Philippines: bishop urges caution over GMOs

 Jesuit Bishop Antonio Ledesma, from Mindanao, has called for more public funds to be put into assisting small farmers develop sustainable agriculture - rather than "pushing for the immediate propagation of genetically modified organisms". In a statement to be published in the CBCP Monitor (the Catholic Bishops' Conference Publication), Bishop Ledesma raises several ethical issues concerning GMOs. He reiterates the bishops' statement that "in the absence of compelling human emergency, there is no justifiable reason to introduce in a hurry new untested technology until we have solid proof of their utility and safety". The Bishop also expresses doubts over the technology and equity issues, asking: "is GMO technology socially just?" given the monopoly held by a few trans-national companies on the seeds. Repeating the Philippine bishops' call for a moratorium on GMOs, the Bishop said he believed transgenic technology may be used for medicinal purposes, as well as for feed and food. However, proper safeguards should likewise be considered. Source: MISNA