Genetic engineering can lead to beneficial advances in human nutrition and the fight against world hunger, according to the top science advisor to Pope Benedict XVI.
“Thanks to the recent advances in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, it has become possible to direct biological evolution in order to better fulfill our needs for a healthy nutrition as a contribution to medically relevant improvements,” said Dr. Werner Arber, president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which advises the pope on scientific matters. Arber is a Swiss molecular biologist who shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1978. He is the first non-Catholic to serve as head of the academy.
“Our Academy concluded that recently established methods of preparing transgenic organisms follow natural laws of biological evolution and bear no risks anchored in the methodology of genetic engineering,” he recently told the pope and an audience of bishops meeting in Rome. “The beneficial prospects for improving widely-used nutritional crops can be expected to alleviate the still-existing malnutrition and hunger in the human population of the developing world.” Read more.