Why Christians Should Oppose Malsanto

by Fr. Christophe DiFib­rio
     Life, as cre­at­ed by God, is a pre­cious and sacred thing. We have a great respon­si­bil­i­ty to nur­ture all such life, espe­cial­ly that life which feeds and sus­tains God’s peo­ple. The arrival in our com­mu­ni­ty of the giant, mul­ti-nation­al com­pa­ny Mal­san­to, there­fore, rais­es for us a pro­found eth­i­cal ques­tion.
     Mal­san­to, a com­pa­ny which made its for­tune pro­duc­ing poisons—pesticides and her­bi­cides, includ­ing defo­liants used in Viet­nam to clear thou­sands of acres of jungle—has gone into the God Busi­ness, cre­at­ing life forms by com­bin­ing genet­ic mate­ri­als across species. Some say that this is progress. Those peo­ple say that God meant humankind to take over his work, to make things bet­ter for all.
     But this begs two relat­ed ques­tions: is this God’s work? and, is this for the bet­ter­ment of human­i­ty?
     It is rea­son­ably argue­able that pes­ti­cides and her­bi­cides have allowed us to cre­ate har­vests unimag­in­able a cen­tu­ry ago. But when we ask, “at what cost?” the ben­e­fit becomes more ambigu­ous. The aban­don­ment of sound farm­ing prac­tices for the chem­i­cal quick fix has left much of our once-pro­duc­tive land bar­ren and poi­soned, has caused can­cers and oth­er ill­ness­es, and has left us with poor qual­i­ty food.
     Now, Mal­san­to and its pro­mot­ers want us to believe that its new genet­i­cal­ly-mod­i­fied prod­ucts are also for our ben­e­fit. These prod­ucts include spe­cial­ized plants and so-called ter­mi­na­tor seeds. Let’s ques­tion the assump­tion that these cre­ations will improve the lot of human­i­ty.
     One new life form is the her­bi­cide resis­tant plant. Not only are these plants untest­ed on humans, but their use will like­ly encour­age an increased vol­ume of her­bi­cides, mul­ti­ply­ing the poi­sons in the earth, and the can­cers in the body. Add to that the greed factor—the plants are only resis­tant to cer­tain her­bi­cides pro­duced by Malsanto—and you must begin to ques­tion the motives of the pro­duc­ers.
     Anoth­er prod­uct, the ter­mi­na­tor seed, pro­duces ster­ile off­spring, thus requir­ing the farmer to pur­chase new seeds the next sea­son. Not only will this prac­tice cre­ate depen­dence on Mal­san­to for future har­vests, but, if wide­ly adopt­ed, will deplete the earth’s genet­ic seed stock. Again, the sin of greed appears to be a prime moti­va­tion­al fac­tor in Malsanto’s agen­da.
     It is the ter­mi­na­tor seed which I believe to be the most egre­gious assault on God’s Plan. It goes direct­ly against His com­mand­ment to “go forth and replen­ish the earth.” The delib­er­ate cre­ation of food plants with ster­ile seeds, is not a life affirm­ing action, but a death wish.
     To sup­port the actions of this com­pa­ny is to embrace the wrong side in our eter­nal strug­gle with evil.

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