By Mike Ludwig
t r u t h o u t
Secret United States diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks detail efforts to promote genetically modified (GM) crops and biotechnology across the globe, including the Vatican, where US diplomats pushed the Roman Catholic Church to support biotech food in developing nations.
Cables from embassies in Spain, Austria and even Pakistan reveal the US diplomats have clearly sided with the biotech industry, even as court cases and public debates over GM food raged in the US and abroad.
In 2005, a US diplomat and a USAID official met with Catholic leaders in Rome to discuss biotech foods, according to a leaked cable. The diplomats reported that Catholic leaders said the science and safety of GM food would soon be a “non-issue” in the Vatican and signaled a cautious acceptance of biotech products despite active opposition among the faithful:
Preoccupation at the Vatican, they said, was tied more to economic arguments, as some fear that widespread use of GMO food in the developing world would subjugate its farmer population and become a form of economic imperialism simply serving to enrich multi-national corporations.
US diplomats pledged to continue pushing GM foods as a “moral imperative” to feed growing populations in order to counter opposition to the biotech food industry among Catholic activists and clergy.
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