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Caring for God's Creation: Called to be Stewards
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Episcopal Ecological Network
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Eco-Justice Resolutions
from the Episcopal Church

Study Genetically Modified Food Crops

Proposed Resolution 2012-A013 for the 77th General Convention
of the Episcopal Church, USA, July 2012
For Final Version: click here

Resolution 2012-A013: Study Genetically Modified Food Crops

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention seek to inform the Church of the issues surrounding the development of genetically engineered crop plants and the patenting of genetically modified organisms (GMOs); by charging the Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns, the Standing Commission on Health, the Executive Council Committee on Science, Technology and Faith, the Standing Commission on Social Justice and Public Policy, and other CCABs deemed relevant, to jointly study those issues and report to the 78th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That in commissioning such study, the 77th General Convention intend to empower the 78th General Convention to take action toward developing policy that will allow the Office of Government Relations to address these issues as they relate to Congressional farm bills and other federal policy or legislation; and be it further

Resolved, That the 77th General Convention seek to empower with information those organizations of The Episcopal Church that strive to address equity and social justice in matters such as global economic development, the environment, sustainable agriculture, health, and nutrition; and be it further

Resolved, That the 77th General Convention encourage individual Episcopalians seek to undertake study about GMOs and reflection upon the theology and stewardship of creation; to learn about the influence both domestic and globally of GMOs upon agriculture, economic development, the environment, alleviation of hunger, and biodiversity.

Proposer: Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns


With the development of strains of genetically modified foods crops and their dissemination worldwide, concerns are being raised about the impact of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on ecological sustainability and global economic justice.

The issue of patenting geneplasm and other life forms raises both general and contextually specific ethical questions. When the question arises about patenting crop seeds, the particular considerations have much to do with economic justice for small-scale farmers. This applies to family farmers and sustainable farming in the United States, and especially to small-scale and subsistence farmers in the developing world.

The Executive Council commissioned a report on these issues in 2011 and has sought counsel from experts in the field. Given that these are complex issues, pertinent to both domestic and international policy, The Episcopal Church would do well to follow the example of the Lutheran Church of America and other denominations in seeking to identify the moral, ethical and theological principles involved.

For Final Version: click here
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The EpEN is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church. Members come from around the Episcopal Church USA. The activities of the EpEN are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action. 

If you would like to contact any of these groups or to find out more about the EpEN, please click on the links on the left.

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last update: 2013-02-18

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