Food safety and quality
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Focal Point Information

Organization/agency name (Full name):
Belize Agricultural Health Authority
Contact person name:
Natalie Gibson
Physical full address:
St. Joseph Street, Belize City, Belize
Phone number:
Fax number:
Country introduction
Belize is an English-speaking Caribbean country located in Central America and is bordered in the North by Mexico, in the south and west by Guatemala and in the east by the Caribbean Sea.  The country has a total land area of 8,860 square miles including the Cayes and has a population of roughly 400,000 people.  The major industries in Belize are tourism and agriculture.  In terms of its agricultural production, traditional agricultural exports include sugar, citrus, banana and fishery products including lobster, conch, and fish and shrimp from aquaculture.  The country is self-sufficient in production of grains and poultry.

The mandate for biosafety was given to the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the competent authority for Agricultural Health and Food Safety in Belize.  This mandate is supported by a National Biosafety Committee which was appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture in November 2002.  The committee was designated responsibility for reviewing the use of Living Modified Organisms or Genetically Modified Organisms (LMOs/GMOs), drafting an appropriate policy and legislation for biosafety and LMO/GMO use and making recommendations for addressing current and future biosafety issues in Belize.  A moratorium on importation of GMO for planting was imposed while the committee conducted this work.  
Since establishment of the committee the country has benefitted from several capacity building projects under United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Facility, which have developed national capacity for GM monitoring and risk assessment.  A draft National Biosafety Framework was also developed which is pending approval and enactment.    
The focal point for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in under the Belize Agricultural Health Authority.  Belize had ratified to the Protocol on February 12th 2004 and is a party by accession since May 12th 2004.   Belize signed to the Convention on Biological Diversity on June 13th 1992 and ratified it on December 30th 1993, and the National Focal Point to the Convention is the Ministry of Natural Resources. 


Regulatory framework:
My country does not have a regulatory framework that requires the competent authority to conduct safety assessment of GM food.
Structure for GM food safety assessment:
My country is in the process in developing a structure for GM food safety assessment.
Supplemental information:
Contact details of the competent authority(s) responsible for the safety assessment and the product applicant:

Belize Agricultural Health Authority

Food Safety Services

St. Joseph Street

Belize City, Belize

Email: [email protected]


GM food safety assessment guidelines:
My country does not conduct safety assessment of GM food but the country has, or the country is in the process of developing national/regional guidelines that are in line with the Codex Guidelines in conducting safety assessment of GM food.
Conduct of GM food safety assessment:
My country has never conducted food safety assessment of GM food but is planning to conduct such assessment in the near future.
Supplemental information on the implementation:
Stacked events
Regulation of stacked events:
There is no regulations in my country on stacked events.
Supplemental information on the stacked events:
Production and trade
GM food/feed production:
My country does not produce any GM food or feed.
GM food/feed imports:
My country allows imports GM food or feed upon authorization.
Supplemental information on the production and trade:
LLP/AP incidents
LLP/AP incidents:
My country does not monitor LLP/AP situations.
Supplemental information on the LLP/AP incidents:
Labelling requirement
Labelling requirement:
My country is in the process of developing regulations/policies on GM food labeling.
Supplemental information on the Labelling requirement:
Relevant links to documents and information prepared by the competent authority responsible for the safety assessment
Other relevant documents:
Country information last modified: