Ask Us Anything About GMOs!

Are there any major conflicts you're aware of so far between faith/religion and this business of GMOs?

A:Expert Answer

The development and use of GMOs raise no major conflicts between science and religion if we consider the general religious imperative “to do to others what you wish done to yourself”.  Christ’s instruction was that we should love our neighbours as much as ourselves, and this should lead to ethical questions about the nature of new technologies. In the case of GM crops, we can ask – are the products safe for humans and the environment? After over 15 years with many millions of people eating GM corn and GM soya and huge sums spent on assessing safety, there is no scientific evidence of threats to human health or the well-being of the environment. Is it natural? – humankind has been doing genetic engineering for thousands of years by crop selection and cross breeding, so few if any food crops are still recognizable as wild varieties.  Is it fair? – we have to examine whether the results of the GM technology give a fair return to investors and tax payers who have supported the work, fair to smallholder farmers who need access to the technology, and fair to the environment which is improved by the reduction in chemicals applied to the crops and the land. As with any new technology, these socio-economic issues need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  Finally, is it needed? – this will depend on the nation in question. Given that 1 billion people on the planet are currently under-nourished, and with a projected global increase in population from 7 to 9 billion by 2050, the need for increased agricultural production is both obvious and urgent.

Topic: Other  1 Comment | Add Comment