Who's pulling Il Papa's strings? (13/8/2003)

Eco soundings
John Vidal
The Guardian , Wednesday August 13, 2003

Puppet on a string
Archbishop Renato Martino at the Vatican has been widely quoted saying that the Pope now backs GM foods. Hmmm. This is by no means certain, and Eco Soundings predicts this will be the issue that splits the Catholic church. Bishops in the Philippines, Zambia, Canada and elsewhere have all come out against the technology as applied in developing countries. The question is, who's pulling Il Papa's strings?
August 11, 2003
Meridian Institute Food Security And Ag-Biotech News [via Agnet]

Vatican representative Archbishop Renato Martino has contradicted reports that Vatican authorities were working on a policy paper that would support the use of genetically modified (GM) crops. He stated that the Vatican is simply planning to convene a round-table discussion in the fall to study the ethical and scientific implications of using GM crops. His statements come a day after an Italian newspaper that interviewed him announced, "the Vatican in November will say 'yes' to genetically modified foods." Reacting to the false report, French anti-GM activist Jose Bove said that any Vatican endorsement of agricultural biotechnology would be "scandalous."
B'laans downed by 'Bt' corn?
By Romer S. Sarmiento
ABS-CBN News, the Philippines, Online, 11.08.2003

POLOMOLOK, South Cotabato - More than 100 tribesmen turned themselves for a medical examination here Friday after they were hit by several illnesses allegedly caused by the controversial Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn planted in their village.

 The Justice and Peace Desk of the Diocese of Marbel mobilized the medical mission after receiving health complaints from B'laan residents of this barangay's sitio Kalyong, arising allegedly from reactions caused by the flowering of the Bt corn produced by seed-giant Monsanto.

 Sister Susan Bolanio, JPD coordinator, said her office received the complaint of more than 50 natives on August 6, prompting her to immediately organize the medical mission that was coordinated with Dr. Edgardo Sandig, provincial health officer of South Cotabato province.

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