What is the biblical view on genetically modified food?Question: "What is the biblical view on genetically modified food (GMO)?"
Answer: The Bible doesn’t say anything specifically about genetically modified foods, but it does address the role we are to play in caring for the earth. Genesis 1:26-30 tells us that God created Adam and Eve and instructed them to multiply and fill the earth, to subdue it and rule over every living thing that moves on the earth. He also told them that every plant and tree yielding seed was to be their food.
Genesis 2:15-17 tells us that Adam cultivated and kept the Garden of Eden and they were free to eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So, prior to Adam and Eve’s sin, working the land didn’t involve toil and hard labor as the ground hadn’t been cursed yet. Adam and Eve’s God-given roles were to be good stewards of the earth He created. Genesis 3:17-19 tells us it was only after Adam and Eve disobeyed and sinned against God by eating of the tree of knowledge that God cursed the ground. He told Adam he would now only be able to eat the plants that grew for him by toiling and laboring over the land.
These passages show us mankind’s role on the earth and how that role changed after sin entered the world. Plants, animals, and trees today are still suffering the effects of that initial sin and are very susceptible to the ravages of disease, drought, and insects. Genetically modifying food sources is one way mankind is trying to offset the effects of the original curse. By altering the genetic makeup of organisms such as plants, animals, or bacteria to make them more resistant to insects, temperature, or disease, scientists and farmers are working together to improve food sources for the world’s population.
These genetic alterations may come with much risk to humans, animals, and plants, though, and only time will tell if this experiment will be helpful or harmful in the long run. Romans 8:18-23 reminds us that today, along with all of mankind, creation groans and longs to be set free from death and decay, and only in the future when God physically redeems His children and all of His creation will that happen. At that time everything God created will be restored to its initial perfect state.
Since the Bible doesn’t specifically mention genetically modified food, we need to be careful to not go outside of God’s Word on this issue. The best way to approach it is to understand mankind’s role on earth and the biblical guidelines God has given for our lives. That knowledge only comes when we spend time with the Lord in His Word and in prayer each day, growing and maturing in our walk with Him.
Recommended Resource: Eat This and Live by Don Colbert, M.D.
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