Columbans petition Govt on GE food

The Columban Peace, Ecology and Justice Centre has written to the Federal Minister for Agriculture and other officials to express concern at the Government's involvement in promoting genetically modified food technology.

At a recent meeting of representatives of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Brazil 20 March, the Australian Government argued for a change in the de facto global moratorium on technology to sterilise crop seeds.

In a statement for tomorrow's international GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) Opposition Day, the Centre's Director Ms Anne Lanyon said: "The issue of genetic engineering of food poses threats to food safety, human rights, trade, ethics, biodiversity, culture and religion.

"If GE food takes hold, human rights to food sovereignty and food security will be taken from people and control handed to large corporations," she said.

Ms Lanyon said the dangers of the genetically modified (GM) food are an area of mission in which the Columban Mission Society is concerned.

"Food is a gift from God and a basic human right. The Columban perspective challenges the anti-gospel claim that human beings can replace the Creator by creating and controlling life," Ms Lanyon said.

"Columban experience with poor farmers in the Philippines and Pakistan, highlights the destructive effect of the imposition of the industrial agriculture model on their lands and culture."

As part of International GMO Opposition Day in Sydney, there will be the launch of the new 2006 True Food Guide and screening of the acclaimed film The Future of Food at the Leichhardt Farmer's Markets.

Genetic engineering of food (Columbans 6/4/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Joint International GMO Opposition Day
Columban Centre for Peace, Ecology and Justice

Pope hints at thumbs-down for GM food (CathNews 18/10/04)
Biotech multinationals worry Columbans on World Food Day (CathNews 15/10/04)

News From the Diocesan Commission for Environmental Awareness (The Review, Diocese of Rockhampton April 2006)
Prophecy and climate change (The Tablet 1/4/06)
Climate Change Affecting Africa's Poorest (The Universe 22/3/06)
On the edge of the precipice (The Tablet 25/3/06)
Church urged to support environment justice (Independent Catholic News 20/3/06)
Climate change: Everyone talks about it; what can be done about it? (Catholic News Service 19/2/06)
Churches to Collaborate on Response to Government Climate Change Paper (Catholic Justice & Peace Commission 6/2/06)
Caritas India Launches "Save Mother Earth, Care for Nature" Campaign (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 2/2/06)

7 Apr 2006