Bishops Welcome Dialogue with Biotechnology Group

Article excerpt

Oliveros, who chairs the CBCP Office on Bioethics stressed a dialogue will enlighten all stakeholders and even antibiotechnology and antigenetically modified organism (GMO) groups and all parties must be invited to such a discussion.

Bishop Oliveros had met with officials of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture- Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO) to discuss updates on biotechnology projects. He was briefed on the benefits of biotechnology and common misconceptions about it.

The bishop said the CBCP is open to sit down and learn more about biotechnology. He declined to make any categorical position on the matter since Pope Benedict XVI is expected to issue the official position of the Roman Catholic Church on the matter next month.

However, he hinted it may be possible for the Pope to issue a favorable statement on the use of biotechnology.

"Ang concern daw ng Holy Father is the fact that there are millions of people who sleep at night hungry. So how do we solve the question of hunger? Biotechnology gives us an answer. And it would not be contrary to the nature of man to use biotechnology because we were created by God with a mind that can improve nature. So that is a principle that can be used in allowing the use of biotechnology," Oliveros said

Nonetheless, he clarified that biotechnology advocates cannot yet celebrate until the Pope issues the official statement next month.

The CBCP also raised concerns on the proper implementation of the regulations on biotechnology products to ensure their safety for humans, animals and the environment. …