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From Argentina letter to Cardinal Turkson

Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 2013

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson,
President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Most Eminent Cardinal Turkson.

Re: The Vatican GMO’s debate and the Argentinean experience

We are a social organisation from the Republic of Argentina whose objective is to return our country to the use of natural agricultural methods and the production of safe and healthy foods. For many years we have opposed the establishment of agribusinesses, chemical agricultural systems and the use and endorsement of genetically modified seeds. We value and celebrate that in the heart of our Catholic Church there are those, like your Eminence, who support solidarity and oppose the greed which currently exists within agriculture and food production.

We believe it is essential to safeguard these principles so that rural populations, small agricultural producers and rural workers can remain connected to the land and continue their mixed farming traditions, thereby preserving the knowledge they have inherited from their descendants. It is fundamental that, in the name of science, the current wave of colonisation and technology does not drive rural populations off their lands and force their migration to the urban fringes. It is also fundamental to put an end to those cruel extremes where people risk their lives in order to reach the wealthy countries, and where those who make it survive by working in miserable conditions.

Because of the issues mentioned above, we praise the commitment your Eminence has shown in calling a meeting of Catholic Bishops to debate current concerns about the use of biotechnology in agriculture. We also welcome your decision to open a debate that will allow the participation of all those who defend the earth and natural production processes, rather than just debating with those who support agricultural biotechnology. As we have already expressed to His Holiness Pope Francis, we would like to take part in those debates, as they relate to a subject which concerns us most deeply. In 2009, the Pontificial Academies organised a Seminar on Genetically-Modified Plants. Although our request to attend the Seminar was not granted on that occasion, we would like to request that we be granted the privilege of attending the current debate.

Over the years, we have carried out many campaigns against the crop spraying which accompanies new GM crops. We have also exposed and reported on the terrible social and environmental consequences of the agribusiness model which exists throughout Latin America. Our experiences support our application to take part in the above meeting, for our research to be consulted in relation to these issues and for this to form part of the framework conclusions reached by the Vatican State. We offer our un-conditional service to your Eminence and to those within the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace who are researching these issues.

Very respectfully,

Adolfo Boy
Stella Semino
Lilian Joensen
Fernando Rovelli
Federico Aliaga
Carlos Argañarás.
Jorge E. Rulli

GRR Grupo de Reflexión Rural

Jorge E. Rulli / Rondeau 812 Marcos Paz 1727 Provincia de Buenos Aires Tel. 54 220 4773545 / / Ecoteología Ecuménica en Facebook

Fuente: Modern Ghana

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