Loading
Archbishop warns WTO about ethical problems with biotechnology patents
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.

.- The patenting of genetically modified life forms can be ethically “problematic” and could hurt poorer countries if poorly implemented, a Vatican representative has told the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi addressed the WTO Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council in Geneva on Tuesday about a proposed TRIPS agreement which allows WTO members to exclude plants and animals from patentability but not micro-organisms.

The patenting of life forms, the archbishop warned, could sometimes support “biotechnologies that are problematic both from an ethical point of view and from the point of view of a ‘development-friendly’ intellectual property system.”

Noting other international agreements which hold that the human genome shall not give rise to “financial gains,” he said the TRIPS agreement, other WTO rules, and all other trade and intellectual property rights agreements should not reduce the ability of states to regulate the aspects of property rights related to human life and dignity.

These agreements acknowledge the ethical concerns that certain applications of “rapidly developing life sciences” pose to human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the prelate stated. They also urge states to adopt all necessary measures to protect human life in the applied life sciences.

Turning to the availability of food, Archbishop Tomasi said, “Private monopolistic rights should not be imposed over those biological resources from which the basic food and medicine requirements of human life are derived.”

He added that control of patents on the production and distribution of new kinds of seeds and animals could affect both food security and the development prospects of poor countries.

The prelate also noted “significant concern” about patenting the varieties of seeds that are genetically engineered. He mentioned the risks to traditional and modern research and production, the risks of concentrated seed ownership, and the risks of forcing farmers to buy seeds every season instead of saving them from year to year.

“The main goal of the international community should be to promote the common good. Moreover, international trade rules and negotiations should aim toward the good of all, especially of those people who are poor and vulnerable,” the archbishop told the WTO meeting.

Archbishop Tomasi is the Holy See’s permanent representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: