can find videos of cranks who believe the moon landings were hoaxes, but that doesn’t mean it is true.

        If you are concerned about GMOs despite all of the science arrayed against that position, that’s fine. I’m not concerned.

        I don’t want to go back and forth and detract from this excellent blog, so take care.

        • JanisP Feb 24, 2013, 6:48 pm

          Over 2 billion people now live in countries that require GMO labeling, and another half a billion live in countries that ban them completely. The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t require labeling….everybody else thinks we’re idiots. 192 countries are signatories to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which has required that all GMO foods be labeled before export to another country….. for the last 16 years! Four countries on the whole planet did not sign it. That would be the US, Iraq, Somalia, and Andorra. And Iraq signed it in 2007.

          • Mark Feb 25, 2013, 8:21 am

            Can you explain to me how modifying the DNA of plants directly is more potentially harmful than modifying it via cross-breeding?

          • Charlene Feb 25, 2013, 8:22 am

            Thanks so much JanisP for this highly informative post! Should anyone think we are alarmist, they should take the time to read UN Agenda 21, which appears to have been taken down on the UN’s website. Read about it here:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

            Also from Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze”:
            What Is Agenda 21? After Watching This, You May Not Want to Know
            http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/11/19/what-is-agenda-21-after-watching-this-you-may-not-want-to-know/

          • Mark Feb 25, 2013, 8:37 am

            If y’all like what the UN has to say, you should also like what the WHO — the health arm of the UN — has to say:

            GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved. (Emphasis added)

          • JanisP Feb 25, 2013, 8:56 am

            The differences between cross-pollination and DNA altering are best described here. They say it way better than I can.
            http://gmo-awareness.com/all-about-gmos/gmo-risks/

          • Ecuador Enthusiast Mar 6, 2013, 6:08 pm

            “Can you explain to me how modifying the DNA of plants directly is more potentially harmful than modifying it via cross-breeding?” You can’t cross breed a fire fly and a tobacco plant, just as an example. That’s why it’s different, and potentially more harmful. Genetically engineered foods often contain proteins that humans have never had as part of their diet. The proteins in food can cause severe allergic reaction, and we won’t know that some GMOs cause allergic reaction of we don’t know that we’re eating GMOs. On top of that, food isn’t just fuel, its the building blocks that become YOU. There are innumerable potential negative effects of consuming foreign building blocks. I’m not patently against GMOs but I do think I should have the right to know exactly what I’m eating.

        • george Mar 11, 2013, 10:13 pm

          Mark, It sounds like you work for Monsanto… and it sounds like you drank their KoolAid. How about you eat that crap and I will eat the stuff that those mad scientists haven’t messed with….

        • Pema Mar 18, 2013, 10:42 pm

          I loved this thread. And just in case anyone else reads this and was left wondering, the UN and the WHO do not have your best interest at heart. Sorry for the sad newsflash.

  • JanisP Feb 20, 2013, 8:38 am

    A good friend who keeps up on this says that it’s the wording in the Constitution that Correa doesn’t like. It excludes not only GMO foods but also biotech research, which is actually a GOOD thing. However it’s been shown that MANY foreign Embassy employees are “former” Monsanto employees, so there’s always going to be a lot of pressure on countries that for GMO labeling and against GMO foods.

    • Charlene Feb 20, 2013, 9:14 am

      Please try to take the time to watch the videos I posted. Monsanto is EVIL. Once they get their foot in the door, they don’t leave. Especially pay attention to the documentary “David vs Monsanto” to learn how Monsanto operates. You will be fuming angry when you learn one Canadian farmer’s battle against Monsanto. Farmers in India are commiting suicide because Roundup kills their crops.

  • Charlene Feb 19, 2013, 9:55 pm

    More information on GMOs:

    Ecuador FREE of GMO Crops and Seeds, At Least on Paper… (confirmed to me by Bryan’s attorneys today –one course they can amend the Constitution)
    http://www.discovercuencaecuador.com/2012/08/ecuador-free-of-gmo-crops-and-seeds-at.html

    Comprehensive List Of American GMO Products
    http://shiftfrequency.com/comprehensive-list-of-gmo-products/

    The World According to Monsanto (1:48:02)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6_DbVdVo-k

    El mundo según Monsanto. En español y completo (1:49:04)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdIkq6ecQGw

    I think Monsanto wants to own every Patent Right to every seed on this planet!

    This one hour documentary really frosted me when I watched it a few years ago:

    David Vs. Monsanto – A Documentary on GMO (1:05:58)

    Ciao
    Charlene

    • Charlene Feb 20, 2013, 9:32 am

      CANADIAN FARMER PERCY SCHMEISER – DAVID VERSUS MONSANTO – completo y doblado al españo (1:06:08)

    • Charlene Feb 25, 2013, 10:41 am

      Yes, anyone with an IQ above room temperature certainly trusts WHO – the arm of the UN who said H1N1 vaccine was safe! Ever hear of eugenics? ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Charlene Feb 19, 2013, 9:38 pm

    Hi Bryan,

    One of the best researchers, IMHO, on GMOs in the U. S. is Jeffrey Smith:

    Jeffrey M. Smith Biography

    See:
    Monsanto, Codex Alimentarius and The Seeds of Deception (1:13:37)

    Jeffrey Smith :: Dangers of GMO Foods 02.09.2012 (1:10:46)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VknpuZhG9cE

    Mike Adams interviews Jeffrey Smith about dangers of GMOs (07:17)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBPY6rcgoTs

    And now, GMO Kentucky Bluegrass!
    Jeffrey M. Smith & Mike Adams: Biotech Industry Taking Over Our Food Supply (18:11)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5OE9GsKMUE

    Regards,
    Charlene

  • JanisP Feb 19, 2013, 9:32 pm

    No GMO’s is one of the main reasons I want to move to Ecuador! I’ll be heartbroken and MAD if the current situation changes.

    • Charlene Feb 20, 2013, 9:26 am
    • Charlene Feb 24, 2013, 12:59 pm

      Monsanto drags over 400 U.S. farmers to court over GM seed patents: When will Big Ag’s corrupt reign end?

      Sunday, February 24, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes

      http://www.naturalnews.com/039227_Monsanto_seed_patents_agricultural_monopoly.html

      • Lindsay May 9, 2014, 5:52 pm

        A couple of issues that I find to be quite revealing about this debate:

        1. Not one person that is pro GMOs has answered any questions regarding the thousands of Indian farmer suicides. The farmers were talked into planting GMO seeds by Monsanto’s employees. I encourage you to read up on the subject. Also, there was no rebuttal to the subject matter in the film “David Versus Monsanto” about Canadian Farmer Percy Schmeiser.

        2. The other thing that I find to be of interest, is that not one proponent of GMOs addressed the reason why so many developed and third world countries have banned, or at the very least made it mandatory to label them.

        BTW, the reason Monsanto and other creators of GMOs don’t want them labeled? Consumers stop purchasing them.

        One other interesting tidbit: Monsanto has also genetically modified pigs somewhere in The E.U. That means that Monsanto will own and have rights to any of the offspring.. Read up on it.

        One more point of interest: A number of states in the U.S. have voted to have GMOs labeled. Unfortunately, Monsanto sued the states… Virginia just voted to have GMOs banned, but now there’s talk of another lawsuit by Monsanto.

        • Mark May 9, 2014, 6:46 pm

          1. This is, at best, a mistake about the data and, at worst, just an outright lie. It is anti-GMO propaganda that has been debunked in numerous reports and on scores of websites. The data simply doesn’t support your claim. It’s not as bad as being a moon hoaxer, but it’s pretty bad.

          2. There are several reasons for this. First, the anti-GMO crowd is much more organized and motivated. That doesn’t make them right, it just makes them more likely to influence representatives who rely on votes more than facts. Another, particularly in the third world but not limited to there, is a general anti-capitalist slant.

          Label the GMOs, that’s fine with me. If fewer people buy them then it lowers prices for me. Also, I think you might be surprised about how pervasive the labels would end up being. It will be a lot like California’s labeling nearly everything as a known carcinogen.

          • Ben F Jan 17, 2015, 12:37 am

            Hey Mark, actually, the moon hoax you talk about has been confirmed by Donald Rumsfeld, who stated he tried to convince Nixon not to go thru with it, as well as the British Prime Minister at the time, who allowed filming of the scene in Britian. (Who mysteriously dies the very next day after he is interview about it). Its director… Stanley Kuberick, who did not want to do, but was granted special access to military top secret files in order to create Dr. Strangelove and other classics. BBC even made a documentary about it, called “A funny thing happened on the way to the moon.”. Which was pulled from BBC airwaves, but not before some clever people saved and manage to put it up online. Watch and enjoy the behind the scenes action of each take.

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