6 Dec 2007

Pacific Conference of churches summit on genetics and new biotechnologies underway

10:34 am on 6 December 2007

A representative of the Pacific Conference of churches at a summit on Genetics and new biotechnologies in South Africa, says while economic development is important for the region there are other issues to be considered.

Reverend James Bhagwan from Fiji says Pacific government's and churches also need to examine the possible negative social, economic and health implications of genetically modified foods for export or local consumption.

He says the negative impact of large scale GM farming has had on small farmers in North America should be a warning to Pacific countries.

Reverend Bhagwan says attempts by biotechnology companies to use Pacific people as research subjects as in the Cook Islands and also in in Tonga shows there is some need for churches to advise governments in the region.

Fourteen pacific countries have recommended a moratorium on the import of GMO's with some local consumer councils calling for the labelling of products containing Genetically modified material.