Have you ever held a genetically modified tomato and wondered, “Would the Pope eat this?” Well, here’s your answer: The Vatican has announced that it endorses the growth of genetically modified crops as a possible way to alleviate world hunger.
Given the papacy’s generally-hands-off approach to God’s creations, the decision to back genetically altered crops might seem surprising. In fact, because the environmental and health consequences of genetically modified foods remain largely unknown, they remain controversial in many circles, not just among Catholics.
On the other hand, these foods may just have the potential to grow heartier crops, or plants with added vitamins—such as rice with Vitamin A and iron—that could help feed the millions of starving people worldwide.
The Pope’s scientists admit that today’s regulations of genetically modified crops mean that only multinational corporations can control the market, making it impossible for non-profit organizations to get approval to produce plants to feed the poor. Which is too bad, because getting food to those who need it could be one scenario where the pros of genetically modified foods outweigh the cons.
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Image: flickr / filip1