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Vatican official to advise Pope on genetically modified food

The Vatican's representative to a global agriculture conference in the US said he would observe discussions on food engineering technology to become better informed and to advise Pope John Paul II about its ethical implications.

Archbishop Renato R. Martino said the Holy Father is interested in learning more about genetically modified food and whether it could be used to feed billions of starving people around the world.

"He wants to know how these new technologies might help people who are hungry or are living in poverty," said Archbishop Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

"The Holy Father so far has not spoken on the issue, and we are in the process of study in order to recommend to him what the church's stance might be."

Archbishop Martino, who went to the Pontifical Council after 16 years as the Vatican's UN nuncio, spoke to about 100 people gathered last month at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in California's state capital Sacramento. He was in the city last month to represent the Vatican at the first Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology, sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Catholic News Service

USDA Conference on Agricultural Science and Technology (International Forum on Globalisation)
Indian bishop warns on GM as crop fails (7/4/03)
Vatican official says GM food "no big deal" (18/12/02)

3 Jul 2003