Vatican Debates Genetically Modified Organisms

“GMO’s”: Threat – or Hope?

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 9, 2003 ( An international symposium will debate the topic “Genetically Modified Organisms, Threat or Hope?” at the Vatican this Monday and Tuesday.

Organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the symposium will analyze the ethical implications of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) in light of Church social teaching. Council Prefect Cardinal Renato Martino, a former “United Nations observer”, will preside.

Talks are expected to zero in on the food shortage affecting tens of millions of the world’s poor.

The symposium will include four sessions:

1) GMO’s and scientific research;

2) GMO’s, food, and trade;

3) GMO’s, the environment and human health;

4) GMO’s and future of technologies.

The Secretaries of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Environmental Protection from several countries will attend, as well as scientists, ethicists, and economists from the world over.

Representatives from the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Life, respectively, will also address the session proceedings.

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