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Vatican official says GM food "no big deal"

The Vatican says GM foods should be used to feed the world's hungry, suggesting the controversy over altered foods is more political than scientific.

Archbishop Renato Martino (pictured) said it is better that people eat GM foods than grass.

Archbishop Martino, who until recently represented the Holy See at the United Nations, was asked about the issue at a news conference about John Paul's annual world peace message.

"I lived 16 years in America and I ate what came from the market, what was given to me," including, he said, genetically modified foods. "So far I have had no ill effects."

Martino said "he wouldn't make such a big deal" about food being genetically modified. "When you're hungry you eat everything."

Now head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Martino said that during the Second World War in Italy, he and others ate bread that was made of powdered marble as well as flour to give it substance.

"But we ate it because that's what we had," Martino said.


Southern African bishops warn about use of genetically modified food (25/9/02)
Genetically Modified Food: The Impending Disaster - Statement of the Catholic Bishops of South Africa 14 November 2001
Catholic leaders condemn GM patenting (Norfolk Genetic Information Network)

18 Dec 2002