World Council of Churches comes out strongly against GM (23/2/2006)

This largely overlooked document, released in the summer of last year, shows how the World Council of Churches - an international fellowship of Christian churches from more than 120 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions - has come out strongly against GM.

World Council of Churches & GE
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 05:42:37 -1000
From: GMO-FREE MAUI <gmofreemaui at>
To: gefreehi <gefreehi at>

Greetings, Friends in this effort,

I have found the World Council of Churches' 28 page 'discussion document' 'Caring for Life: Genetics, Agriculture, and Human Life' most helpful, both for its depth and conclusions...

Below are this paper's conclusions which are calls to action and include such statements as:

"To build partnerships with civil society, peoples movements, small scale farmer groups and Indigenous Peoples in opposing the science, philosophy and practice of genetic engineering in agriculture..."

* The way forward.*

In the light of our work on genetic engineering agriculture we therefore call upon the WCC, member Churches, individual Christians and people of good will to embark on the following six forms of action

1. To build partnerships with civil society, people's movements, small scale farmer groups and Indigenous Peoples in opposing the science, philosophy and practice of genetic engineering in agriculture

2. To challenge Christians in the employ of those promoting genetic engineering to reflect upon the implications of their work in the light of the Gospel's concern for truth and justice, and to consider the possibility of being whistle-blowers and conscientious objectors

3. To encourage Christian theological reflection to shift from issues of food security to issues of food sovereignty so that our concerns for justice, freedom and participation are not compromised.

4. To encourage Christians involved in medical research to continue to investigate the impact of genetic engineering in agriculture upon human health, as called for by the European Commission.

5. To stand in solidarity with those working in local communities to promote healthy food and good nutrition amongst the deprived, especially in a time of HIV/AIDS.

6. To recognize in our work and reflection the way in which access to food stands on the interface between ecology and economy in the struggle for life against commodification and control

7. To engage biblically and theologically in reflection on food, faith and freedom, and especially to consider the possibility that the agape meal at the heart of Christian worship - the Lord's Supper or Eucharist - could be envisaged as a sacrament of resistance against those who seek to control food. In doing these things, we stand in continuity with the AGAPE document, and particularly section 3.3., 'from food security to food sovereignty':

'We believe that God's economy of solidarity and justice for the household of creation includes the promise that the people of the world have the right to produce their own food and control the resources belonging to their livelihoods, including biodiversity. It is therefore the right and responsibility of governments to support the livelihoods of small farmers in the South and in the North. It is their right to refuse the demands of agribusinesses that seek to control every aspect of the cycle of life. Such an approach requires respect for indigenous spiritual relationships to land and the bounties of mother earth.12

12 World Council of Churches, JPC Team, Alternative Globalization Addressing Peoples and Earth, Geneva 2005, p 22

The full document can be seen at:

A short discussion of biotechnology on the World Council of Churches website is at:

Susan Hope Bower
Special Projects Coordinator
Institute for Responsible Technology


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