Grotesque spin over Vatican GM event
NOTE: The funniest line here is "participants deny bias"!!!
As Prof David Miller of SpinWatch commented at the time of the event:
"Objectivity is the last thing anyone should expect from these 'experts'. One of the participants, Eric Sachs, is a Monsanto employee. Another, Robert Paarlberg, is an advisor to Monsanto's CEO, and Peter Raven and Roger Beachy head up institutions that have benefited from Monsanto's corporate largesse to the tune of many millions of dollars. Yet another speaker, C.S. Prakash, runs the AgBioWorld campaign, which has been used as a vehicle by Monsanto and its PR people for propaganda attacks on the company's critics. This event is just the kind of charade by vested interests that SpinProfiles was set up to challenge."
Genetically modified crops get the Vatican's blessing
New Scientist, 3 June 2009
THE Vatican seldom approves of scientists meddling with God's creation. So the decision of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to back oft-demonised genetically modified crops as an answer to world hunger and poverty may come as a surprise.
GM crops were heartily endorsed at a week-long seminar held by the academy in mid-May. Participants agreed that the crops offer food safety and security, better health and environmental sustainability. That verdict is not shared by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, a global UN-backed think tank that last year rejected GM as a solution to hunger.
Some say the seminar excluded dissenters within the church who fear that GM technology allows multinationals to control agriculture at the expense of the poor. But participants deny bias: they also concluded that regulations are too strict, so only big companies can afford to get GM crops approved, whereas non-profit organisations that want to help the poor cannot.