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June 2009



Genetically Modified Crops Get The Vatican's Blessing

New Scientist, June 4, 2009

'Pope Benedict XVI's scientists have given their blessing to genetically modified crops as a possible solution to world hunger and poverty"

THE Vatican seldom approves of scientists meddling with God's creation. So the decision of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to back oft-demonised genetically modified crops as an answer to world hunger and poverty may come as a surprise.

GM crops were heartily endorsed at a week-long seminar held by the academy in mid-May. Participants agreed that the crops offer food safety and security, better health and environmental sustainability. That verdict is not shared by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, a global UN-backed think tank that last year rejected GM as a solution to hunger.

Some say the seminar excluded dissenters within the church who fear that GM technology allows multinationals to control agriculture at the expense of the poor. But participants deny bias: they also
concluded that regulations are too strict, so only big companies can afford to get GM crops approved, whereas non-profit organisations that want to help the poor cannot. Read all the anti's comments and leave your own at end