ANKARA, June 15, 2009 (News Agencies) .
The Turkish government' attempts to create regulations for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has led to lively debates between scientists, farmers, religious scholars, and consumer advocacy organizations. Scholars are also debating the Islamic permissibility of the GMos.
The Sunday Zaman quoted Ismail Koksal from the Firat University as saying that genetic modification is permissible if there is a vital need for it.
“To modify genes means to interfere with what God is created. An apple is a creation of God, so are human beings, as parts of the greatest program. When we eat an apple, our bodies are able to recognize the apple since both are parts of the program. But if the apple is modified, our bodies are not able to recognize it,” he said, adding that unless they are urgently needed and we are facing global hunger, it is very difficult to argue that GMOs are halal (permissible in Islam).
“What are the criteria determining a vital need or the threat of hunger? We have vast empty spaces that have not been cultivated,” he said.
Proponents of GMO say that the technology is vital in fighting hunger and disease.