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GM funds: advice is modified

08 March 2013


THE Church's investing bodies should encourage companies in which they hold shares to take a "precautionary approach" to genetic modification, the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) said last week.

The EIAG - which makes recommendations on investments to the Church Commissioners, the Church of England Pensions Board, and the CBF Church of England funds - has "adopted an updated and more detailed ethical investment policy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs)", Church House said.

The policy "allows for investment in companies developing and marketing GMOs where there is satisfactory assurance on, and confidence in, ethical standards".

It would be "inconsistent" with the EIAG's policy for GM field-trials to be conducted on land owned by church investing bodies. The policy, however, allows "well-established GMOs that are broadly accepted in the country concerned" to be cultivated on land owned by church investing bodies.

The chairman of the EIAG, James Featherby, said: "The EIAG recognises the potential benefits of responsibly conducted GM", but: "We are also conscious . . . that there remain uncertainties about the effects of the application of the technology."

Ethical investor. A new, not-for-profit stockbroker, Ethex, has been launched by five charitable foundations. A spokesman for Ethex said that it was "the first ever platform bringing together positive ethical investments in one place".

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