GM Crops Blessed By the Vatican

August 6, 2009

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Maybe you missed this, but I think it is significant. The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Science has endorsed genetically modified crops. It’s good to have the Pope on our side. The Vatican is very straightforward in saying that GM crops offer food security, better health, and environmental sustainability. They are contradicting a UN “think tank” that condemned GM crops last year as dangerous to health and harmful to third world nations.

The Vatican is saying just the opposite, stating that GM crops are the answer to world hunger and poverty.

The United Nations are shortsighted. Just like Europe, they refuse to look to the future where science and technology are revolutionizing our agriculture production. I had lunch this week with former German Agriculture Consular to the U.S., Jurgen Heitman. He agrees with me. Europe needs to wake up to reality. We can’t feed the world with primitive farming.

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns had this to say: “It’s fine to romanticize that farming should return to its agrarian beginnings where every family owned a few acres, a dairy cow, a couple of pigs, a chicken coop, but it’s far from realistic.”

I am on the Board of the Friends of the World Food Program. The World Food Program does a fantastic job of delivering food to feed the hungry in impoverished countries. But, the only sustainable future is for those countries to be able to produce more of their own food, and the only way to do that is to employ all the latest, most advanced production technology. And that, of course, must include GM crops where the U.S.A. is far and away the global leader. Let’s not forget to feed the crop with fertilizer and use chemicals to control weeds and pests.

When all the best technology is used in production, it takes less land, less water, and less labor.

The blessing of GM crops is a little surprising since the Vatican has historically sided with nature on issues of this kind. This enlightened change of heart acknowledges that improved technology is just helping nature along for the good of mankind.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.