Prudence Urged for Genetically Modified Organisms

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 12, 2003 ( The field of genetically modified organisms “must not be abandoned, although it needs much care,” said a Vatican official at the conclusion of an international symposium.

Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, concluded the two-day symposium by saying that the Holy See will give its ethical judgment on the matter of GMOs.

He said the pontifical council “will not fail to offer its contribution to enlighten consciences so that plant biotechnologies are an opportunity for all, not a threat.”

The symposium, held Monday and Tuesday, attracted 60 representatives of the world of science, politics, industry and trade, international bodies, and consumer associations.

The pontifical council will keep, among other things, three elements in mind, Cardinal Martino said: “Solidarity in trade relations among nations; … environmental safety and the health of all; … [and] understanding between the scientific world, civil society, and political authorities at the national and international level.”

He said that “the symposium has been a first instance of study on a path which the Holy See hopes to travel with prudence, serenity and in truth, to respond to the widespread expectations present in the Church, the scientific world and in our society in general.”

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