VATICAN CITY (CNS) — If farmers in Africa had greater access to fertile, arable land safe from armed conflict and pollutants, they would not need genetically modified crops to produce food, said the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Making growers reliant on proprietary, genetically modified seeds smacks of “the usual game of economic dependence,” which in turn, “stands out like a new form of slavery,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson.
The Ghanaian cardinal’s comments came in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano Jan. 5. It is “a scandal” that nearly 1 billion people suffer from hunger, Cardinal Turkson said, especially since there is more than enough food to feed the whole world.
Crops and livestock are destroyed because of strict trade restraints or in order to keep food prices high and, in wealthier countries, edible food “is thrown in the garbage,” he said. “All it would take is a little bit more solidarity and much less egoism” and there would be enough food to nourish even twice the current world population, he said.
The cardinal said high-tech agricultural practices and techniques are all but useless in areas of conflict and areas that are ravaged by the exploitation of natural resources.