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Filipino President Gloria Arroyo has used the Catholic Church's stance that growing and consuming genetically modified (GM) crops is not sinful to support her government's controversial policy to allow the cultivation of GM crops.

According to Agence France-Press, Arroyo said in a statement following a meeting with Vatican State Secretary Cardinal Angelo Sodano that "what's important now for opposers [of GM crops] is that the Vatican said that GMOs [genetically modified organisms] are not immoral."

The government's approval of GM seeds in the Philippines – a largely Roman Catholic nation – has met with strong opposition from environmental groups, as well as several Catholic bishops.

Recent months have seen confusion over the Vatican's stance on GM food. Newspaper reports in August suggested that the Vatican had declared its support for the technology, but the Vatican later clarified that it had not made an official decision to support the technology, but was planning to hold a roundtable discussion to study the ethical and scientific implications of using GM crops (see Confusion over Catholic stance on GM crops).

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