New Scientist plants false story that Vatican scientists approve GM crops

More biotech science lies

*Updated 12/22

By Rady Ananda
Food Freedom

Talk about psyops. On November 30, the magazine, New Scientist, published “Vatican scientists urge support for engineered crops,” which the Vatican immediately denied.

“The Vatican did not endorse an 11-page final statement in favor of easing restrictions on and allowing more widespread use of genetically modified crops, especially in poorer nations,” a Vatican official said in a statement published by Catholic News Service.

The academy’s chancellor Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo told CNS, “The statement is not a statement of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences because the Pontifical Academy of Sciences as such — 80 members — wasn’t consulted about it and will not be consulted about it.”

In fact, “the Vatican has never taken a formal position supporting or opposing genetically modified foods,” reported CNS.

The study group who issued the report mostly include people with financial ties to genetically modified foods, and were not speaking on behalf of the Vatican. Four employees of Monsanto graced that panel.

There are an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics in the world who now have more reason to distrust biotech scientists.

The New Scientist also quoted an outrageous lie by one of the report scientists:

“There has not been a single documented case of harm to consumers or the environment,” says Potrykus.

It then links to a 2005 article which says the opposite. Whatever. Ingo Potrykus is a Swiss scientist who developed a variety of GM rice.

There are numerous scientific studies condemning the use of GM foods which have been linked to organ damage and sterility in mammals, while others correlate rising diabetes and obesity rates with GMO introduction. There’s also the question of allergic reaction to GM foods, proof of which is hidden by lack of labeling.

GM crops (trees, too) are genetically modified to produce or tolerate pesticides. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, has been linked to birth defects, cancer and miscarriages in humans. Pesticides are suspected in causing or contributing to mass bee, bat and butterfly die-off, as well as a pandemic amphibian decline. Their use is also linked to 11 million acres of superweeds in the U.S.

Finally, GM crops cannot be contained. They’ve spread in nations all over the world, even becoming established in the wild.

For any scientist to say that no environmental damage is linked to GM crops is unconscionable. Given the biotech industry’s penchant for suppressing science, it’s not surprising to find them extending their lies to the social realm.

Confronting the oft-quoted malarky that GM crops can solve world hunger, CNS reported:

“The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said earlier this year that it was not a coincidence that in 2009 the use of genetically modified food crops grew by 13 percent in developing countries and that GM crops covered almost half of the world’s total arable land. And yet ‘the number of hungry people in the world has for the first time reached 1 billion people,’ the paper said.”

CNS further noted that, “Pope Benedict XVI has denounced the continued scandal of hunger in the world, saying its root causes have more to do with problems of distribution and sharing than with there not being enough food in the world.”

Last updated Dec. 22, 2010 to exchange the term “Pope” with “Vatican scientists” in the title, and to add clarification on the position of Vatican scientists.

5 responses to “New Scientist plants false story that Vatican scientists approve GM crops

  1. Velp 05 December 2010,

    Hi Rady,

    When you are interested in the email dated 01 December 2010 that Professor Dr. Emeritus Klaus Ammann et al me did send where I informed him that he make again a big mistake in case push GMO’s in the 27 European Countries EU-Members……………But I see now that he try with his group ‘Old Scientist’ to destroy the Future from all Children from Babys to Fetus in the belly of their Mothers.
    GMO-Seeds-Plants-Bush-Trees or GM (O) Animals-Birds up to Fish and perhaps Fetus-Babys is the biggest mistake in Human History and apologize EXPORTED by the USA Governments- and their Presidents.

    Did write a Beekeeper in another Continent-Europe in the Netherlands.

    Best regards,
    Hans van den Broek

  2. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » COTO Report | Full Spectrum Defiance

  3. I am a plant physiologist and one of the participant to the PAS study week.
    If there is a false story here, this is the allegation that the New scientist run a title such as “Pope approves GM crops”.
    The New Scientist title says: “Vatican scientists urge support for engineered crops”, it doesn’t say “Pope approves GM crops” or “Vatican approves GM crops”. It says “Vatican scientists” which is indeed correct, as the PAS members knowledgeable in Biology have contributed to draft the statement and subscribed it.
    Therefore your title is false and misleading.
    regards, P.M

    • you can keep following this article around the internet, and I will keep posting my response. Another scientist who attended the subject meeting, and the Vatican, both agree with my take on the New Scientist story:

      I posted the referenced article title in my article and pulled out the relevant quotes, as well as the Vatican’s interpretation of that article (the same as the one expressed herein).

      Funny how the Vatican agreed with my take on the New Scientist article, and not yours.

      btw, as an update based on a more recently released cable, see Newly Leaked Cable: Pope ‘quietly supportive’ of GMOs.

      And here’s what another scientist who attended the subject meeting had to say on another article that also falsely stated the Pope openly supports GMOs. Note that he refers to my article as being accurate, while the newspaper story was false:

      Andrew Apel
      December 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

      David, Friends,

      The ‘leaked’ document cited by the newspaper was in fact not leaked, but rather, an intentional release of documents exactly two weeks before The Independent article appeared.

      Also, there’s leaks, and then there’s Wikileaks. And an article far more accurate. [1] I would know, I was a participant in the Vatican Study Week.

      Fact is, the Pontifical Academy has existed in one form or another since about ca. 600, as the very first academy of world scholars. It has always been independent of the Vatican, and likely always will.

      I personally am sure that I will not see the Vatican take any position on GM crops during my lifetime. Given the final Statement of the participants of the study week, the Pope would find a great deal of justification for the use of GM crops to *oppress* subsistence farmers, but I consider that to be a long shot. The only way to oppress subsistence farmers with GM crops is to *deny* them the use of GM crops. Which is not a misuse of GM crops per se. Very unlikely to happen as I see it.

      But, bottom line, if you think the Vatican now taking any stand whatsoever on GM crops is ‘the news’, then there isn’t any news. 40 scholars and scientists had their say. The Pontifical Academy said nothing, and the Vatican said nothing. And that’s it!

      1. Leaked cables confirm Pope’s distance from GMO debate and limited stance on bioethics,,
      [end comment]

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