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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