During the past ten years, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) has hosted at least three conferences on genetically modified food in relation to the problem of world hunger. The scientists who have participated in these conferences have concluded that genetically modified food is merely an extension of the same kinds of genetic changes that occur in nature and in the laboratory, that genetically modified food is safe, and that it should be used to combat world hunger. The conference proceedings published by the PAS have recommended an easing of restrictions on the development of genetically modified food crops and a liberal use of genetically modified food crops to combat world hunger and environmental pollution.
This paper offers a critique of the PAS conclusions and recommendations from the perspective of Catholic theology, philosophy, and natural science. It demonstrates that PAS members’ support for GMO food flows from their acceptance of a false evolutionary paradigm which conflicts with Catholic doctrine, traditional Catholic philosophy, and the latest evidence from the natural sciences. It further demonstrates that GMO food crops have been inadequately tested and poorly regulated but that the available evidence suffices to show that GMO food crops pose a grave threat to human health and to the environment,
The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for Church leaders, academics, and members of the PAS, which, if followed, may help to prevent a looming moral, medical and ecological catastrophe.
IMPRIMATUR: Bishop Cornelius K. arap Korir, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret, Kenya.
Granted on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, September 8, 2016.