Vatican Cautions Against GMOs

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For years, groups both for and against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have been lobbying for endorsement from the Vatican. Up until now the the Holy See has remained neutral on the subject although is has sponsored studies that seemed to have the goal of promoting the use of GMOs to cure world hunger.

The Catholic News Service (CNS) is now reporting what looks to be an official stance against GMOs. The CNS says that the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Turkson, is urging "an attitude of caution and further study of the possible negative effects of genetically engineered organisms."

CNS continues with some strong statements from Turkson:

Genetically modified food crops could be used as "weapons of infliction of hunger and poverty" if they are managed unjustly...

Agribusinesses and biotech industries that produce genetically modified organisms are justified in wanting to recoup the expenses laid out for research and development, and they have a right to want to make a profit from their work, said Cardinal Turkson, who took over the reins of the council in January. But the issue becomes problematic when a company that controls the use of genetically modified seeds and crops is motivated more by profit than by "the declared desire to want to help feed humanity," he said. There are also doubts about the efficacy and long-term effects of genetically engineered crops, he said.

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