Vatican backs worldwide GMOs

SUBHEAD: Papal science advisers support genetically modifies crops to feed the world poor.

By Matthew McDermott on 1 December 2010 for TreeHugger - (

Image above: Small scale African farming. Photo by Luigi Gaurino in original article.

The Vatican's science advisors have come out in support of genetically modified crops, saying that they scientists have both the right and moral duty to produce them to help the world's poor, New Scientist reports. The 40 member group, led by the scientist who developed so-called golden rice which has extra vitamin A, said that there has not been one documented case where GM crops have harmed consumers or the environment.

Because of this the group argues, "for the relaxation of what they say are draconian regulations preventing development of crops for the poor." Adding that "regulatory hurdles make it too expensive for anyone other than large multinational firms to develop crops benefiting the poor, such as drought-resistant cassava and yams."

No doubt that the world's farmers, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and in other developing nations, need to develop more drought-resistant and climate-tolerant crop varieties. One glance at maps of areas with high levels of food security risk and where climate change is going to cause havoc with precipitation backs up that assertion.

But a quick survey of the literature on the actual effect of GM crops on crop yields reveals that the primary financial beneficiaries of GM crop introduction is not small-scale farmers but the multinational corporations and their ideological lapdogs (cough, Bill Gates, cough) pushing them as the best solution, and that GM crops on the whole have done little to improve crop yields beyond what can be done with conventional (and non-patentable) breeding techniques--as well as revival of the multitude of traditional crop varieties which have all too often fallen by the wayside in the rush to "modernize".

Quoted in the original, Friends of the Earth is right on when it comments, "We need food and farming policies that put the needs of people before the profits of a handful of GMO companies."

Even if it can be conclusively proven that there is no environmental and health risk from specific GM crops, the inherently unbalanced and inequitable situation created by a small number of multinationals controlling so much of the world's food supply--and putting an end to the age-old and vitally important for sustainable food security practice of seed saving--remains an intractable problem.

It is no true or lasting help to the world's poor to develop GM crops that are drought-tolerant if it just continues to keep them perpetually indebted to corporate overlords.

See also: Ea O Ka Aina: Bill Gates & Demon Corn 9/30/10 Ea O Ka Aina: Oxfam at odds over GMO's 4/14/10



ghpacific said...

I was shocked that another big proponent of GMO foods is Stewart Brand of The Whole Earth Catalog. Check out his argument at

Anonymous said...

I have heard it said, “The contamination of lettuce and other fresh produce is caused by factory animals farms, NOT BY PRODUCE FARMS.”

This is NOT TRUE.

Salmonella & e-coli on food crops & the egg recall? LIVING MICROORGANISMS being used in microbial bio-control products & added to chicken feed. Blessings from the FDA,USDA & EPA.

Melamine from cows milk? Linked to microbial bio-control products; by way of capsules United States Patent 6506397 (for one); “Microcapsule according to claim 21, wherein said capsule shell is formed by condensation of formaldehyde with at least one of urea & MELAMINE.”

Contamination from microbial bio-control products is found on the EPA’s, Biopesticides & Pollution Prevention Division Form; 8570-6; “After fermentation & prior to further processing, each batch must have been tested or the following microbial contaminates & have levels below those listed: E. coli/ Coliform Bacteria, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylocci, Vibrio, Yeast, Mold”

One U.S. microbial Bio-control products manufacturer; MEXICO.

Biotech company in the US submitted microbial bio-control fermentation batches to the EPA which found quality control, storage stability problems & honey bees died.

I would appreciate the facts being stated. The truth needs to be given to the public. EVERYONE needs to be made aware of just WHAT is being used on food crops.

Biotech corporations DO NOT want the food borne illnesses to be linked to the farms; where microbial bio-control products are being used as pesticides, fungicide and insecticides.

by Strend

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