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Vatican Hails GM Food as a Savior

(SRC: The Times, London — ATH: Richard Owen)

A Vatican report to be released in the fall of 2003 will likely announce the Pope’s support for genetically modified (GM) food. Archbishop Renato Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the announcement August 3. He said that the Pope is greatly interested in new technologies that will promote sustainable agriculture and “ardently desires to do something for the billions of people who go to bed hungry every night.”

Martino also stated that the Pope has been influenced by the growing weight of pro-GM advice from his scientific advisors. He added that GM technology is consistent with the Vatican’s belief in “the right to life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.”

According to the article, the August 3 statement marks a new development in policy from the Vatican, which had formerly held a neutral stance in the EU-U.S. confrontation over GM food. The article reports that opponents of GM technology were displeased by the announcement. Alfonso Scanio Pecoraro, head of the Italian Green Party said, “the church is using its authority to support a scam by the U.S. multinationals.”

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