In a message for World Food Day, Pope Francis warned us about the damaging effects of genetically modified foods.
Many people watched him speak on October 14, 2016, where the Pope mentioned that a growing amount of people “believe they are omnipotent, or able to ignore the cycles of the seasons and to improperly modify the various animal and plant species, leading to the loss of variety that, if it exists in nature, has and must have its role.”
The Pope also mentioned that genetically modifying foods can produce great results in laboratories, which could be an advantage for some, but have terrible and ruinous effects on others.
“Genetic selection of a quality of plant may produce impressive results in terms of yield, but have we considered the terrain that loses its productive capacity, farmers who no longer have pasture for their livestock, and water resources that become unusable? And above all, do we ask if and to what extent we contribute to altering the climate?”
The Pope also said that climate change in particular threatens the production of food; therefore, people have to rediscover the benefits of living simply and respecting the planet. People need to also stop looking at food for exploitation.
“From the wisdom of rural communities we can learn a style of life that can help defend us from the logic of consumerism and production at any cost.”
There are some people who believe that agribusinesses are urging for production to feed a vastly growing population; however, the Pope believes that it is for the money and not to solve the issue of world hunger.
In addition, the Pope mentioned that despite the technological and scientific advancements of today, there is approximately 800 million hungry and undernourished people. He wrote:
Our responsibility as the guardians of creation and its order require us to retrace the causes of the current changes and to go to their root. First and foremost, we must admit that many negative effects on the climate derive us from the daily behaviour of people, communities, populations and states.
If we are aware of this, a mere evaluation in ethical and moral terms is not sufficient. It is necessary to act politically and therefore to make the necessary decisions, to discourage or promote certain behaviours and lifestyles for the sake of the new generations and those to come. Only in this way can we preserve the planet.
However, it is not the government’s job to make these decisions, the Pope says. For the effect of real change, every single person must be involved in discussions and they must be committed to change.
He specifically mentioned that attention should be paid to the experience and knowledge of “those who are engaged in work in the fields, in farming, in small-scale fishing or in the forests, or those who live in rural areas in direct contact with the effects of climate change.”
He also mentioned that those who know that the climate is changing, know that their life is changing as well.
The Pope’s informing words will certainly impact most of our views on GMOs. There are many people who are suffering from the effects of genetically modifying foods on our climate; however, it is up to us to realize it.
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