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NZ parishes oppose GMO release

While media reports indicate Vatican support for genetic modification, several New Zealand Catholic parishes are voicing their opposition to their Government lifting its moratorium in October on the release of genetically modified organisms.

Director of the Nathaniel Catholic bioethics centre Fr Michael McCabe said he had received a number of inquiries following recent comments by Archbishop Renato Martino, the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The archbishop said the Holy See, motivated by the need to eliminate world hunger, would soon publish an official report on biotechnology which would not oppose the use of genetic modification.

Fr McCabe said this is not a new position for the Holy See.

"In 1999 Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice-president of the Pontifical Academy of Life, said the use of biotechnology was not contrary to the teachings of the Church, but that it needed to be used with caution and with ethical scrutiny in all of its applications."

The New Zealand Catholic bishops took a similar position in their submission to the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification in 2000. While the technology of genetic modification was morally and ethically neutral, they said great caution was required in its use.

NZ Catholic

The Nathaniel Centre | Ethical Criteria Outlined for Use of Genetically Modified Organisms
Vatican report fuels GM debate within the Catholic church (21/8/03)
Vatican official to advise Pope on genetically modified food (3/7/03)
GM Food Will End Hunger: Vatican: Genetically Altered Crops Part of Man's Dominion Over Nature, Church Says (Biotech Knowledge Centre)
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)

25 Aug 2003