France: the Church’s position on GMO” “

GMO? “Only if they do not alter the balance of nature and are not harmful for human health”: that, in sum, is the position of the French Church on the question of genetically modified organisms (GMO), an issue that will be discussed at forthcoming meetings of the bishops. French parliamentarians have asked the Church and the other organizations of civil society to express their views on this question. Meanwhile, news of the request made by the European Union for a moratorium on GMO has been circulating in recent days. According to Jean-Pierre Ribaut, president of the Commission for the safeguard of the creation, an ecologist and expert on these matters, “the production of GMO cannot be banned – he explains – because from a biblical point of view man ever since his origins has always transformed species; he has intervened in the creation because he was created in the image and likeness of God. We cannot therefore declare a priori against all GMOs: some of them may have something positive to offer, for example in the field of medicine”. But in agriculture, he warns, the question is more complicated “because there is a danger of repercussions on the health of man and on other species. The introduction of genetically modified varieties in nature brings with it the risk of a modification of natural balances”. So what’s the solution? “We need to carry out the most rigorous scientific tests – says Ribaut – whereas today there are those who want immediate authorization to produce GMOs and introduce them onto the market. That seems to me unacceptable”.

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