Symposium Looking at Genetically Modified Organisms

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 10, 2003 ( The Vatican has gathered scientists, directors of international organizations, producers and consumers for a two-day symposium on genetically modified organisms.

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The Church hopes to “gather the greatest number of informative facts on GMOs, which will later serve as the basis for ethical and pastoral discernment,” said Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as he opened the event Monday.

Among the speakers at the meeting are the Italian government Ministers of agriculture, environment and health; the current president of the European Union; and representatives of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and of the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development.

“The question is ambitious and delicate,” the cardinal said, “given the radicalization that divides public opinion.”

Cardinal Martino said he is confident that, with the scientific contribution of the seminar, the pontifical council will be able to find “a useful and fruitful point of synthesis for the good of the men of our time, especially the poor.”

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