Bogus story about Vatican approval of GM foods
If you look at the article below from this Catholic news source (CathNews), you'll see it attributes the story to the pro-GM lobby group Truth About Trade.
However, if you follow the link (given below) to the Truth About Trade article (Vatican says GM food is a blessing), then you'll find that although the article's dated 20 May 2008, it is identical in every respect to a piece published by The (London) Times five years earlier: Vatican says GM food is a Blessing, By Richard Owen, The Times, August 5 2003.
You can find the original posted on the website of the pro-GM lobby group AgBioWorld, who circulated it widely at the time.
The joke is, of course, that the story turned out to be bogus the first time around - the Vatican never did endorse GM crops. But, hey, all the more reason to give it another whirl!
GM food good: Vatican in policy switch
Cath News, May 21 2008
The Vatican has moved from a neutral position in a Europe-US confrontation over GM food and will come down in favour of genetic modification in a major report to be released next month.
Truthabouttrade reports the Vatican has stunned opponents of genetically modified foods by declaring they hold the answer to world starvation and malnutrition.
Until Sunday's statement the Vatican had been neutral in the European Union-US confrontation over GM food, the paper says.
Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said the Vatican was preparing an official report on biotechnology, to be published next month, which would come down in favour of genetic modification. The document will coincide with a debate on GM by EU farm ministers.
He said the Pope was greatly interested in new technologies for food development as part of a policy of sustainable agriculture. He noted that 24,000 people died every day from starvation.
Cardinal Martino, who until last year was the Vatican representative at the UN, said he had lived for 16 years in the US "and I ate everything that was offered to me, including genetically modified products. They had no effect on my health. This controversy is more political than scientific."
The Vatican study will argue the future of humanity is at stake and that there is no room for the ideological arguments advanced by environmentalists.
Cardinal Martino said the Pope had been influenced by the growing weight of advice from the Vatican's scientific advisers. "The Pope ardently desires to do something for the billions of people who go to bed hungry every night," he said.
He said freedom from hunger was one of the fundamental rights of man. The Vatican's stand was consistent with its belief in "the right to life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death."
Vatican officials said many in the West had made up their minds about genetic modification while ignoring the benefits to the world's hungry.
Velasio De Paolis, a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Urban University, said it was "easy to say no to GM food if your stomach is full."
Scientific progress was part of the divine plan, he said. "The introduction of new and more efficient technologies such as second and third generation GM foods, in harmony with sustainable development, is not a threat but a benefit."
Vatican says GM food is a blessing (Truthabouttrade, 20/5/08)