Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Environmental and Social Damage

Posted on Jun 16 2015 - 2:06am by Sustainable Pulse

Pope Francis slams both GMOs and pesticides in a draft of his major environmental document that was leaked Monday. He has also called for the financing of independent and interdisciplinary research to study GMOs.

You can find the full draft document here (In Italian): speciali.espresso.repubblica.it/pdf/laudato_si.pdf

On the subject of GMOs Pope Francis states; “It is difficult to give an overall judgment on the development of genetically modified organisms (GMO), plant or animal, for medical purposes or in agriculture, since they can be very different and require different considerations.”

He continues; “Although we do not have definitive evidence about the damage that transgenic cereals could cause to humans, and in some regions their use has produced economic growth that has helped solve some problems, there are significant problems that should not be minimized. In many areas, following the introduction of these crops, there has been a concentration of productive land in the hands of the few, due to the gradual disappearance of small producers, who, as a consequence of the loss of cultivated land, have been forced to retreat from direct production.

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“The most fragile among them become temporary workers and many farm workers migrate to end up in miserable urban settlements. The spread of these (GM) crops destroys the complex web of ecosystems, decreases diversity in production and affects the present and the future of regional economies. In several countries there is a trend in the development of oligopolies in the production of seeds and other products needed for cultivation, and the dependence deepens when you consider the production of sterile seeds, which end up forcing farmers to buy (seeds) from producers.”

“No doubt there is a need for constant attention…to consider all ethical aspects involved. To this end it is necessary to ensure a scientific and social debate that is responsible and large, able to consider all the information available and to call things by their names.

“GMOs is an issue which is complex, it must be approached with a sympathetic look at all its aspects, and this requires at least one more effort to finance several lines of independent and interdisciplinary research… as we have seen in this chapter, the technique is unlikely to be able to …self-limit its power.”

On pesticides Pope Francis states; “We get sick, for example, due to inhalation of large amounts of smoke produced by fuels used for cooking and heating. This is added to by….fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and toxic pesticides in general. Technology that is linked to finance, claims to be only solving problems…this solves a problem by creating others.

“It creates a vicious circle in which the intervention of the human being to solve a problem often worsens the situation further. For example, many birds and insects die out as a result of toxic pesticides created by technology, they are useful to agriculture itself, and their disappearance will be compensated with another technological intervention that probably will bring new harmful effects… looking at the world we see that this level of human intervention, often in the service of finance and consumerism, actually causes the earth we live in to become less rich and beautiful, more and more limited and gray, while at the same time the development of technology and consumerism continues to advance without limits.”

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37 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Almost Catholic June 16, 2015 at 02:45 - Reply

    OK. If this keeps up…. I’m becoming Catholic!

    • ReNoirIN June 16, 2015 at 07:43 - Reply

      Oh… don’t sell yourself too short… On a “global” level… Catholicism is going to make it’s reappearance to the likes of the middle ages… careful now (watch as history repeats itself)

    • Lorna June 17, 2015 at 03:19 - Reply

      I am a fair weather Catholic but your comment was my best humor read to day.

    • JoAnn June 18, 2015 at 08:52 - Reply

      Yes, I swear if there was a priest here with such intuition and intelligence i would gladly join his flock!

    • sandi June 19, 2015 at 06:44 - Reply

      Good point….have been thinking about it since I heard his powerful speech. God help the polititions in the US that are trying to silence his message!!

    • Jeffery July 5, 2015 at 11:04 - Reply

      If this keeps up I’m leaving Catholicism and joining a Republican mega-church in Texas.

    • heatherruth December 10, 2015 at 08:15 - Reply

      I loved your Post, like your sense of humour. I believe there is much more to the Pope that what we all know and understand. Watch him closely we may all be very surprised of the changes he may bring about!

  2. BilPosey June 16, 2015 at 05:42 - Reply

    He appears to be sincere about looking out for everyone best interest, not just big business, like most world governments.

  3. Maureen Cox June 16, 2015 at 07:11 - Reply

    I agree completely and stand with the Pope on this issue!!

  4. Jane June 16, 2015 at 07:15 - Reply

    It’s very sad that people have been led to believe that GMO’s have been proven safe for humans to consume. When in truth, for 30 years now, no testing has been done on either side of the isle. I am very sick now with CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome). A major cause of this illness is the ingestion of GMO’s & Glyphosate, because they both are a byproduct of a fungus (a toxin). I have been genetically tested and was born with two mutant genes. One of these genes is the HLA-DR gene and the other is MTHFR gene. These genes make me extremely susceptible to toxins (contaminated GMO’s & Glyphosate). Since I have this genetic mutation, I can not detox mycotoxins naturally from my body. Therefore, all of these foods are nothing more than poison to my system and are now slowly killing me. Please, let me be the proof, test me for Glyphosate. See the damage that has been done to my body. Do not just label the GMO’s, please STOP MONSANTO from poisoning the entire world. Please make GMO’s and Glyphosate illegal to produce and use. I’m begging you, not for just me, but for the future of all humans worldwide.

    • Tracy June 18, 2015 at 09:30 - Reply

      Jane, I’d like to help you. Let’s talk soon re how to best process the GMOS OUT of your body.

      My contact info is on OrganicsForFree.com

      May God bless you with full healing, like He did for me.

    • Jeff K October 5, 2015 at 07:18 - Reply

      “A Review on Impacts of Genetically Modified Food on Human Health,” by Charu Verma, Surabhi Nanda, R.K. Singh, R.B. Singh, Sanjay Mishra.
      “GMOS ARE INHERENTLY UNSAFE -There are several reasons why GM plants present unique dangers. The first is that the process of genetic engineering itself creates unpredicted alterations, irrespective of which gene is transferred. This creates mutations in and around the insertion site and elsewhere. The biotech industry confidently asserted that gene transfer from GM foods was not possible; the only human feeding study on GM foods later proved that it does take place. The genetic material in soybeans that make them herbicide tolerant transferred into the DNA of human gut bacteria and continued to function. That means that long after we stop eating a GM crop, its foreign GM proteins may be produced inside our intestines.” Charu Verma, Surabhi Nanda, R.K. Singh, R.B. Singh, Sanjay Mishra “A Review on Impacts of Genetically Modified Food on Human Health.”

  5. Karen June 16, 2015 at 08:01 - Reply

    I love Pope Francis, such a wise sweet man.

  6. Danna Garabedian June 16, 2015 at 08:59 - Reply

    The Pope is absolutely right in his statements. We have to rid the world of GMO seeds & pesticides if we have any hope of feeding the world. I see the landscape in farming country in Iowa & Nebraska – not a tree or bush in sight. Not one weed. It’s sickening. The pesticides & weed killers spayed on the crops have killed off everything except the GMO crops! There goes the butterflies, the bees & all other beneficial insects that pollinate our crops. It’s a sickening thing to see & it spells total disaster. I applaud the Pope for taking a world view of our problems. No other Pope has ever bothered with anything other than spiritual problems. If we are to be spiritual & do God’s will, we have to nourish the earth that He gave us, not destroy it. We bring about our own doom if we fail to heed what God told us to do.

    • Argie August 15, 2015 at 21:47 - Reply

      I live in Indiana and it’s not much better here either, everywhere you go all you see is Corn and Soybeans the whole damn state is one giant green desert, its disgusting.

  7. Brian John June 16, 2015 at 09:08 - Reply

    Good for Pope Francis! The religious leaders — of all faiths — have been very slow to enter this debate, partly because they have been put under intense diplomatic pressure by the GMO /agrichemical industries and by the US and other governments. But the Christian understanding of the word “stewardship” is a very important part of the faith, and it;s great that Pope Francis is now prepared to explain it in terms of a global responsibility to look after the poor, to look after the environment and to maintain the purity of food and water. The GMO industry, and its acolytes, bang on all the time, quite cynically, about GMOs being needed to “feed the world” in a future full of uncertainties. It’s nonsense. of course, and the Pope’s intervention at this stage is of vast significance.

  8. Therese June 16, 2015 at 11:51 - Reply

    Pope Francis is a scientist, chemistry in fact. What a great man.

  9. Debbie June 16, 2015 at 14:24 - Reply

    This is such a balanced argument, and I fervently hope that the pure common sense that serves as it root continues to spread, especially among our policy makers, many of now which find themselves in a situation where there is a conflict of interest. Will they continue to support the self-serving companies that are creating GMO’s or will they do the right thing for the health of our planet? As Pope Francis so eloquently stated, their actions are causing, “the earth we live in to become less rich and beautiful, more and more limited and gray, while at the same time the development of technology and consumerism continues to advance without limits.” This wise man is becoming the voice of social consciousness.

  10. Erskien Lenier June 16, 2015 at 16:13 - Reply

    Talk is cheap. I’d be more impressed if he dipped into the trillions of dollars the Catholic Church has scammed from the masses globally and used it to run research, educational and advertising exposing the crimes against humanity and using some of it to build out large scale examples of a better world – like housing, crops, Internet access for the poor…

    • yoteech June 17, 2015 at 04:19 - Reply

      Well said!

    • Mistah February 24, 2016 at 17:55 - Reply

      The Catholic scammed(?) trillions from the masses? Can you even provide evidence to your loose talk? Do you know what the word “scam” even means?

  11. Rhonda June 16, 2015 at 17:23 - Reply

    I wonder why more christian churches do not take a stand on this issue? How many rosaries will the Canadian Health Minister have to say for promoting glyphosate and GMOs?Will this health minister be outraged with the Pope too?www.cbc.ca/news/politics/medical-marijuana-legal-in-all-forms-supreme-court-rules-1.3109148

  12. Victoria June 16, 2015 at 18:46 - Reply

    The Vatican can afford to fund a definitive study.

  13. Roma Seiker June 16, 2015 at 18:58 - Reply

    I am Catholic and have many religious vocations in my family (priests). Many, many statements have been attributed to the Pope that he did not make. I’m skeptical about this one. I am praying this is true, but something just makes me feel this may be fake. Some work needs to be done to verify the voracity of this post.

    • Cherrie June 17, 2015 at 04:04 - Reply

      In the interest of verification, please name the priests to whom you are related.

  14. John June 16, 2015 at 22:41 - Reply

    It’s amazing what people who have lifetime jobs feel free to say. (The Truth),
    Oh, an an advanced degree in chemistry doesn’t hurt.

  15. Waclaw Swiecicki June 17, 2015 at 01:25 - Reply

    Hm.. so, gmo is far from Mercy Ecology

    Christians now rise up in ECOLOGY OF MERCY


  16. Leila Deurell June 17, 2015 at 01:56 - Reply

    With the Pope and Bernie Sanders we have a chance.

  17. Linda Thomas June 17, 2015 at 18:25 - Reply

    Well, all I can say is THANK GOD! Who else but the Pope is strong enough to take on the Biotech companies without fear of financial loss or professional degradation?

    Bring on the Monasanto Monolithic Monsters. Apparently, we have God on our side!

  18. Jose Silveyra June 17, 2015 at 21:23 - Reply

    What kind of scientific evidence do you have about GMOs? To said that what you are saying?

  19. Ed June 18, 2015 at 18:51 - Reply

    It will be interesting to see how much press the “major news outlets” will give to this new’s story from the pope? I am so sick of all the major news sources who protect Monsanto, and who cover up and lie about GMO’s. God bless Pope Francis for standing up and telling the truth about GMO’s! Heaven’s knows our political leaders,both democrat and republican have SOLD US OUT!

  20. Shenna June 19, 2015 at 19:28 - Reply

    You rock Pope Francis! I have continuously posted articles against the poisons of GMO’s and many more of Monsanto’s growing list of toxic products. It is good to know I now have God on my side!!! I have severe liver problems and when I switched to eating only organic my liver enzyme counts dropped by 25 and 27 points after two months. It is bad enough we have to breathe toxins, drink toxins but why eat them too? Test after test has shown these chemicals stay in our cells…leading to more prolific cancers, more cancers that were once rare and are not so now. and other diseases. Many countries ban Monsanto products and GMO’s. If only more leaders were as outspoken as this Pope…

  21. arahn June 22, 2015 at 19:25 - Reply

    Then why doesn’t he make an edict or Papal Bull telling Catholics to stop using all GMO. That would put an immediate to end GMO.

  22. Claudia June 26, 2015 at 18:57 - Reply

    No olvidemos que Francisco (Bergoglio) es Argentino. El país más afectado por el cultivo trangénico de todo tipo y los agroquímicos utilizado en cultivos extensivos. Conoce bastante sobre el tema.
    La presidenta actual festejó la inversión de Monsanto en Argentina desde NY.
    En Rosario se desarrolló una semilla trangénica resistente a la sequía (con el apoyo de Monsanto) con la promesa de obtener grandes regalías para científicos “nacionales”.
    Actualmente Argentina está siendo limpiada y defendida por particulares y por la opinión pública.
    Sus gobernantes tendrán que adaptarse pronto.

  23. Jeffery July 5, 2015 at 11:10 - Reply

    Monsanto probably — through a network of powerful connections — put him in power as a cultural pressure relief valve knowing (1) that the Catholic Church wouldn’t spend a cent to actually stand up against them, and (2) that he won’t be Pope forever.

  24. C Caffrey July 6, 2016 at 13:53 - Reply

    Well, one significant difference between Pope Francis and his predecessors is that he is the first Pope to come from a colonized nation rather than a colonizing one.

  25. G J Church April 12, 2017 at 17:05 - Reply

    Pope Francis is right of course, but one still isn’t sure what GMO crops one can eat (tomatoes often now have a fish gene in them).Most of the maize in Europe has now a GMO component as when GMO maize was introduced it spread very quickly across Europe..So I have been led to believe anyway..
    Yes many pollutants are in the air we breathe due to production of plastics pcbs etc…
    Be nice to know exactly which and what products should be allowed.A theologian from Plater College said he believed that GMO was Ok as long as any genes weren’t introduced into the crop or product.One would presume Dolly the sheep would not be allowed to be earen??

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