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Along with his other dilemmas, Pope Benedict is also said to have a “genetically modified crop dilemma.” As New Scientist explained editorially:

In a statement condemning opposition to GM [genetically modified] crops in rich countries as unjustified, a group of scientists including leading members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences is demanding a relaxation of “excessive, unscientific regulations” for approving GM crops, saying that these prevent development of crops for the “public good.”

The draft statement is the result of consultations from May 2009 by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and was released this week. It awaits approval by the full academy. It appears to echo one of the principal GM commercial advocates, Monsanto, an aggressive leader in producing plants that can stand up to super weeds .

On Tuesday, interestingly, the United States being one of those rich countries, a U.S. federal district judge, Jeffrey White, issued a ruling favorable to environmentalist suits and . . .

. . . ordered the removal of genetically modified sugar beet stecklings from hundreds of acres of farm fields, saying the U.S. Department of Agriculture improperly gave permission for their planting.

Exactly why New Scientist sees this as yet another papal dilemma is unclear, unless it is the juxtaposition of a Vatican academy vs. a U.S. judge. But best I can figure it offered a interesting headline. Papal dilemmas make for good headlines. Which exactly is why this blog carries the headline it does.

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